Jim Calhoun and UConn may not get a final decision on their 2013 Tournament eligibility until the summer.
As it stands, the UConn men's basketball team is ineligible for the 2013 NCAA Tournament because of low Academic Progress Rates (APR) over the course of several years. The NCAA has already sanctioned the program by taking two scholarships for the 2011-12 season, and unless the method for calculating APRs changes to include the most recent year of data, the Huskies won't be eligible for the tournament until 2014.
The NCAA will meet in April to discuss proposed changes but despite what was previously thought, no decision will be made at that time. Instead, UConn might not find out their fate until this summer. Details via the Associated Press:
"Committee chairman Walter Harrison told the AP Thursday that the committee plans to meet for three days in April, but it’s not clear whether the academic reporting question can be resolved this spring, or will need further discussion when the committee meets in the summer.
NCAA spokesman Erik Christianson said the April gathering is primarily to hold penalty hearings for other teams that failed to meet the old APR standards. It would be “unlikely (the committee) will discuss the data timing issue or other policy issues” at that time.
'We don’t know yet how many hearings we will need to hold in April,' Harrison said via email. 'That will determine how much time we can spend on the matter of the timing of penalties. So, I’m not comfortable with the word ‘likely.’ All I can say now is that we hope to have concluded our review of this policy question in either April or July.'”
UConn's not the only team in danger of missing the '13 Big Dance. Thirteen schools that qualified for the 2012 NCAA Tournament are currently ineligible for next year's tourney. When the NCAA does convene, they could make changes or decline to do anything.
UConn's not waiting around. The university has already submitted proposed sanctions (which the NCAA declined), and, according to the AP, the school "is also separately pursuing an appeal that could result in a waiver of the sanctions, arguing that it has made significant changes that have resulted in significant improvements in the program’s academic performance."
As we mentioned earlier in another post, the future well-being of the program isn't tied to Alex Oriakhi, Jeremy Lamb and Andre Drummond but whether UConn will be able to play in the '13 Tournament. Whenever the NCAA reaches a decision on APRs, it could have long-lasting implications for UConn.