Setty’s and Daniels’ denials much ado about nothing

With all of the national attention on men’s basketball and the restrictions put on transfers, the Athletic Department’s denial of Treg Setty’s and Dantiel Daniels’ releases may seem like a problem.

It’s not, at least not right now.

Academics is one of the main reasons behind the denial of Setty’s and Daniels’ request, although Athletic Director Mario Moccia said the releases would be granted once the players both complete their coursework for the semester.

The NCAA put tougher restrictions on the Academic Progress Rate, which is a number used to rank a program’s academic success over four years, with 1000 as the highest possible score. The previous rule said a team would receive some sort of probation, depending on the sport, if its number fell below 925. The new rule, which takes effect in the fall 2012 semester, requires a team to stay above 930 if it wants to qualify for a postseason tournament.

If the new rules applied to the 2011 NCAA tournament, 12 of the 68 teams would have been ruled ineligible. Among those teams: Syracuse, Ohio State, Purdue and ironically Kansas State, where former coach Chris Lowery was hired as an assistant.

It might not seem like much of a change, or one that would warrant a different reaction from the Athletic Department compared to when Kevin Dillard, Anthony Booker or Gene Teague received releases before their last semesters at SIU ended. But SIU isn’t alone in denying releases for academic purposes, and several players wait until the semester is over before they leave so they can keep their academic eligibility intact.

If the Salukis rebound in the next couple of seasons and make the NCAA tournament, the last thing coach Barry Hinson wants to hear is that his team is ineligible because of decisions made by players who never played for him.

The specifics of the APR are confusing, and to break down the exact math involved in calculating SIU’s number would give both of us a headache. Compliance Coordinator Dan Rohrer said each athlete in each sport is responsible for two things each semester: remaining academically eligible and returning to the school the following semester. Since the APR is tallied throughout a school year, each athlete has four points that contribute to the team’s APR score, give or take any special circumstances.

Since Setty and Daniels won’t return next year, men’s basketball already lost two points from its APR score. What Moccia and the Athletic Department want to do is make sure both Setty and Daniels keep their semester GPA above 2.6 so men’s basketball doesn’t lose another one or two points. The APR only measures players on scholarship, and with 13 players on scholarship for men’s basketball, there aren’t a lot of points to go around.

If Setty and Daniels graduate from whatever program they transfer to, SIU gets the points back that it loses when they leave.

Even if Setty and Daniels fall below what the university wants them to do to grant their releases, Moccia said they could still leave; they just wouldn’t be able to accept a scholarship somewhere else. This means they would have to pay their way at another school for a year before they could take a scholarship, and they would still have to sit out a year because of NCAA transfer rules.

Even though they’re still on scholarship, Rohrer said other schools can recruit and offer scholarships to Setty and Daniels, but they have to get permission from the Athletic Department first. In order for Setty or Daniels to accept a scholarship offer from another school, they need to be released from their scholarship with SIU.

If Setty and Daniels were granted release, Rohrer said they would have been able to talk freely with other schools.

The last APR report for SIU was for the 2009-10 academic year, when men’s basketball scored 945 for the multi-year APR. However, SIU’s single-year APR was 860, which could pose a problem down the line, given this season’s academic troubles. If the multiyear APR falls below 900, men’s basketball could lose scholarships and face more severe postseason bans.

Rohrer said the next report will be published in May, although the APR for the current school year won’t be published until May 2013.

Media Services Director Tom Weber said Hinson won’t make any public comments about Setty or Daniels, including whether they will have further restrictions placed on their transfers, until the full assistant coaching staff is announced in a few days.

 

Joe Ragusa hosts ‘The Saluki Report’ with Sam Donets and Kyle Fisher every Tuesday at 7 p.m. on WIDB.net The Revolution. 

 


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