Since 1999 the Connecticut Huskies men’s basketball team has been a regular participant in the annual tournament affectionately known as March Madness. On the rare occasion that they missed, the team had a fighting chance to make to the Big Dance, but was left off the card in the end.
Next year it is going to be a little different. They already know what their fate is going to be.
They are staying home.
The NCAA Committee on Academic Performance (yes, the NCAA does actually care about how their athletes do in class) denied the school’s last appeal and will be banned from postseason play for the 2012-13 season. Why? Bad grades.
The NCAA tracks what is called the Academic Progress Rate. There is a formula that is used to calculate it, but essentially if you dip below 925 a school risks losing scholarships, but the real danger zone is when they drop below 900. If a team fails to score above 900 there are penalties for each successive year.
To determine whether a team needs to be sanctioned the NCAA takes a four and two year average with the seasons in question being the 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10, and 2010-11. The school had already been docked scholarships for low APR scores, but now it will be forced to miss out on the best part about playing college basketball, the March Madness.
They have one hope left. The NCAA could decide to use the 2010-11 and 2011-12 season when the school had near perfect scores, but Husky fans shouldn’t hold their breath.
The real problem will be the hit their recruiting is going to take. It’s kind of hard to pull in top recruits when they know they will not be in the post season. Should they not be able to bring in any talent the repercussions could be felt for two or three seasons; not just next season.
Fans will have to be satisfied with reliving their 2011 Championship win for the next year or so.
Article by Travis Pulver