The NCAA has decided to uphold its ban of the UConn's men's basketball team for the 2013 NCAA Tournament due to low academic standards. And I could not be happier.
The NCAA adopted a new Academic Progress Rate, or APR, in 2005, that has required programs to achieve an APR of 930. UConn has an APR of 893. The Huskies tried to appeal to the NCAA by creating their own penalties, such as not playing in the Big East Tournament and playing a shorter schedule, but the NCAA didn't take it.
Good for the NCAA for not giving in to the mighty Big East. These players are student-athletes. Student comes first. You may have a free ride to college because you are great at basketball, but you still have to earn it in the classroom. Many players nowadays are just one-and-done, so they don't need to care about working in the classroom since they are going to leave after there freshman year anyway.
That strategy is now killing UConn. The 930 APR put into place by the NCAA equates to about a 50 percent Graduation Success Rate, or GSR. So that means UConn is below 50 percent in terms of graduating players. Well below. Look at programs like Duke and Indiana, Bobby Knight always made sure his players attended class and pursue their degrees. Knight's Hoosiers were among the highest graduation rates in the NCAA. Mike Krzyzewski and his Duke Blue Devils have had the highest graduation rate in the country a record twelve times, most recently in 2005. Both were still winning programs and can prove that you can win and have an exceptional graduation rate.
It seems like the days of Bob Knight and Coach K are gone in favor of the John Calipari's of the world, just do whatever it takes to get the best guy regardless of whether he graduates or not. So I applaud the NCAA for taking a stand and banning a major program like UConn and maybe it will make other programs take notice of their own problems and make their own athletes work in the classroom.
You've been warned, John Calipari.