Over the years, some trademark UConn moments have taken place at the Big East tournament: Ray Allen’s off-balance floater to beat Georgetown in 1996, Taliek Brown’s 35-foot heave versus Pittsburgh in 2002, and, of course, the classic six-overtime loss to Syracuse in 2009.
But 2013 probably won’t foster any new Big East tournament memories. And that’s because the Huskies probably won’t be there.
Unless UConn’s 2013 postseason ban is lifted, it will miss both the NCAA and Big East tournaments.
Big East presidents voted that any team ineligible for national postseason tournaments will also be excluded from conference championship competition, a league spokesperson confirmed Thursday.
Nothing is formal, the spokesperson said, and likely won’t become official until the presidents meet again in May.
UConn has been ineligible for national postseason competition since new academic progress rating (APR) standards were instituted in October.
The school is awaiting word on an appeal for a postseason waiver, and NCAA President Mark Emmert said there is no true timetable for a decision.
“The reality is this is the first time we’ve gone through this kind of appeal,” Emmert said Thursday at a press conference in New Orleans. “The committee is going to have to look at it and make a decision. The time frame within which that happens is entirely up to them as they work through it.”
The waiver has already been turned down once, and it doesn’t seem likely that the NCAA will approve it this time around.
The more plausible scenario is that the NCAA changes its timetable for APR data collection. At the moment, the two-year standard derives from APR in 2009-10 and 2010-11, but Walt Harrison, the chairman of the NCAA Committee on Academic Performance, has expressed a desire to use “more recent data.” Emmert echoed Harrison’s sentiments on Thursday.
“The idea of using the most recent APR data is, of course, a valid one in that we want to use the most recent data for which we have comparability across all institutions,” Emmert said. “We bring out the APR data as quickly as it’s made available to us by each of the schools as they finish up their years. We then bring it together collectively and make it available to the membership.”
“That provides or necessitates a lag time in a way that data is collected, so we use the most recent data that’s generically available for all schools in describing APR,” Emmert continued.
But, according to Harrison, there are several factors that make it difficult for 2011-12 data to be included: Some schools operate on semesters, others on tri-mesters and some on quarters. Thus, data would need to be collected at different points in time for specific schools.
If the two-year standard is shifted to 2010-11 and 2011-12, UConn would qualify for national tournaments — the NCAA, NIT and CBI — and the Big East championship.
A decision regarding the matter could be reached when the Committee on Academic Performance meets from April 23-25. A recent AP report also indicated that the NCAA may not make a ruling until July.