On Tuesday afternoon, when the NCAA releases APR scores for the 2010-11 season, UConn's 2013 postseason tournament hopes will officially be dashed. We've known for months that the Huskies were unlikely to participate in the Big East and NCAA postseasons, and barring a change in how the NCAA determines eligibility, the program's fate will be cemented.
But there is good news: UConn is expected to score 978 for 2010-11, it's highest APR score since the 981 they logged in 2006-07. Even better news: The 2011-12 APR score should meet or exceed 978. Academically, things are on the right track. Unfortunately, it took something as severe as a postseason ban to motivate the school and the program into action. After all, it was the 889 average APR from 2007-2011 that has the Huskies in their current predicament.
Of course, the biggest point of contention with the current process is the lag time from when the scores, confirmed, and the sanctions announced takes nearly a year. More via the Hartford Courant's Dom Amore:
The NCAA, using the 2009-10 and 2010-11 scores, deems UConn ineligible by the penalty structure it adopted last October, requiring a 900 over four years or a 930 over two years. UConn scored 826 in 2009-10 making it impossible to reach 930 no matter what it scored this year. A perfect score is 1,000.
In April, the university tried unsuccessfully to appeal -- twice -- and the NCAA's decision will have, at the very least, short-term consequences for UConn both in terms of competitiveness next season and recruiting for the next few seasons. Despite the setback, athletic director Warde Manual maintains that academics remain a priority.
"I want to be clear that everyone at UConn is and will always be committed to academic excellence for all of our student-athletes and in particular our men's basketball players," he said in April after the NCAA's ruling.
Coach Jim Calhoun added that while this happened on his watch, the program had already made changes to mitigate the problem.
"While we as a University and coaching staff clearly should have done a better job academically with our men's basketball student-athletes in the past, the changes we have implemented have already had a significant impact and have helped us achieve the success we expect in the classroom," he said at the time. "We will continue to strive to maintain that success as we move forward."
It's just that, barring an NCAA change of heart, the Huskies won't be involved in tournament play until 2014.