UConn's ban from next year's postseason due to past low APR scores has ignited a lot of passion from Husky fans. Here's an email I received from FOB Jared Kotler. While I often look upon fan reaction to penalties against a program with a jaundiced eye (just look at how many Penn State fans are still supporting Joe Paterno), I think Jared articulates some fair points here. I know UConn AD Warde Manuel feels the program has been punished twice, as Kotler explains in his email:
"The Fifth Amendment to our
Constitution describes a concept called Double Jeopardy. In the NCAA’s case
against UConn regarding the 2013 College Basketball Tournament, this principle
has clearly been forgotten. On May 20, 2011 UConn lost two scholarships for its
low APR. Right here is where the first penalty occurred. A loss of scholarship
is no small penalty in college basketball. However, a few months later, the NCAA
decided to implement a post-season ban for teams who have a low APR.
Connecticut’s own Walter Harrison, the Chair of the Committee for Academic
Process for the NCAA came out saying he would try to make this transition fair
and for there to be a way teams below the 930 APR limit could try and catch up
to make the tournament. Instead, Harrison and his committee refused to make any
changes or allow UConn’s appeal to be accepted, despite large jumps in APR
scores. UConn has clearly been punished twice for the same crime, something that
our Founding Fathers thought was wrong. Walter Harrison and his committee should
be ashamed of themselves. By punishing students who had nothing to do with the
low APR score shows how much the NCAA truly cares about student athletes. UConn
basketball is the state’s main sport. If this were to happen in Kentucky all
hell would have broken loose by now. Although the NCAA has ruled saying that
UConn will not be allowed to play in the tournament, I believe the people of
Connecticut should urge the university to take further action. As our own
Governor has said, this case is, “absolutely outrageous."
I don't agree with every point. Collateral damage is a fact of life when punishing programs, fair or unfair. I think Penn State football should be on hiatus for a while. That's not fair to the current players who had nothing to do with the Sandusky affair, but that's life. And conjuring up the Founding Fathers in relation to missing out on the NCAA tournament for a year is a bit much.
But there's little question that this situation has been handled poorly by the NCAA. UConn has been punished twice for the same crime, and there should have been some leeway in regard to the timetable by which scores were counted. And that's not a fan talking, it's a writer who has never had any allegiance to the UConn hoops program.
Labels: Walter Harrison, Warde Manuel