According to a Big East spokesperson, the league’s presidents voted that should a team be ineligible for NCAA tournament play they would also be ineligible to play in the Big East Championship.
This is an important development due to the fact that Connecticut is waiting for news on the status of their appeal of the NCAA’s ruling to ban them from the 2013 NCAA tournament due to a poor Academic Progress Rate (APR).
The ruling won’t become formal until the presidents meet again in May, but at this point it’s a safe bet that the Huskies wouldn’t be a part of the Big East Championship should their appeal be denied.
The school is essentially hoping for one of two scenarios: either their appeal is upheld, or the NCAA changes the two-year timetable it’s using for the collection of APR data.
The numbers from 2009-10 and 2010-11 were used in this instance, resulting in Connecticut’s banishment from the tournament.
A change to 2010-11 and 2011-12, as NCAA chairman of the Committee on Academic Performance Walt Harrison has said he would prefer, would result in the Huskies being eligible for tournament play.
Interestingly enough Syracuse was allowed to play in the 1993 Big East Championship despite being eligible for the NCAA tournament, and they were able to advance to the championship game.
As a graduate student, Evans would have one season of eligibility remaining while working towards his MBA.