NCAA Ban Would Mean No Big East Tourney

NEW ORLEANS – The Connecticut Huskies are not at the Superdome to defend their 2011 national championship. But UConn still managed to be in the news at the Final Four Thursday.

In addition to pointed remarks from NCAA president Mark Emmert that hinted there is little hope for UConn to regain its eligibility for the 2013 tournament, there was the news that the Huskies would also be banned from participating in the 2013 Big East tournament.

Presidents from the Big East schools met in New York during the conference tournament earlier this month and informally agreed that any team that is ineligible for the NCAA tournament will also be ineligible for conference tournaments.

Currently, there is nothing in the Big East bylaws to address the issue.

"We do not have the formal language but this is not a UConn decision," spokesman John Paquette said in New Orleans. "It is for any team in any sport."

The decision is not a surprise. The Big East has to protect itself from losing an automatic bid in the case that a team ineligible for the NCAA would win the conference tournament.

Paquette said the bylaw could be formalized any time but most likely would be voted upon at the annual conference meetings in May.

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