Another issue of greater scope looms quietly, with the potential to shake the recruiting world in a way that an extra round of electronic communication can't touch.
It involves initial-eligibility standards. Academic requirements are on the rise for prospective Division I athletes, starting with the Class of 2016 that's now just weeks away from the end of its freshman year of high school.
If you haven't heard about it, you're not alone. Neither have some of the parents, coaches and counselors of the students who will be affected.
Mitch Sherman Sports Illustrated, March 27, 2013
With the recent articles about the recruitment of Andre Basham and UW coach Tosh Lupoi, I believe this is a good time talk about the 2016 changes of NCAA recruiting of all student athletes. I want to first acknowledge that all high school counselors do an excellent job, but, with the NCAA making changes frequently it is hard to keep up.
As a local high school football coach, most recently as the Head Football Coach at Garfield HS, I experienced this as well as the kids I coached. It is hard enough to get the academically eligible to the prestigious colleges that Garfield kids garner. Let alone a prop 48 kid trying to get into Eastern Washington University and how to navigate the eligibility center.
Presently, the requirement is 16 core classes and 2.0 or higher, with a 2.5, 820 sliding scale on the SAT, and graduate from high school. The changes in 2016 will be 2.3 on the core classes, the SAT will remain the same sliding scale, but the real big change will be that you have to have completed 10 core classes prior to your senior year. There will be no opportunity for you to get better grades or recover lost core classes. As the NCAA states in their PSA posters, “2.3 or take knee”.
So what does this mean? In the movie the Blind Side, they referenced the BYU online courses that Micahel Oher used to gain his requirements in his eligibility. That will no longer be allowed, or taking night courses, or just general rehabilitation.
To come to present day, if you are not on a strict plan to accomplishing these new standards for the next four years, you are probably already done. The NCAA has also closed the loop pole for kids just going off to Junior College and make up all of the requirements.
We know today that many parents are struggling to save money for themselves and their retirement and let alone for their kids college aspirations. So many parents believe that their son or daughters athletic talents will hopefully bring them a scholarship opportunity. Only 1% of the student-athletes receive a D1 college scholarship. But many kids will go off to great liberal art small college and universities. Usually a better educational opportunity and better for the student athlete in experience and playing opportunities. Recently, I came across a contract a local recruiting service who was charging a kid $4.000 for his service. As I was told by the person who gave me this, this student athlete was maybe a NAIA level player. Parents save your money as you will need all of that money to pay for that smaller college. Average student debt is $25,000 with $6,000 credit card debt.
If your son or daughter comes from a school that does not have many kids get scholarships, then probably the counselors are not well versed on the requirements and present changes coming. If you are a freshmen or incoming this next year, go and see your counselor and make sure you will be on track to make sure that you have the 10 core classes completed. Make sure that your counselor has made sure these are the compliant classes your high school has given to the NCAA eligibility center. Bottom line, have a plan, there is no wiggle plan.
There are many more issues and questions that could be answered or asked. But due to limit in space and length of the article we must end this. You can look this up on the web, but, I wanted to make sure all kids are aware of these drastic changes, which I believe could really hurt urban student athletes if they are not aware of these changes. You can also look up information I post on Academic Sports Development on Facebook, or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or a seminar on these changes.
Director – Academic Sports Development