Could UConn Be Banned from Tourney?

The NCAA's Division I Board of Directors will vote this week on a proposal to ban schools from postseason play if their players don't meet the required Academic Progress Rate. If approved, the proposal could be implemented as soon as the 2012 men's basketball tournament. If the proposal had been in place last season, the UConn men would have been unable to participate in the tourney they won.

NCAA President Mark Emmert, speaking in Washington at a Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics meeting, said the proposal requires and Academic Progress Rate of 900. The rate will be increased to 930 (or the equivalent of a 50 percent graduation rate) in 24 months.

The Huskies had an APR of 893 last season. Until the board votes it isn't clear whether the ban would take effect for the 2012 or 2013 tournament, leaving UConn's status in jeopardy.

USA Today covered the Knight Commission meeting and filed this report:

"The NCAA's Committee on Academic Performance recommended that this be put in place for the 2012-13 season, but NCAA spokesman Bob Williams said the Division I board of directors will have the option of implementing it for this season.

Had it been applied to last season's NCAA tournament, the 900 benchmark would have scratched three entrants: UAB (860), Alabama State (883) and UConn. A total of 33 Division I men's basketball programs were beneath 900 last season, also including Arkansas (892), Missouri State (896), Ball State (892), Toledo (858) and St. Bonaventure (894)."

USA Today reported the vote will be taken Friday.

UConn lost two scholarships this year for its four-year rolling APR average of 893. Coach Jim Calhoun and other UConn officials have indicated the program's rate has improved and Calhoun believes UConn will get at least one scholarship back.

But this new penalty could block UConn from advancing to the NCAA tournament.

"We need to act with some dispatch," Emmert told the Knight Commission.

UConn president Susan Herbst told The Hartford Courant that schools need time to meet the new ban regulations.

"I am strongly in favor of holding colleges and universities responsible for meeting APR standards," Herbst told The Courant. "There are many reasonable penalties for failing to meet these standards, and a postseason ban is one of them. My only addition to the conversation is that institutions need time to prepare, to make sure that all of their academic supports are in place, so that players and coaches are ready to meet the expectations of presidents and the NCAA. … I don't know that the ramp-up time is settled yet, in the discussions."


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