Dick Harmon: New NCAA academic standards will take toll on recruits

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 8 2012 3:00 p.m. MDT

If these standards were in effect in 2009 and 2010 for college recruits, 15.3 percent of athletes overall would not meet the projected 2016 standards. But 35.2 percent of college football players would have failed and 43.1 percent of basketball players would have come short of the mark.

Another administrator I spoke to this past week said those failure statistics might be interesting, but if the new standards had been in place five years ago, it would not have been all that bad because kids rise to the occasion.

"The upscale is all philosophical, in raising the standard and preparing the athletes," Wilson said.

"The downside — and they've corrected one of those by changing the original date of enactment of 2015 to 2016 — is the communication that happens at the high school level; it isn't always accurate," Wilson said.

Wilson said the other concern he has is now 10 of the 16 core classes have to be done by the end of junior year and if a student messes up or if they were wrongly advised by a high school counselor, they don't have time to correct it.

"It does happen," Wilson said. "I've seen it all the time and it will happen."

If a college recruiter signs an ineligible player who hasn't met the new standard, he can accept a scholarship but would be still be ineligible, thus bringing back the academic redshirt year we had back when the "Prop 48" label applied to non-qualifiers.

Another concern Wilson said is some potential student-athletes may be at a school that has no idea about these standards, and some charter schools that may not be informed. By the time this young person discovers they have the talent to be recruited, it may be too late to do the core work.

"The main people who will inform these recruits are those recruiting them (coaches). In all my years of public education, I've never received any training on NCAA academic core requirements," Wilson said.

So, put the message out there now.

If you are a young person who believes someday you will be good enough to play major college football, basketball, track, baseball or some other sport, better buckle down early.

You can't wander around guessing and dreaming while messing up on accumulating core classes required to be a Division I athlete.

And it all starts your first year of high school, or as a ninth grader.

Be warned.

email: dharmon@desnews.com

twitter: harmonwrites

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