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APNewsBreak: UConn to impose own penalties
HARTFORD, CONN. (AP) - The University of Connecticut has proposed reducing the number of games it will play next season if the NCAA grants a waiver to allow the Huskies to play in the 2013 men’s basketball tournament.
The school is currently barred from the tourney, a penalty for years of below-standard academic results, but it requested a waiver last month.
That document, obtained this week by The Associated Press under a Freedom of Information request, outlines proposed self-imposed penalties that will be instituted if the request is granted.
Those include forfeiting the revenue awarded to the Big East for participating in the 2013 tournament, reducing the number of regular-season games played in the 2012-13 season from 27 to 23, and barring coach Jim Calhoun from meeting off-campus with prospective recruits during the fall 2012 contact period.
“Collectively, the university’s proposal will clearly send the message that the institution fully accepts the responsibility for past failings,” the school writes in its waiver request. “It will result in the economic equivalent of a postseason ban without harming the very students the NCAA is trying to protect.”
The schedule changes also would include eliminating exhibition games next season. The school said all hours that would have been spent in competition, will instead be spent in study hall, tutor sessions or advisor meetings.
The school said Calhoun also will bring a current or former NBA player with him to inner-city schools for at least five educational sessions on the importance of academic achievement.
The waiver request also outlines the school’s Academic Improvement Plan _ new programs and penalties the school already has put in place in an effort to improve the team’s academic standing.
Among those are mandated sanctions for any player who misses three or more classes during the academic year and daily checks of course work for student-athletes who have a grade-point average of 2.3 or lower.
One player, whose name is redacted in the copy of the document released to the AP, was already benched by Calhoun this season after missing two classes.
In addition, school president Susan Herbst is now receiving a weekly academic progress report for all team members.
Under rules approved in October, a school must have a two-year average score of 930 or a four-year average of 900 on the NCAA’s annual Academic Progress Rate, which measures the academic performance of student athletes.
The defending national champions would be academically ineligible in 2013, because the NCAA plans to use data from the 2009-10, and 2010-11 academic years.
But Walter Harrison, the chairman of the NCAA’s Committee on Academic Performance, said that the body will be meeting on Feb. 20 to discuss whether to adjust reporting dates to allow schools to use their most recent data in qualifying for tournaments. For the 2013 men’s basketball tournament, that would mean scores from the 2010-11 and 2011-12 academic year.
UConn would qualify for the tournament under that scenario.
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