The Connecticut basketball program had one last hope in its quest to avoid being ineligible for postseason play in 2013: that the NCAA would adjust the timeline for its collection of APR (Academic Progress Rate) data.
Had the most recent data been used, UConn’s APR score of 978 for the 2011-12 academic year would have made them eligible for postseason play.
But with the NCAA announcing at the end of a two-day meeting that it had reaffirmed its stance, the Huskies now know for sure that they won’t be eligible for postseason play.
The NCAA released a statement on the decision, which included the following conclusions:
- Penalty decisions should be based on a body of data sufficient to support valid decisions;
- Procedures should provide adequate time for a fair and deliberate process that ensures that data are correct and all waiver requests are given thorough review;
- Data used in making decisions on penalties or eligibility for post-season competition should be as close as practicable in time to the implementation of those decisions; and
- Procedures should enable consideration of student-athletes’ interests in the possibility of transferring (e.g. when their own academic performances have been consistently strong and they are in their last season of eligibility).
One thing that committee chairman Walter Harrison, president of the University of Hartford, did acknowledge is the need to make sure the penalties are closer to the years in question.
“We would like to be able to change it to have the consequences of ineligibility for the tournament be a little closer to the time that you’re reporting the data for,” Harrison said. “If we can work this out, we’d like to have it be the 2010-11 and 11-12 years (for the 2013 NCAA tournament).”
Is the APR perfect? Absolutely not as it doesn’t measure how much student-athletes are actually being educated, and from a penalty standpoint those who had little or nothing to do with the low scores are forced to either miss the postseason or transfer.
But these are the rules that the membership signed into effect, so until there’s reform it’s something they’ll have to deal with.