Normally “Husky Day” is a joyous occasion, with the men’s and women’s basketball and football teams visiting the state capitol in Hartford to be honored by the state senate.
But with the men’s basketball team’s postseason ban hovering over the program these aren’t the best of times for the Huskies, and governor Dannel P. Malloy was sure to reiterate his displeasure with the NCAA.
“My position hasn’t changed,” said Malloy, who has been critical of the NCAA’s decision to ban UConn from the 2013 NCAA Tournament because of past academic problems.
“They want to have the highest [academic] standards, and we support that — we also want extremely high standards. But no one else would make a rule and apply it retroactively. I don’t think the public understands that.”
Thursday also marked the first time in 26 years in which head coach Jim Calhoun missed “Husky Day”, doing so due to a family issue.
And whenever something of that effect comes up there’s the natural move to question whether or not this is the end of the road for Calhoun as head coach.
According to the Associated Press the players hope that Calhoun will return in 2012-13, with guard Shabazz Napier saying that he doesn’t see Calhoun going out on a negative note.
“I feel as though he doesn’t want to leave on a bad ending,” Napier told The Associated Press. “I feel as though he’s loyal to the very end of his bones.
“He’s our captain and he wants to lead us down the right path. But there may be some other issues he’s dealing with that I don’t know about.”
Whether the APR sanctions influence Calhoun’s thinking one way or the other remains to be seen, but it’s likely safe to assume that he isn’t too pleased with the most recent development either.
The NCAA announced that it would work with schools that have limited resources when it comes to meeting the APR numbers, and such schools will have lower scores to meet in order to avoid scholarship reductions and/or postseason bans.
Obviously UConn wouldn’t fall into the category of a program with “limited resources”, which prohibits them from taking advantage of this change.
“Now they’re going to divvy up who is going to get help and who it’s not going to apply to,” Malloy said in reference to this change.
Is the current system perfect? Absolutely not, but it is a setup that the membership agreed to.
And unfortunately for UConn it looks as if they’ll be an example before the needed changes are made.