One of Three Major Problems Being Scrutinized

The NCAA is going after three major topics of concern with changes expected soon.

The NCAA‘s upcoming proposal which, if adopted, will dictate that Division I institutions delve deeper into incoming student-athletes’ academic records and require poorer students in football and basketball (men’s and women’s) to take summer school classes prior to full-time enrollment.  At NSR, we support this proposal as a positive step by the NCAA on behalf of student-athletes.  

The measure would force colleges to get more proactively involved with the student-athlete population on the front end of their college experience.  This has been missing, to a degree, and needed correcting. 

As things currently stand, 0nce approved for admittance, most freshmen and transfer students are put on the fast track to college life, or so it seems.  With various and sundry issues at hand, not the least of which is the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate (APR), which penalizes athletic programs for those athletes who do not take specific steps toward earning a degree, the new rule makes perfect sense.     

Specifically, it calls for academically at-risk freshmen and transfer student-athletes to take nine hours and pass six before being permitted to take on a full load of classes in the fall.  The plan has the expectations of helping borderline students to get a head start on meeting NCAA academic guidelines which, again, call for student-athletes to make progress toward earning a college degree throughout their college, athletic careers.  It is also believed that the new rule will help freshmen and transfers to become more acclimated to college campuses, their coaches and the academic settings of their schools.  A pilot program run by the University of North Carolina at Asheville has proven to successfu. 

We believe that this proposal addresses an endemic problem, one which too frequently derails newcomers’ academic foundations.  This proactive approach should save a number of “bubble” athletes whose academic history demonstrates the potential need for intervention, guidelines and personal guidance. 

But, for all the recognizable good news, there’s bad news, too, depending on the perspective, of course.  For DI coaches, this tactic could serve as an early wash out of some recruits ill-fitted for college academics prior to becoming their being established as full-time students.  If that occurs, the coach’s APR would not presumably be effected as opposed to their flunking out after their full-time enrollment status begins.

Football and basketball at the Division I level have recently come under scrutiny from all sides.  Improper agent activities are being discussed by pertinent parties and agencies.  Men’s basketball’s one-and-done rule will apparently be reconsidered under NCAA’s new president, Dr. Mark Emmert, that is if he can convince the NBA to shift their current policy.  And, now this.  It is likely that we can anticipate a number of rules changes in all these categories in the near future.  From our side, those changes cannot come soon enough.


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