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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

UConn Basketball Proposes Self-Sanctions To Avoid NCAA Tourney Ban

Jim Calhoun
UConn is sweating now that the NCAA is taking this whole "academics" thing seriously.
The NCAA recently adopted a new set of scrict rules that impose severe punishments on sport programs that underperform academically. Under the rules, the UConn basketball team would be ineligible for the NCAA tournament the next two seasons.
Last fall, Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun brushed off the potentially disastrous punishments for his program, expressing confidence that the NCAA would bend the rules to accomodate him. 
Now it appears that UConn is legitimately afraid that the Huskies will not be allowed to participate in postseason play next season.
In a document obtained by the Associated Press via the Freedom of Information Act, the school sent a proposal to the NCAA, offering to make a number of self-imposed sanctions if the NCAA grants UConn a waiver allowing them to compete in the postseason.
Explanation Of New NCAA Academic Rules And Punishments
UConn has proposed that the program reduce the number of regular season games in plays next season, eliminate exhibition games, forfeit revenue from the Big East Tournament and restrict Calhoun's off-campus recruiting efforts in next fall's contact period.
“Collectively, the university’s proposal will clearly send the message that the institution fully accepts the responsibility for past failings,” the waiver request reads. “It will result in the economic equivalent of a postseason ban without harming the very students the NCAA is trying to protect.”
As Connecticut and Calhoun have pointed out in the past, the NCAA's new rules punish teams retroactively, since the academic data the NCAA uses dates back four years. UConn has argued that it is unfair that they should be punished under new rules that they've not been given time to adjust to.
But UConn's pleading may fall on deaf ears, just as the NCAA's pleadings about academic improvement for years fell on deaf ears at UConn. Finally, the NCAA has put teeth into its insistence on academic achievement, and the bureaucratically indifferent organization may be looking for a chance to make an example of someone here.

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