Alex Oriakhi leaving UConn, dad says
Alex Oriakhi will spend his senior season with a team that has a chance to play in the NCAA tournament.
The 6-foot-9, 240-pound Oriakhi will transfer from Connecticut, his father, Alex Sr., told the Hearst Connecticut Media Group.
"Alex will transfer because of the NCAA tournament next year," his father told the newspaper group.
UConn is appealing an NCAA decision that will prevent it from playing in the 2013 NCAA tournament because of a subpar academic progress rating.
Players transferring between Division I schools normally must sit out a season, but if UConn remains banned, Oriakhi will not be forced to sit out a year, the newspaper group reported. The NCAA grants waivers for athletes to transfer if their previous school is ineligible for the postseason for the length of the players' eligibility.
Oriakhi's father said his son will transfer even if UConn wins its appeal, and he will not enter the NBA draft.
The senior Oriakhi is reportedly a frequent critic of Huskies coach Jim Calhoun. An inflammatory post on his Twitter account appeared after he announced his son's decision.
"To coaches out there with slave master mentality, ur days are over," the post said. "Bully only leads to resentments. Bb is a fun game not a mental hospital."
Oriakhi has said that he had a 3.6 grade point average for the fall semester, according to the Hartford Courant. His departure would hurt UConn's already shaky academic standing.
Under rules approved in October, a school must have a two-year average score of 930 or a four-year average of 900 on the NCAA's annual Academic Progress Rate, which measures the academic performance of student athletes, to qualify for the NCAA tournament.
Connecticut's men's basketball scored 826 for the 2009-10 school year. UConn's score for the 2010-11 school year is expected to be about 975. That would not be high enough. It would give Connecticut a two-year score of 900.5 and a four-year average of 888.5.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.