NCAA rule gives UConn a scare about repeat

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UPDATE: NCAA President Mark Emmert said Tuesday that any APR bans would not be in effect until 2013, meaning UConn’s in the clear.

Connecticut’s talented enough to repeat as NCAA tournament champions. But it may not get the chance.

NCAA president Mark Emmert said Monday that among the proposals the D-I Board of Directors is voting on Friday includes academic requirements for postseason play, namely a basic Academic Progress Rate (APR) minimum of 900. As reported by USA Today, the minimum would likely apply to the 2012-13 season, but directors have the option of adding it this season. (Read more about the APR changes here.)

That means the Huskies – who had a four-year rolling APR of 893 last spring – wouldn’t be able to meet the new standard and defend their title. The Hartford Courant reports UConn would need multiple years of high APR scores to improve its four-year APR average.

As expected, UConn officials aren’t happy about this.

“I am strongly in favor of holding colleges and universities responsible for meeting APR standards,” UConn President Susan Herbst told the paper. “There are many reasonable penalties for failing to meet these standards, and a postseason ban is one of them. My only addition to the conversation is that institutions need time to prepare, to make sure that all of their academic supports are in place, so that players and coaches are ready to meet the expectations of presidents and the NCAA. … I don’t know that the ramp-up time is settled yet, in the discussions.”

It’s not time for Husky fans to panic. Not only does the Board need to approve the change (which is probable), it also needs to implement it immediately, which is pretty much the opposite of how the NCAA handles things.

Still, given how UConn coach Jim Calhoun has butted heads with the NCAA recently, the NCAA’s vote is prime material for conspiracy theories and a tense time for any Husky fan. It’s not often a rules change KO’s a potential repeat champion.

(H/T: The UConn Blog)

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