Wednesday, June 20, 2012

UConn AD Warde Manuel Talks APR (video)

Just before he was about to hit some balls on the practice range at Wednesday's Travelers Championship pro-am, UConn AD Warde Manuel was asked about his golf game.

"We can talk about the APR, that's how good my golf game is," Manuel said with a chuckle.

Wow, must be a struggle on the links for Manuel. In truth, he was ready and prepared to talk APR -- which was officially released by the NCAA today, pretty much making UConn's posteason ban for 2013 all but official -- and said he still had a "slight, slight hope" that the NCAA Committee on Academic Performance (CAP) might include 2011-12 scores to determine postseason eligibility.

"Look, I’m happy for our student-athletes, first and foremost," Manuel said. "These kids have done a remarkable job. We have three teams with perfect scores, the majority of our teams are above 975 for the year – including basketball. Lots of our teams are above 975 for a four-year rate.

"(The men's basketball team) had a couple of bad years. The timing of the penalty structure was changed. That saddens me, for these kids and for our program.”

He added: “I”ll continue to fight for what I believe is right. They should have allowed membership more time to adjust, they should expedite the way they review the data and include the most reent year. But that’s my persepective.

“There’s a little hope I hold out that they’ll come to the right conclusion and do the right thing, but we’re going to move on and need our fans to support us, and support these student-athletes and support a tremendous program that’s going through one rough year. We’ll get to the point where this will be well behind us and we’ll keep striing to win championships.

“We’re not going to let two years of bad scores from kids who are not on this team stop us from feeling good about what these current student-athletes have done.”

Manuel was also asked about everybody's favorite to someday replace Jim Calhoun, Kevin Ollie: “I love Kevin. I love what he’s done as a player, I love what I see him doing as a coach, I think the world of him as a person. I’ve gotten to know him, I’m very impressed by him as a coach and a person.”

And as for Geno Auriemma: "Right now, Geno’s working through it. I’m monitoring it, he’s keeping me informed, and that’s where it is right now.”

George Blaney and Tom Moore, playing with pro Bo Van Pelt, were tops on the leaderboard as of 2:15 p.m. at minus-7. Blaney said Calhoun didn't play this year because his "knees are bothering him."

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