UConn faces Big East tourney ban

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Big East presidents have agreed on a policy that would bar Connecticut's men's basketball team from next season's conference tournament if the Huskies are disqualified from the 2013 NCAA tournament.

Spokesman John Paquette confirmed Friday that they agreed to the concept during a meeting March 7 in New York.

"Our presidents conceptually agreed that any team in any sport that is ineligible for postseason NCAA competition that they would not compete in the conference tournament or championship," he said.

Paquette said official language likely will be adopted in May, with the policy in place next season.

UConn faces a ban from the 2013 NCAA tournament because it has failed to meet the NCAA's academic standards from 2009 to 2011. The school is seeking a waiver from the ban, citing recent academic improvements.

The NCAA's Committee on Academic Performance has been discussing whether it would be possible to use data from 2010-11 and 2011-12 to determine eligibility for all NCAA teams in the future. But
committee chairman Walter Harrison told The Associated Press last
week that issue may not be resolved before July.

Connecticut was expected to learn whether it was eligible to play in the 2013 NCAA men's tournament within the next few days.

UConn is the first high-profile school to receive the harshest penalty of a postseason ban due to a poor academic performance.

Connecticut president Susan Herbst has said she favors high academic standards in collegiate athletics, but believes banning UConn from next year's NCAA postseason would punish good students for the actions of those who are no longer at the university.

Herbst on Friday referred questions on the Big East's policy to new athletic director Warde Manuel, who did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Under the NCAA's new rules, a school must have a two-year average score of 930 or a four-year average of 900 on the NCAA's annual APR, which measures the academic performance of student-athletes.

Connecticut men's basketball scored 826 on the APR for 2009-10. School officials have said it will come in at just above 975 for 2010-11. The scores are expected to be higher in 2011-12.

Harrison, who also is the president of the University of Hartford, has said it's not clear if a change in reporting is feasible, given the number of schools, programs and athletes involved in reporting data to the NCAA, the varying schedules of the schools and the time-consuming nature of compiling the data.

On Thursday, NCAA president Mark Emmert told reporters at the Final Four in New Orleans that the governing body would like to use the most recent data possible "for which we have comparability across all institutions."

"The reality is this is the first time we've gone through this kind of appeal," he said. "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."

Information from The Associated Press and ESPN.com's Andy Katz was used in this report.