INDIANAPOLIS – The NCAA’s new academic requirements could give new meaning to the madness of March.
On Wednesday, a record 10 men’s basketball teams, including three-time national champion Connecticut, were banned from this year’s NCAA tournament because of poor Academic Progress Rate scores.
The penalties affect seven conferences, each of which must adapt to a new landscape for their league tournaments. Four conferences – the Big East, Ohio Valley, Southland and Southwest Athletic – said the banned teams cannot compete in their league tournaments and the adjustments will take a toll.
“We’ll have to adjust the bracket accordingly,” Big East associate commissioner for men’s basketball Dan Gavitt said Wednesday. “We would accommodate it in such a way that it would work. We would just have to eliminate a game and move someone up on the line.”
Joining the Huskies on the sideline next March will be Arkansas-Pine Bluff, California-Riverside, Cal State Bakersfield, Jacksonville State, Mississippi Valley State, North Carolina-Wilmington, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Toledo and Towson.
Cal State Bakersfield, which became a full-fledged Division I member in 2010-11 and does not yet have a conference affiliation in basketball, could still be removed from the banned list because some of the school’s data is still being reviewed.
Each of the schools fell below the mandated four-year cutline of 900 or the two-year cutline of 930 and will face additional sanctions. UConn, which had a four-year score of 889 and a two-year score of 902, must replace four hours of practice time with academic activities each week.
The APR measures the classroom performance of every Division I team. This year’s data calculates rates from 2007-08 through 2010-11.
Some schools, such as Arkansas’ men’s basketball team, avoided penalties on the four-year score (894) because it met the two-year requirement. One team, Jacksonville State, was punished for failing to meet the requirements it agreed to last year when it was given a waiver, the NCAA said on a conference call with reporters.
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