Monday, October 24, 2011

APR Could Burn UConn This Year

A lot of stir has been made over a USA Today story today which reported that the NCAA Division 1 board of directors could vote Friday to keep programs with an APR below 900 out of this year's NCAA tournament. Yes, this year's NCAA tournament.

That, of course, would include defending champ UConn, which posted a four-year rolling average APR of 893 last May.

It's hard to believe the board could implement something so quickly, particularly since Walt Harrison, chairman of the committe on academic performance and president of the University of Hartford, said in August that he expected the penalty structure to be phased in during a three to five-year period.

But it certainly could happen, which obviously would be a huge blow to UConn. And the Huskies wouldn't be out of the woods yet. Far from it.

UConn would almost certainly fall short of the necessary four-year average of 900 next year, too. While all signs point to the program showing improvement in its APR last season (the number won't be revealed until May), it likely won't be enough to lift the four-year average above 900.

And while current rules allow teams to be granted waivers if a team score improves significantly, Harrison said two months ago that may come to a quick end.

"The direction I'm getting from the board is not too much leverage there," he said at the time. "If there is any appeal at all, it is going to be tightly defined and there may not be any."

UConn lost two scholarships for this season for having a score below 925 and at least one student-athlete who both failed academically and left school. As a first-time violator, it also received a public warning letter for poor performance.

"We're well aware of our APR status, and we've done a lot to address it," said men's basketball spokesman Kyle Muncy.

Perhaps not enough, however -- if not for this year, then for next. Oh, and possibly for a couple of years after that, too. The APR standard will raise to 930 in two years, according to Emmert.


Blogger Kool Mo-C said...

Dave, a lot of news outlets--including the Register--have reported that were this rule in place last year UConn would not have been able to participate in the tournament. However, the current 4-year rolling average (the sub-par 893) wasn't released until well after the tournament in May. The Huskies previous 4 year average was 930 which would've fulfilled either the 900 or 930 baselines being debated. Doesn't that mean the Huskies would have been able to play in last season's tournament, or would the data be released on an earlier schedule under the new plan? Would UConn at least get credit for their stellar (I'm assuming) academic year last season before this year's tourney, or would it be based on data from 2 years ago? This would seem important going forward because if the NCAA passes this baseline for the 2012-2013 season, even if UConn can't make the baseline (it may be impossible even with 2 consecutive 1000 scores), at least they could have 2 years of solid APR scores to use in applying for a waiver rather than 1.

October 25, 2011 at 10:41 AM 
Anonymous David Borges said...

You're right, and it's a choice of words I regretted after writing the story a couple of months ago. The point that I (and many others) was trying to make was that UConn's current score would have kept it out of the tournament if the rules had already been in place. Maybe a little confusing, probably not the best way to phrase it. Essentially, the point is their APR was too low.

In fact, UConn's four-year rolling average for the previous four years was 930, 939, 946 and 934, so there would have been no problems those seasons.

October 25, 2011 at 11:30 AM 
Blogger Kool Mo-C said...

Good deal. I wasn't trying to nitpick I was just confused. The APR stuff makes my head spin. Do you know if there's anywhere to see individual year's scores, or can you just see the rolling averages? Thanks for all your work covering this stuff!

October 25, 2011 at 5:41 PM 

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