Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Connecticut Ineligible for 2013 NCAA but University Plans to Appeal Rejection of Waiver Request

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Connecticut Ineligible for 2013 NCAA but University Plans to Appeal Rejection of Waiver Request

Article excerpt

STORRS, Conn. --

The NCAA turned down the University of Connecticut's request for a waiver that would allow its men's basketball team to play in the 2013 NCAA tournament.

Connecticut doesn't qualify for the tournament because of below- standard academic results, but it recently requested a waiver.

The school proposed alternate penalties, including playing a shorter schedule next season, forfeiting the revenue awarded to the Big East Conference for participating in the '13 tournament, and barring coach Jim Calhoun from meeting off campus with prospective recruits during the fall contact period.

University president Susan Herbst said she's disappointed by the decision of NCAA staff to reject that proposal, but said the school will appeal.

"I want to be clear that during my entire career as a scholar and a teacher, I have been in full support of high academic standards in collegiate athletics," she said. "However, in this case, there are good students who could be penalized for the problematic behavior of students who have not been enrolled for years. Educators and parents need to do what is right for their students, and not allow them to be caught in the dynamics of public relations."

Under rules approved in October, a school must have a two-year average score of 930 or a four-year average of 900 on the NCAA's annual Academic Progress Rate, which measures the academic performance of student athletes.

Connecticut's men's basketball scored 826 for the 2009-10 school year. Connecticut's score for the 2010-11 school year is expected to be about 975.

That would not be high enough. It would give Connecticut a two- year score of 900.5 and a four-year average of 888.5.

In its waiver request, Connecticut proposes it be allowed to play in the tournament if it agrees to forfeit the tournament revenue, reduce the number of regular-season games played in the 2012-13 season from 27 to 23 and bar Calhoun from meeting off campus with prospective recruits during the fall contact period. …

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