UConn's Latest APR Score Much Better

When the NCAA announces Academic Progress Rate scores for all member schools from the 2010-11 academic year on Wednesday, there will be good news for the Connecticut men's basketball program – but still no reason to celebrate.

The UConn men will receive a score of 978, easily the best mark for the program in the past four years. But mixed with an 826 score in 2009-10 and an 844 in 2008-09, the Huskies still face a postseason ban in 2013 which will include the Big East tournament, the NIT and the NCAA tournament in the upcoming season.

Under rules approved by the NCAA membership in October, a school must have a two-year average APR score of 930 or a four-year average of 900. UConn's two-year average will far sort at 902, as would the four-year average at 889.

A perfect score is 1,000.

UConn requested a waiver from the NCAA, arguing that the rule change in October was unfair and that reforms put in place at UConn have led to improved scores over the past two seasons. The waiver request was denied and the NCAA turned down UConn's final appeal in April

The athletic department argued that the NCAA should use the two most recent years of data. But the NCAA has said that is impossible to do across the board because of the various grading and recording procedures used by various schools.

"The approach to APR marks the first time in the history of the NCAA that it has ever implemented an academic rule significantly impacting current student-athletes without allowing the members time to adjust to the adoption of the legislation," UConn athletic director Warde Manuel said in April.

At one time it appeared the NCAA could adjust the reporting dates to use scores from 2010-11 and 2011-12. The Committee on Academic Performance has another meeting scheduled for July but the NCAA has said that adjustment will not be taken into consideration. That would be the final opportunity to lift UConn's 2013 postseason ban.

UConn officials expect the men's program to record another high score, close to the 978 or possibly higher, for the 2011-12 season. But that score cannot be calculated and finalized at this point. One unknown element is the impact of the transfer of Alex Oriakhi. He received a waiver to transfer to Missouri for his final season of eligibility and can play immediately for the Tigers – without sitting out a season.

UConn coach Jim Calhoun has admitted mistakes were made. But the good news Wednesday will be that the Huskies are headed in the right direction again – and that is good for the future.

"The changes we have implemented have already had a significant impact and have helped us achieve the success we expect in the classroom," Calhoun said in April. "We will continue to strive to maintain that success as we move forward."

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