NCAA’s Eligibility Standards Miss the Mark, Researcher Says

Brad Wolverton, Chronicle of Higher Education, January 9, 2012

While many Division I members have balked at new rules allowing multiyear scholarships and extra money for athletes, several substantive academic changes have gone through with relatively little resistance. Chief among them are policies keeping low-performing men’s basketball teams out of the NCAA tournament and stiffened initial-eligibility and transfer requirements.

In October, the NCAA passed a measure requiring incoming athletes to have a minimum 2.3 grade-point average to be eligible to play their first year (they previously needed a 2.0). NCAA leaders see the new rule as a “game-changer,” according to Todd Petr, the association’s managing director of research, and Todd Paskus, its principal research scientist. They will lead a discussion at this year’s NCAA Scholarly Colloquium on Tuesday looking at the effects of academic reform on college sports. “This policy ramps up academic expectations both on teams and individuals,” Mr. Petr says.

If the new rules were applied to the current class, some 15 percent of all athletes would have had to take an academic “redshirt” year. The policy would have an even more profound effect in football and men’s basketball: Thirty-five percent of football players and 43 percent of men’s basketball players in this year’s class would have had to sit out their first year of competition, if the rules were applied to them.

Although the NCAA raised the minimum grade-point average required for first-year competition, it kept in place its sliding scale for admissions. That allows students with extremely low standardized-test scores to be admitted, so long as their high-school grade-point averages are correspondingly much higher. {snip}


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  • Anonymous

    If they did raise the  minimum to 2.3, college sports would be a lot more white.

    • There would just be more classes like Ebonics 101, Intro to hip hop 101, math for basketball players 101

      Math for basketball players problem.
       Q. If  you earn $10million a year how much would you spend to help black women?
      A. Depends on the price of a diamond studed gold plated stripper pole.

      • Anonymous

        A. Help those black bitches, when I can get white women?

  • A 2.3 GPA is three B grades and seven C grades out of ten courses.  That’s not much better than ten C grades.  A 2.3 GPA really isn’t college material any more than a 2.0 GPA.  And notice that they’re still going to let 2.0-2.3 GPAs into college, they’re merely going to mandatory redshirt them.

    I don’t think high school GPAs are a good proxy for intelligence, because grades are sometimes a subjective measure, and sometimes given based on favoritism and pandering.  A more reliable measure is the objective sections of standardized testing, and the SAT or ACT minimum for incoming student athletes ought to be way higher than it is.  But the objective portions of the SAT or ACT are too taboo for polite society to use, because the SAT verbal section asked a question about a yacht one year.

    Once upon a time, all football and men’s basketball scholarship athletes were mandatory redshirted freshmen.

    • AmericaFirst

      Once upon a time, the purpose of a college athletic scholarship was to help a student pay for his tuition, room and board to ultimately attain an education.

  • Anonymous

    It doesn’t matter what the standards are or how high they “raise” them.  Most “student-athletes” major in “eligibility” with all the tutors they need to help them. There’s always a way to dodge and weave your way through academic eligibility. What a joke

    • anon

      Spot on.  With rare exceptions, colleges have plenty of blow-off courses laden with jocks majoring in eligibility.  You have to really work hard to fail them.

      • Read “I Am Charlotte Simmons”.

  • Anonymous

    In anywhere from 1 year to 10 years from now expect to read about the “racism” of collegiate sports because of the disproportionality of minorities being declared academically ineligible compared with their white peers.

  • Anonymous

    Does anyone know if one of the Knoxville Horror murderers was a college football player or was a recruit?  I thought I read that somewhere.  And that the coach (well-known) was a fan of the future killer?

  • I guess potential college football and men’s basketball players are going to have to study in  order to get into college and then turn pro.

  • I’ve often wondered what scholarly research is published by recipients of “athletic scholarships.” How do they contribute to mankind’s advancement? 

  • Anonymous

    I once read a paper by a student “afleet” who spelled college “c-o-l-l-a-g-e,” repeatedly on a paper.

  • Anonymous

    Gotta have our negro ball, whatever it takes. It would be a start just to pass spoken English as a second language.

  • Foo

    high grades and extremely low sat scores? sounds like passing the black dude so he can play ball

  • To Everyone Here:
     Actually, i think it’s a good idea to raise the  NCAA GPA to 2.3. This will give the athletes  more
    intiative along with incentive to do their work and graduate from school with a degree. However, white athletes will be just as affected by this rule as the black or other athletes of color.  Everybody has to study plus work hard at college. Thanks!!

    • “White athletes will be just as affected by this rule…”

      That’s literally true, in that whites, blacks and everyone will have to have a 2.3 GPA in order to avoid the mandatory academic redshirt.  But as you have been able to read over and over again here on AR, any seemingly “race neutral” standard will still be denounced as “racist” because it as a disparate impact on certain favored minorities.  A 2.3 instead of a 2.0 is three B-grades out of ten passing classes, which means in 30% of their classes, prospective student athletes have to be a little better than average.  A C-grade for blacks is basically a certificate of attendance.  The margin between a 2.3 and a 2.0 is going to leave out a lot of blacks.

      Like the article said, 35% of football and 43% of men’s basketball incoming freshmen would have gotten the academic redshirt if this rule was already in place.  You can bet that almost all of those are black.

      • To Question Diversity:
         Sir with some of the dumb white athletes that play for U.W. Madison badgers,
        my alma mater, they would be heavily affected trust me. Granted, U.W. Madison had a marvelous football team that got to the Rose Bowl. In addition,
        the offensive line, which is majority white, was fantastic. Yet, their intellectual level was quite lacking if i say so myself.  Ironically, the Smartest player on this team’s offensive squad was the black quaterback, Russell Wilson. Thus, my point is all players have to buckle down and do their school
        work for that’s why they’re at college to learn. Now, i do agree that it’s time for
        a race neutral policy for all to succeed. In addition, it’s outwardly ridiculous for people to call this “racist”. If you can succeed on a normal level then don’t compete. Thank you very much!!

        • I’m not going to doubt your personal assessment of the current Badger squad, after all, you’re there and I’m not.

          And I agree with you that not only are these increased standards good, they should actually be higher.

          But if you don’t think the civil rights crowd is going to start screaming racism and disparate impact, then you’re native.

          Just wait until the dork in Orlando with a fax machine gets a load of this news.

  • To Question Diversity:
     A correction, i meant can’t succeed not can succeed. Thanks again.

  • Anonymous

    Because sports is a big money maker for the colleges.

  • Anonymous

    Follow the MONEY.  It’s no secret that “collegiate sports” teams are “farm teams” for the major leagues as well as great moneymakers for the “institutions of higher learning” themselves . . . integrity and true “academic scholarship” be damned.
    If GPA requirements were raised, the teams would be much more white.  What a refreshing thought!

  • Anonymous

    I looked it up and yes, one of the killers was recruited by the University of Tennessee football team.  That’s why I brought it up.