Connecticut is desperate to avoid its bad from the 2013 NCAA tournament? How desperate?
It’s willing to play fewer games (presumably a take a revenue hit) and restrict what coach Jim Calhoun can do off the court. It’s a self-imposed penalty with some notable details.
Those include forfeiting the revenue awarded to the Big East for participating in the 2013 tournament, reducing the number of regular-season games played in the 2012-13 season from 27 to 23 and barring coach Jim Calhoun from meeting off-campus with prospective recruits during the fall 2012 contact period.
“Collectively, the university’s proposal will clearly send the message that the institution fully accepts the responsibility for past failings,” the school writes in its waiver request. “It will result in the economic equivalent of a postseason ban without harming the very students the NCAA is trying to protect.”
The Big East conference, which would lose revenue under the proposal, declined to comment on whether it supports the proposal.
The schedule changes also would include eliminating exhibition games next season, but would not impact the team’s play at the in-season Paradise Jam tournament in the Virgin Islands. So the actual number of games played would be 26 rather than 30. The school said all hours that would have been spent in competition will instead transfer to study hall, tutor sessions or meetings with advisers.
The school said Calhoun will bring a current or former NBA player to inner-city schools for at least five educational sessions on the importance of academic achievement.
If that’s not enough, school president Susan Herbt is using a public plea/guilt trip.
“On a personal level, and as an educator, I would be very sorry to see such harsh punishment of the outstanding young men on our current basketball team,” she said. “I believe that it would be wrong to punish these students, caught in the fallout from a sudden passage of new rules — rules that did not exist when they enrolled at UConn.
“That would be a fundamental injustice to our team and to our university.”
So, what to make of it?
Well, I suppose it never hurts to ask, though one has to be amazed as UConn’s chutzpah. The Huskies didn’t hit the academic marks the NCAA set. But it would like an exception. Nevermind that Calhoun already missed three games this season because of his role in the recruitment of Nate Miles or that the school was on probation when it won the tournament last spring.
Nevermind all that. UConn wants the NCAA to reconsider and do it a solid. Well, that’s only ballsy, but it’s stretching the bounds of acceptable behavior by an institution of higher learning.
You didn’t hit the standard. Accept the punishment, move on and make sure it never happens again. Simple as that.
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