No Change from Committee Meeting

Jeremy Lamb scored 32 points and Shabazz Napier hit the biggest shot of the season as Connecticut kept its 2012 NCAA Tournament hopes alive with a gutsy 73-70 overtime victory Monday night at Villanova.

But, as of right now, the Huskies remain ineligible for the 2013 tournament because of their past academic deficiencies. The NCAA's Committee on Academic Performance met Monday in Indianapolis and discussed the possibility of adjusting the collection of academic data – a move that could open the door to UConn's eligibility. But the committee essentially tabled the issue and no changes were made.

"CAP discussed the topic today but took no action. It will continue the dialogue at future meetings," NCAA spokesman Erik Christianson wrote in an email.

The NCAA approved a new rule in October requiring schools to have a two-year average score of 930 or a four-year average of 900 on the annual Academic Progress Rate, the association's measure of academic performance. UConn's two-year score is expected to be 900.5 and the four-year score will be around 888.5, based on results from the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons.

The CAP is considering a proposal that would allow schools to use their most recent data. For the 2013 tournament, that would mean an adjustment to use scores from 2010-11 and 2011-12. Based on academic achievement to this point, UConn would qualify for the tournament if the adjustment is approved.

UConn requested a waiver and suggested its own self-imposed penalties to offset the postseason ban. The NCAA rejected that waiver request on Feb. 10 but UConn immidiately appealed that decision. A subcommittee of the CAP will decide on that appeal. No word on whether that process has begun, but it seems highly unlikely that the appeal will succeed.

The next scheduled meeting for the CAP is April but any NCAA committee can meet by teleconference call and reach decisions. Until that moment, UConn can only continue to wait.

The committee's final ruling is expected to impact the decision of many UConn players in terms of recruiting, who will turn pro early and who might decide to transfer. It might also impact the Huskies at the very top, when coach Jim Calhoun evaluates his options for the upcoming season.

UCONN WOMEN

The UConn women's team fell from No. 2 to No. 4 in the most recent Associated Press rankings after losing to St. John's Saturday. The defeat snapped UConn's 99-game home winning streak and the Huskies now trail Baylor, Stanford and Notre Dame in the AP poll.

UConn plays at Pittsburgh Tuesday night and it appears guard Caroline Doty will be able to play. Early in the first half against St. John's, Doty broke a tooth after she was inadvertently struck in the face. It was the same tooth Doty broke during her senior year in high school. UConn announced Monday that the tooth was re-bonded on Sunday.

Notre Dame moved a step closer to the Big East title with a 68-52 victory over Louisville Monday. Notre Dame has won two straight since losing to West Virginia and is one game up in the loss column on UConn. Notre Dame plays South Florida Saturday before the rematch with UConn next Monday in Hartford.

UCONN FOOTBALL

The 2011 Big East Conference All-Academic Football Team includes 22 players from UConn. To be nominated, a player must have a cumulative grade-point index of at least 3.0 and completed a minimum of two semesters of academic work. Among those honored from UConn were: senior safety Harris Agbor, junior linebacker Jory Johnson, freshman quarterback Scott McCummings, senior center Moe Petrus, senior kicker Dave Teggart, and junior wide receiver Nick Williams.

UCONN BASEBALL

The Big East has named sophomore LHP Brian Ward (Milford, Conn.) conference Pitcher of the Week for the week ending February 19. In a press release UConn noted that "Ward earns the season's first Pitcher of the Week recognition after throwing 7.1 innings of shutout ball after allowing just four hits and striking out five in the Huskies' season-opening win over Indiana, 8-0, at the Big Ten/Big East Challenge. UConn, which lost over 300 innings and 27 wins from last season's starting rotation, returned only Ward from last year's staff. In his rookie campaign, Ward registered a 6-1 record, recording a win in both the Big East Tournament and NCAA Regional, to go with a 3.28 earned run average and 53 strikeouts. The Huskies are next in action at the Cougar Invitational, hosted by the College of Charleston, February 24-26 when they take on Xavier, C of C and Rhode Island."


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