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Blog Entry

NCAA should get out of the eligibility business

Posted on: September 23, 2010 9:26 am
Edited on: September 23, 2010 9:35 am
 
Jay Bilas is one of my favorite figures in the world of college basketball. He's very good at what he does, smart and thoughtful, and just a solid dude in general. I don't agree with Jay on every topic, but even when we disagree I know it's not because he's just trying to be different. He believes what he says, and he's one of the few guys who can make me rethink my position if it differs from his. That's a compliment, I think. But it's also irrelevant to this post, because what I wanted to mention here is something Jay and I agree on, and that something is this:
The NCAA should get out of the eligibility business. Its member institutions are perfectly capable of making admission and eligibility decisions on their own. Jay wrote that over at ESPN.com while focusing on the Eric Bledsoe situation.

I'm with him 100 percent.

We can debate forever whether Bledsoe was inappropriately given an A instead of a C in Algebra III as a senior in high school, debate whether his transcript should be retroactively changed, and debate what the NCAA should do if that happens. But the ideal situation, Jay thinks (and I agree), would be the NCAA someday soon taking a step back and letting Duke admit and play who it wants to admit and play, Kentucky admit and play who it wants to admit and play, West Virginia admit and play who it wants to admit and play, and on down the line (provided the players are still amateurs by the NCAA's standards). I don't think anybody is operating under the assumption that Memphis and Stanford have the same academic guidelines. What's OK at one school isn't OK at the other, nor should it be. So why doesn't the NCAA remove itself from the equation and let Memphis and Stanford decide what's good for Memphis and Stanford in terms of academic requirements? It would put eligibility back into the hands of schools, eliminate a lot of the NCAA's biggest headaches, and make much more sense than the current system that has programs getting penalized for playing players they were initially told it was OK to play.
Category: NCAAB
Comments

Since: Aug 24, 2009
Posted on: September 29, 2010 9:42 am
 

Free Enes

Jay Bilas is one of my faves as well.  (And he's a Dukie!  Imagine that.)  He's thoughtful, well intentioned and not afraid to speak his mind.  Love when he calls the refs out for bad calls.  And how it makes his pals look spineless.  Hey Raftery, grow some onions!

But the link Gary gave us is a pay site.  You have to be a paying member of ESPN Insider to read it.  Anyone have a link to Jay's article somewhere else?




Since: Aug 19, 2009
Posted on: September 27, 2010 11:18 am
 

NCAA should get out of the eligibility business

Get rid of the NCAA all together. Think of the money that could be saved on the operaing overhead! Let schools set up their own confrences. Set their own standards. Allow  boosters to do ANYTHING they can to help bring in the best players. Totally open up everything.  If your school doesn't want Sports get rid of them. Just teach academics. We KNOW some schools just want to win and will do anything they can get away with. Some just want to compete. Why all the BIG lies! Some schools pay their players anyway. No rules, none can be broken. Let the strong survive. Basketball and Football are just farm teams for the NBA and NFL. Why do you think the NBA put in a age restriction? Not only to protect themselvs FROM themselves ( they hate to pay for potantal). A man MUST play/wait a year before he can make a living so the NCAA has some stars in its Final Four. Stars make for a bigger TV contract. If a player gets hurt? Oh well to the next slab of meat. You don't preform as well as the School thinks after 1- years of the "Scholorship" they gave you. They make your life so hard you have to quit. Where is that fair? My point is, bring everything out of the dark back room of the NCAA and out in the light. No more lies.



Since: Sep 25, 2010
Posted on: September 25, 2010 12:30 pm
 

NCAA should get out of the eligibility business

First, I agree that very little to nothing will change in these admissions departments if the NCAA removes the bottom floor on grades. Logically, it will only affect schools who persistently go for students at or near the threshold. Most schools, even memphis, do not do that for the majority of their players. Academics-first schools look for students who are exceptional in every way, but who are also off the charts in a hand full of areas. A math genius at Standford will be much better at literary analysis than anyone down the line at UAB, but might NOT be as good at it as the typical Stanford 
;student. That's okay, because he's a math genius. The same goes for basketball in the place of math. A Duke or Standford player is going to be better at academics than students at lower ranked schools, and they got into Duke/Stanford because they are way better at basketball than we can imagine. 
Next, if you're smart enough to go to Duke, then you're hopefully capable of assessing the benefits of a Duke education for the time after you stop playing basketball or hit some unknowns in life. Case study: Jay Williams. At this point, all NCAA schools aren't even competing for the same recruits, since academic schools compete for a very different class of students who won't seriously consider going elsewhere. So to say that this forces Duke and Stanford (or other academics-first schools) to lower standards to "compete" is silly, since there's really no competition. Thus, if you hold high school performance constant, then getting rid of the NCAA grades police will change almost nothing. 
Last, something worth mentioning is the incentives in high school might be what changes the most if you stop enforcing minimum grades at the NCAA level... since we still have the one-and-done rule from the NBA. Knowing that he's good enough to not need even a 2.5 to get into a basketball loving 
college, I would guess Bledsoe wouldn't even have had a 2.3 gpa. That's bad for him in the long-run, obviously, but in my mind he should carry the full cost of his actions anyway and the NCAA has no responsibility there.&
nbsp;
But it might be the general case that more 14 and 15 year-olds will develop this mindset without the context in which to place their own skills, so you end up with a strong incentive to be mediocre for the average-skilled player who NEEDS to free college education the most since he will not have the NBA to fall back on later.   



Since: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: September 24, 2010 1:39 pm
 

NCAA should get out of the eligibility business

I think the answer to that problem is have more people working for the eligibility center so people get caught the first time. The answer isn't to abandon the whole institution, the solution is to make sure they have enough people and resources to do their jobs right the first time. Right now it is a flawed system, not because what they're doing is a problem, but the fact that they're not doing it well.





