As reported by CNN, the University of Connecticut men’s basketball team cannot compete for the 2013 national championship after the NCAA denied the school’s appeal of a postseason ban. A similar decision by the NCAA, including denial of appeals, will impact the men’s basketball teams at the University of Toledo and the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Each of the three teams are ineligible for participating in the postseason based on their players’ historical academic performance below the NCAA’s minimum standards. The standards were adopted by the NCAA membership in 2004 as part of its Academic Performance Program.
Last October, the NCAA strengthened the program by increasing the academic standards teams must meet to be eligible for postseason competition. The NCAA adopted the standard recommended by the Knight Commission in its 2010 report (link here) – that teams must be on track to graduate at least half of their players to be eligible for postseason competition.
CNN mentioned that the rule change was backed by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. The article also noted that the university announced more recent improvements in its men’s basketball team’s retention rate and academic performance.
“While we as a university and coaching staff clearly should have done a better job academically with our men’s basketball student athletes in the past, the changes we have implemented have already had a significant impact and have helped us achieve the success we expect in the classroom,” said University of Connecticut head coach Jim Calhoun.