bill-swift - June 22, 2012
People (and sometimes athletes) often forget that there is more to college athletics than just the game. The athletes actually have to go to class too (even the one and done guys).
Over the last few years there have been a number of college basketball players that should have spent a little more time in study hall. Since they didn't, they will have plenty of time on their hands during the 2012-13 postseason--because they will not be playing in it.
College basketball teams are required to maintain a certain average APR, or academic performance rating. Those that don't face the possibility of lost scholarships, or if they are deemed chronic under-performers, postseason bans. Scores are average over a four-year span. Teams that do not average at least a 900 are banned from postseason play.
On Wednesday the NCAA announced that ten teams will face bans, chief among them the Connecticut Huskies. Also facing bans will be Jacksonville State, Mississippi Valley State, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Towson, Arkansas Pine-Bluff, California-Riverside, UNC-Wilmington, and Toledo.
The Huskies have been trying to fight the ban, but have been coming up empty. Their last appeal was just denied by the NCAA, but the school is still trying to get clearance to play in the conference tournament.
If the fate of the Huskies does not convince coaches to make sure their players study, the new academic requirements will. Last year the NCAA approved raising the four-year average necessary to avoid a ban from 900 to 930. Previously an average of 925 would have just resulted in a loss of scholarship(s).
Should 930 have been the floor last season a dozen schools would not have qualified for the NCAA tournament, including Ohio State and Syracuse. Time to hit the books boys!