It's been a tumultuous season for the UConn men's team and not just because they're a bubble team playing some pretty uninspiring basketball. There have been other issues as well; coach Jim Calhoun has battled serious back injury, and there's the possibility that the program, due to poor academic performance in recent years, could be banned from the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
There was enough concern that Connecticut preemptively submitted a proposal for sanctions against the men's team in lieu of missing the tournament. The NCAA didn't bite. As it stands, Academic Progress Rates (APR) determine a program's fate. Meet all the academic requirements and there's nothing to worry about. Fall short, as the Huskies have done in recent seasons, and face sanctions ranging from lost scholarships to possibly missing the Big Dance.
But here's the thing: there's no denying that Calhoun wasn't as vigilant about his players' academic progress as he should've been, but the university has since made strides in the right direction. Which means that the NCAA's current method for determining postseason eligibility -- a four-year APR average that doesn't include the most recent year's scores -- unfairly penalizes program's like UConn.
One suggestion: make the four-year averages all-inclusive. Seems obvious, we know.
Here's the latest via TheDay.com's Gavin Keefe:
According several reports, the NCAA Committee on Academic Performance discussed changing the Academic Progress Rate reporting dates during its meeting Monday. but opted not to make a decision.
The discussion will continue at the committee's next meeting in April.
Without a change, UConn will be ineligible to compete in the 2013 postseason because of the men's basketball program's sub-standard APR score.
It's not ideal but at least the NCAA plans to have that discussion. Calhoun and the Huskies never should've been in this position; the team and the university should've taken a stand against poor player grades long ago. And that it took the loss of scholarships and the threat of missing the NCAAs to get something done speaks to the pervasive nature of the problem.
But the Huskies have made strides, grades are improving and there's really no reason for the NCAA not to include all available data when calculating the APR.
We'll just have to wait and see if they come to that conclusion too.