President Herbst Speaks on Waiver Request

The academic progress rate (APR) used by the NCAA can be one of the most confusing rules for fans to understand. And now Connecticut has gone to the NCAA to request a waiver that would allow the school to impose its own penalties for past academic problems – and avoid becoming ineligible for the 2013 NCAA Tournament.

Among the suggested penalties UConn is willing to impose is forfeiture of its share of revenue from the 2013 tournament that is generated by the participation of Big East schools.

In addition, would reduce the number of regular season games in 2012-13 from 30 to 26. UConn would schedule 23 games plus one exempt tournament (the three-game Paradise Jam). In addition the school vows to spend the time from those four missed games on academics.

UConn would eliminate exhibition games and devote that equivalent time to study hall.

Coach Jim Calhoun would be barred from making off-campus visits to recruits during the fall contact period.

Those are the key penalties recommended by UConn. It is not clear when UConn will respond to the waiver request.

The following is a statement by UConn President Susan Herbst in response to a story on the UConn APR waiver for the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament by the Associated Press. According to UConn, The Associated Press asked for Herbst's reaction to the appeal in the late morning today, but did not wait for her response to run the first edition of the story. The following is the entire statement.

"We believe that we have made a very compelling case to the NCAA and will be deeply disappointed if our request for a waiver, from the 2013 men's basketball postseason ban, is denied. Our team's academic performance improved tremendously in 2010-11, and in the fall 2011 semester. We developed a new long-term academic plan for our team, and it has already shown positive results.

?"It is unfortunate that our current men's basketball student-athletes could be punished for the problematic academic performance of other students -- students who have not been enrolled at UConn for over two years. That decision would be unfair to innocent young people, which is baffling to us. Regulatory bodies should not change rules retroactively. The NCAA should focus on the future, so that people have the chance to work toward positive change. They should not dredge up the past, and then hurt innocent parties of the present.

"On a personal level, and as an educator, I would be very sorry to see such harsh punishment of the outstanding young men on our current basketball team. I believe that it would be wrong to punish these students, caught in the fallout from a sudden passage of new rules -- rules that did not exist when they enrolled at UConn. That would be a fundamental injustice to our team and to our university.

?"My thanks go out to so many wonderful professionals at UConn who have made great strides in our academic approach over the past few years, as well as to our students, whom we treasure, along with our dedicated faculty and coaches. And I cannot think of many people in this world who have improved the lives of young men more profoundly than Jim Calhoun, our Hall of Fame coach, and highly-valued member of this university community."?


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