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Reaction to NCAA's Recent Recruiting Reforms

by Laura Flynn

Yesterday, the NCAA announced some major changes that will make a huge impact on athletic college recruiting. To avoid having to read through an entire article (I know some of us just hate to do that!), here is a quick breakdown of the new rules:

  • Conferences can vote to add $2,000 in "full cost-of-attendance" money to scholarship offers.

  • Individual schools can choose to award multiyear scholarships. Scholarships may not be revoked based on athletic performance.

  • Schools that fail to meet the Academic Progress Rate cutline will be ineligible for postseason play, including bowl games. The cutline will be increased from the current 900 to 930 in four years.

  • Eligibility requirements increased from a 2.0 GPA to 2.3 for incoming freshman and 2.5 for junior college transfers.

  • For basketball recruiting, coaches added four evaluation days in April, previously a dead period, but went from 20 days to 12 in July. Coaches can make unlimited calls or send unlimited texts to prep recruits after June 15 at end of their sophomore year.

I personally applaud the NCAA for taking such a hard line and putting the focus back on academics. The NCAA’s core purpose (as stated on its’ website) is to “… integrate intercollegiate athletics into higher education so that the educational experience of the student-athlete is paramount.”

By increasing academic eligibility requirements for incoming student-athletes, as well as increasing the Academic Progress Rate cutline for current NCAA programs, the organization is making a huge step to uphold that commitment.

Sure, as with any new approach there will be kinks to work out.  And as the ESPN article states; the introduction of the $2,000 “stipend” could bring about “disparity between the haves and the have-nots…prompting another round of conference realignment.”  But, for right now, I think it’s a step in the right direction, and really benefits the student-athlete – by pushing them academically and rewarding them for their athletic talents (as opposed to exploiting them).

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