In their never-ending quest to legitimize the concept of the "student-athlete," the NCAA has dished out some harsh penalties to the schools who aren't taking their academics seriously. Because UConn and nine other basketball programs failed to reach the required "Academic Progress Rate" score, they will be banned from postseason play during the upcoming year.
Each of the schools fell below the mandated cutline of 900 on their four-year scores. The APR measures the classroom performance of every Division I team. This year's data calculates rates from 2007-08 through 2010-11.
Joining the Huskies on the sideline next March will be Arkansas-Pine Bluff, California-Riverside, Cal State Bakersfield, Jacksonville State, Mississippi Valley State, North Carolina-Wilmington, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Toledo and Towson.
So clearly every other college football and basketball program reached this cutoff in completely legitimate fashion, with each athlete writing their own papers, taking their own tests, and attending the correct amount of classes.
As with all instances of institurional dysfunction, we can use "The Wire" to show exactly what is happening here--in this case, its a classic example of "juking the stats." Instead of trying to correct the system as a whole, the NCAA has decided that the guise of standardization will instantly turn athletes into bookworms.
Cultures don't change overnight, but quick fixes can certainly make it appear like they do. Not that this is any one person's fault, but that's exactly the problem.