The final nail in the coffin, the last straw, the knockout punch, the finishing touch, the…well, I think you get where I’m going with this.
The key words here are “last” and “final.” As in, it’s official: UConn isn’t going to be taking part in the 2013 postseason, including the Big East tournament. The NCAA committee on academic performance “reaffirmed” its stance on APR timing when it met Friday, thus preserving UConn’s ineligibility.
Here’s a look at how this whole scenario transpired:
May 20, 2011 — UConn is docked two scholarships for its low APR. Already down one due to recruiting violations, the Huskies would play the 2011-12 season with just 10 scholarship players.
October 27, 2011 — The NCAA Division I Board of Directors meets and adopts rule changes for academic requirements. Among the most important, teams must achieve a four-year APR of 900 or two-year average of 930 to qualify for the postseason. Although it’s statistically impossible for UConn to reach those marks under the current system, school officials remain confident.
*UConn President Susan Herbst: “It is my understanding that the NCAA has already begun examining the fairest method for implementing the new rules and I encourage them to make the time frame between a violation and a punishment as short as possible.”
*CAP chairman Walt Harrison: “We would like to be able to change it to have the consequences of ineligibility for the tournament be a little closer to the time that you’re reporting the data for. If we can work this out, we’d like to have it be the 2010-11 and 11-12 years (for the 2013 NCAA tournament).”
*UConn coach Jim Calhoun: “(Harrison) didn’t say `we’re going to think about it. He’s said, `we’re going to look this entire thing over.’ You know exactly what he said. And to find `are we in fact rushing into it and secondly, are we penalizing present players — next year and this year — for what happened five or six years ago?'”
February 8, 2012 — News leaks of UConn’s waiver for postseason eligibility. The Huskies offer self-imposed penalties — limited recruiting activity, reduced schedule — in exchange for a shot at the 2013 tournament.
February 10, 2012 — The waiver is denied.
February 20, 2012 — The long-awaited committee on academic performance meeting comes and goes with no action taken. UConn must sit tight until the committee’s next meeting in April.
March 30, 2012 — Big East presidents vote that any team ineligible for national postseason competition would also be banned from competing for a league championship. Talk about kicking a team when it’s down.
April 5, 2012 — UConn’s final appeal is denied. The Huskies cling to the slim hope of a forward shift in the data used for the two-year APR, and an NCAA official says that’s “not expected.” I’m sure it’s been a real fun two weeks on the job for Warde Manuel.
April 25-27, 2012 — The committee on academic performance meets again and doesn’t even discuss the timing of APR.
June 20, 2012 — UConn’s score of 978 for 2011-12 becomes official. Doesn’t matter much, though. At least not for next season’s tournament.
July 13, 2012 — It’s been clear for quite some time, but UConn officially becomes the first BCS school to face a postseason ban under the new academic requirements.