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Feb
27
2015

Freshmen Ineligibility: 5 Reasons Why the Rule Isn’t Needed

With all the latest rumblings I’ve heard about freshmen ineligibility, I’d figure I’d take a stab at it with 5 reasons why it isn’t necessary at all. While it’s only being considered by the Big Ten conference currently, eventually, talk will go to if all conferences should institute the rule.

1. Instituting a freshmen ineligibility rule ignores the red shirt and grey shirt rules already in place. Two rules the NCAA instituted in order to allow players an extra year of eligibility while also either getting a) practice, class, and training time or b) class time. If anything, do away with the grey shirt rule and make players graduate in the summer like every other student and end early enrollment for seniors.

2. Instituting a freshmen ineligibility rule would only create more chaos for kids who want to play collegiate sports. Let’s not play musical chairs with kids college careers’ here. If a kid is better off red shirting and developing, why not do that? It only throws another wrench in the already exhausting and complex recruiting process that already exists. If anything, coaches should be more transparent with kids when it comes to things like playing time, depth chart situations, etc. if a kid plans on attending their university.

3. Instituting a freshmen ineligibility rule ignores NFL Draft rules. Players are not eligible to enter the NFL Draft until they have been out of high school for 3 years. While the rule doesn’t explicitly state players have to attend college, the NFL has already instituted a rule that essentially keeps players away until they are at least 21 years of age. If anything, the NBA should follow suit and institute a similar age rule as soon as possible. Make student athletes get serious about their education and that’s what this is really about.

4. Instituting a freshmen ineligibility rule opens the door to pay student athletes as employees in the long run. If the NCAA doesn’t want to pay student athletes and say “Free education is the reward,” a rule like this is hypocritical to that statement. Some feel the rule allows student athletes to “Get used to academic life, get used to taking on dual roles as an athlete and student.” But what about the regular freshmen students who work full time jobs because they live close enough and still go to class? There’s no penalty for them because they don’t want to play sports. Some student athletes are better than others and wish to make a career out of it. If education is the goal, education your student athletes with something like this:

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This is just for the NFL, so imagine what the NBA looks like.

5. Instituting a freshmen ineligibility rule in the ACC wouldn’t be due to a low APR. What is APR? The NCAA developed a measure known as the Academic Progress Rate index (APR) to track progress toward graduation with real-time data. According to the NCAA, an APR score of 925 (on a scale of 1,000) is equivalent to having 50 percent of a squad’s members on track to graduate. Here is a look at the ACC’s APR scores in basketball and football for the 2012-2013 academic term:

Academic Institution

Men’s Basketball

Football

Boston College

951

981

Clemson University

989

983

Duke University

995

992

Florida State University

955

958

Georgia Tech

989

983

North Carolina State

959

950

Syracuse

969

965

Louisville

1000

947

Miami

990

972

UNC

938

938

Notre Dame

995

972

Pittsburgh

995

961

Virginia

945

956

Virginia Tech

960

977

Wake Forest

953

970

Data obtained via http://www.ncaa.org/about/resources/research/academic-progress-rate-search

The ACC average APR from 2012-2013 was 967 in football and 972 in basketball, well above the NCAAs 925 average which states more than half of the teams graduated college over a 4 year span. Keep in mind the maximum APR score you can achieve is 1000. So, statistically speaking, the ACC graduates a good amount of student athletes overall.


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