EdMedia Commons Archive

NCAA Bans UConn’s Men’s Team from March Madness Next Year

Much of the talk during this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament centered on whether the University of Kentucky’s march toward their seemingly inevitable championship victory was another nail in the coffin of “college” sports. With a squad full of freshmen expected to enter the NBA draft this summer, Kentucky’s team often looked less like a squad of student athletes transforming their physical talents into a college education and more like a finishing school for phenoms who didn’t meet the minimum age requirement to play in the pros.

What was mostly overlooked in these sports-bar debates was the new steps and commitments the NCAA has taken toward ensuring that more student athletes actually do get an education. Most notably, this week the University of Connecticut men’s basketball team—last year’s champion—has been barred from playing in next year’s NCAA and Big East tournaments because its squad has failed to meet new, more stringent academic performance and graduation requirements the NCAA recently passed. Teams that don’t graduate nearly 50 percent of their players for four years in a row face penalties. (Even though the requirements exclude players who leave early to enter the pros, UConn still fell short.)

Jen Christensen of CNN offers one interesting take on the ban, including former UConn center Jonathan Mandeldove who left three classes short of graduating: http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/02/us/ncaa-basketball-graduation/index.html

What do you think of NCAA’s ban of UConn from next year’s tournament? What expectations should student-athletes have of the colleges who offer them scholarships and vice versa?

This post originally appeared on EWA’s now-defunct online community, EdMedia Commons. Old content from EMC will appear in the Ed Beat archives.