If UConn is ruled ineligible for the NCAA Tournament in 2013, they will also be out for the Big East Tournament.
A quick recap of UConn's 2013 NCAA Tournament eligibility status: originally, the NCAA was supposed to meet in April but no decisions were to be made at that time. That would come during the summer. Then an ESPN.com report suggested that the NCAA would decide UConn's fate in 7-10 days (which essentially meant that the Huskies would know something after the April meeting). And now, NCAA president Mark Emmert is distancing himself and his organization from said ESPN.com report, instead making it sound like the NCAA would indeed convene soon but there wouldn't be a ruling until later.
"I don't want to say I was misquoted," Emmert said during a Thursday conference call. "What I'd said in passing to some folks was there was a possibility that it could be resolved that quickly. The reality is, this is the first time we've gone through this kind of appeal. The committee is going to have to look at it and make a decision. The time frame within which that happens is entirely up to them as they work through it."
UConn is pushing for the NCAA to use the most recent data for calculating APR scores, in which case the program would be eligible in '13.
"The idea of using the most recent APR data is, of course, a valid one," Emmert said, "in that we want to use the most recent data for which we have comparability across all institutions. We bring out the APR data as quickly as it's made available to us by each of the schools as they finish up their years. We then bring it together collectively and make it available to the membership. That provides or necessitates a lag time in a way that data is collected. So we use the most recent data that's generically available for all schools in describing APR."
In the meantime, more bad news for the program: if the Huskies are ineligible for the 2013 NCAA Tournament, they'll also be ineligible for the 2013 Big East Tournament.
"The league presidents agreed conceptually that a team that is ineligible for the NCAA Tournament will also be ineligible for the conference tournaments," Big East spokesman John Paquettea said from New Orleans on Thursday night, according to the Hartford Courant's Dom Amore.
When the question first came up earlier this year, the thinking was that the NCAA Tournament had no bearing on UConn's conference tournament, probably because that's how it had always been. As Amore writes, the Big East had no policy in place previously; in 1993, Syracuse was ineligible for the Big Dance but participated in the conference tournament. Apparently, the league presidents now feel differently.