Since: Jul 2, 2008
Posted on: September 23, 2010 7:13 pm
 

NCAA should get out of the eligibility business

DISTRICTFAN.......I think you are off the problem.  The NCAA rules are not the problem, the clearinghouse is the problem.  They clear a student to play and the school plays that student that year then a year later something comes up.  Now the NCAA goes checking and finds something wrong that the school had no control over.  they then tell the school that the player wasn't OK to play now, but they had OK'ed him to play when the school used him.  So now the school has to vacate the wins that he played in.  That isn't fair to the school because the NCAA had already OK'ed him to play.  Why have the Clearinghouse.  Something else, Don't do what Memphis did and say you may look into legal actions, because if you do, the NCAA will tell you if you do that, they will find a lot more violations at you school and make you wish you hadn't look into legal action.          The NCAA is a Big Bully and needs to be taken down a couple of notches 



Since: Jul 2, 2008
Posted on: September 23, 2010 7:13 pm
 

NCAA should get out of the eligibility business

DISTRICTFAN.......I think you are off the problem.  The NCAA rules are not the problem, the clearinghouse is the problem.  They clear a student to play and the school plays that student that year then a year later something comes up.  Now the NCAA goes checking and finds something wrong that the school had no control over.  they then tell the school that the player wasn't OK to play now, but they had OK'ed him to play when the school used him.  So now the school has to vacate the wins that he played in.  That isn't fair to the school because the NCAA had already OK'ed him to play.  Why have the Clearinghouse.  Something else, Don't do what Memphis did and say you may look into legal actions, because if you do, the NCAA will tell you if you do that, they will find a lot more violations at you school and make you wish you hadn't look into legal action.          The NCAA is a Big Bully and needs to be taken down a couple of notches 



Since: Apr 8, 2007
Posted on: September 23, 2010 5:50 pm
 

NCAA should get out of the eligibility business

I think that it would be dangerous to set such an academic precident. While I don't really care about Eric Bledsoe's grade in one math class, we must remember that the NCAA oversee's more than just the football and men's basketball programs at BCS schools. Even though the NCAA makes all of their money off of future pro basketball players, their commercials are true when athletes say that "nearly all of us will go pro in something other than sports." For the other 95% of NCAA athletes who don't play basketball or football, it is necessary to impose higher standards at the beginning to ensure that they are capable of legitimately succeeding in a 4-year college environment. I have a hard time believing that a kid who graduates high school with a D average and low SAT scores could legitimately succeed immediately at the college level without prep school or JUCO first. The NCAA can't write its rulebook to simply cater to the several hundred athletes drafted into a major pro league every year at the expense of the thousands who utilize their talents simply to gain an opportunity at an education.

If this were simply about high major basketball, I would probably agree, but it's not. BTW, even if the schools were allowed to police themselves, Memphis would still be in a position where it rightfully should have declared Derrick Rose ineligible since a valid SAT or ACT score is a requirement for all Memphis applicants, according to its admissions site.



Since: Sep 4, 2006
Posted on: September 23, 2010 3:22 pm
 

NCAA should get out of the eligibility business

Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I think student athletes should be students. I know that's not the way some schools run their programs and I know that's not the way the jaded media believe basketball should be. I think what the NCAA is doing now is perfectly fine. They need to hire more people so they can better scan and enforce it, but having a minimum requirement for playing is a great idea. Same reason why there are age limits and other eligibility restrictions. You can't trust schools to do the right thing themselves. If there were no eligibility standards some schools would go out and find kids who have never graduated highschool and suit them up or go find  some 30 year old man to play amongst college kids. Schools can't be trusted that's why we can't put guidelines like this in their hands. 

I acknowledge that schools bend their admissions standards to allow athletes in. but they do so within reason. I used the schools i used because those are the ones mentioned in the article. The issue is that all schools should have to obey at least a minimum standard to keep the playing field level.

I see 0 reason to remove the minimum standards and allow anyone to do whatever they want. Sure it'd be less work for the NCAA, but that's their job it's what schools want them to do. I don't think you'd see any schools in favor of this.  Maybe where ever Cal's coaching at a given time.



Since: Mar 23, 2007
Posted on: September 23, 2010 2:03 pm
 

NCAA should get out of the eligibility business

"This is a terrible idea. It would unfairly force good academic schools like Stanford and Duke to decide between compromising academics and compromising athletics."

Wow, that's funny.  No one who knows anything about Dook basketball would think that Dook has standards that are higher than anyone else's.  The Dook Chronicle, I think it is called (the student newspaper) ran a series of articles a few years ago about how Dook lets in anyboby who can ball.  I think they let in one blue-chip recruit whose SAT was an 850 (back when the perfect score was a 1600).  You have to try on purpose to score that poorly on the SAT. 

There was also a study by the Chronicle of Higher Education comparing the entering male athlete SAT scores for a bunch of D-I schools, and Kentucky's average bball athlete SAT score, for instance, was higher than Dook's for the years in question.   

You have fallen for the same "Dook's dookie doesn't stink" fallacy for which most of the national media has fallen. 





Since: Mar 27, 2007
Posted on: September 23, 2010 12:41 pm
 

NCAA should get out of the eligibility business

It would unfairly force good academic schools like Stanford and Duke to decide between compromising academics and compromising athletics.
What are you talkiing about?!  It doesn't force them to do anything.  Schools like Standford and Duke already lower their academic standards for athletes, the NCAA doesn't force them to do it.  They choose to "compromise academics" by getting the best basketball players.  Schools like Harvard choose not to lower their academic standards for athletes, therefore they don't have a powerhouse basketball or football program.


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