UConn's losing two scholarships; the NCAA will say it's about bad academics but it's really about bad basketball

What do Ben Eaves, Marcus Johnson, Doug Wiggins, Curtis Kelly, Hasheem Thabeet and Nate Miles all have in common? They're all former members of the basketball team that count against the Huskies Academic Progress Rate since they attended UConn (no matter how briefly in some cases) and didn't graduate.

When the official APR scores are released on Tuesday UConn will have a four-year average of 893, which is so far below the NCAA-mandated minimum score of 925 that the Huskies will be docked two scholarships. The APR measurement starts with the 2006-07 school year and runs through 2009-10.

If you're looking for culprits to blame your starting point should be the 2006-07 recruiting class. That seven-member group has been a headache from the start (with the exception of helping boost the Huskies into the 2009 FInal Four) and transfers like Eaves, Johnson and Kelley hurt UConn's APR no matter what they do at their next school. They came to Storrs and didn't graduate from there so UConn gets nailed. 

If you have a second finger to point feel free to direct it at the ever-present headache that is Nate MIles who never even wore a practice uniform for the Huskies but will still count against UConn's APR score for four years because he enrolled at the school.

It's tempting to look at this and decry the academic state of the basketball team, but that'd be the wrong move. This isn't about academics, this is about basketball. Players who stay at UConn can and do graduate. Kemba Walker did it in three years. Charles Okwandu and Donnell Beverly got their degrees too. UConn isn't in trouble because players don't graduate. UConn is in trouble because the NCAA punishes schools whose incoming freshmen transfer out and UConn has had a high number of transfers in recent years. 

There are reasonable points to be made about Jim Calhoun bringing in too many guys who can't cut it at UConn's level, and we can have that discussion if you want. Just keep in mind that the reason UConn has lost two scholarships isn't because guys like Eaves and Johnson couldn't cut it in the classroom. It's because they couldn't cut it on the court. 

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