TAMPA, Fla. – U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is backing a call from the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics to toughen the academic requirements and revenue distribution system for NCAA postseason basketball.

A Knight Commission analysis released Thursday found that, over the past five years, nearly $179 million was earned for athletic conferences by tournament teams that weren’t on course to graduate at least half their players.

The commission developed its report with help from research by the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Diversity and Ethics that showed 10 of the 68 teams in the men’s tournament this year didn’t meet the NCAA’s academic progress rate (APR) goal of being on track to graduate at least 50 percent of their players.

Duncan and Knight Commission officials believe only teams meeting the threshold should qualify for tourney play.

Their position was supported by the NAACP and UCF researchers.

Teams that aren’t graduating players “should simply not have a chance to compete,” Duncan said during a teleconference. “If you can’t manage to graduate half of your players, how serious is a coach and the institution about their players’ academic success?”

Under the NCAA’s revenue distribution plan, each game played in the NCAA basketball tournament in 2011 earns more than $1.4 million for each team’s conference.

Of the $409 million distributed in the five most recent tournaments under the NCAA’s formula for rewarding performances, the Knight Commission reported that nearly 44 percent was earned by teams with APRs below 925, equivalent to graduating half of a team’s players.

GEORGETOWN POINT guard Chris Wright was cleared to play in tonight’s game against Virginia Commonwealth.

He hasn’t played since breaking his left hand Feb. 23 against Cincinnati, and the Hoyas lost four straight without him.

Wright leads Georgetown in assists and is second on the team with 13.1 points a game.

PURDUE: Backup guard Kelsey Barlow was suspended this week by Coach Matt Painter for conduct detrimental to the team and will not play in the Boilermakers’ opener today against St. Peter’s.

Ryne Smith, another backup guard, has been cleared to play after being hit in the head in practice and missing two days of drills.

Also cleared to play but still wearing a walking boot was guard John Hart, who hurt his foot during practice earlier in the week.

ARIZONA: Kyle Fogg, the Wildcats’ assists leader, said he “should be at 90 or 100 percent” today when Arizona play Memphis in their opener.

Fogg was limited by a left quadriceps strain during the Pac-10 tournament.

NCAA PRESIDENT Mark Emmert welcomed Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano before the opening games at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

The pair launched a public service campaign called “If You See Something, Say Something,” asking fans to be on the lookout for unattended bags or anything that looks suspicious in or around the arenas hosting the tournament.

Napolitano said the campaign is proactive and not a response to any threats.

“Right now we have no specific credible information of any threat against the March Madness tournament,” she said.

OAKLAND COACH Greg Kampe didn’t mind at all when he was told President Barack Obama picked against his team in his bracket.

The 13th-seeded Golden Grizzlies open the tournament today against fourth-seeded Texas.

“I didn’t vote for him either, so I guess we’re even,” Kampe joked.