Never forget it’s all about the student athletes.

A couple of stories on academics -

First,  it looks like there’s some tension in the Big Ten about recruiting those fast athletes we’ve heard so much about.  The concern about recruiting rankings is hopefully the author’s weak attempt at a joke, but Lloyd Carr’s concern about an uneven playing field…

“When you look at our bowl hookup with the SEC … it’s an important rule,” Carr said then. “I can remember going to bowl games with 77, 76 guys on scholarship against a team with 85.

“In bowl games against conferences that have an advantage of doing that, Big Ten teams were at a severe disadvantage.”

… is certainly a valid one.

The Big Ten’s “solution” of allowing a limited amount of oversigning would seem to be the recruiting equivalent of being a little bit pregnant.   Once you’ve started the journey, it’s hard to protest that you’re more virtuous than the next guy whose traveled a little bit farther.

Then there’s this story that I found (courtesy of Groo at DawgsOnline) that’s a doozy. Evidently the head coach at Florida International has a clause in his contract that provides that

“University shall admit to FIU all student-athletes meeting the NCAA Academic Eligibility requirement … provided the student-athlete has been cleared through the NCAA clearing house and been approved by the Athletic Director.”

In other words, either FIU’s AD on his own overrides the university’s admission standards for a student athlete or the football coach declares his contract with the university in default.  It’s Tommy Bowden’s wet dream.

Don’t worry, says FIU’s AD.  It’s not a license to undercut the university’s admission standards.

Such a clause is not known to exist in any other NCAA Division I-A head coaching contract. While some see it as an end run around the admissions process, Garcia says it’s an escape clause for a hot new coach FIU wanted to sign.

“Student-athletes have — and will be — admitted, but if that doesn’t happen, he can leave,” which is why Cristobal asked for it, Garcia says.

“If the rules changed and admissions standards went up, if this clause wasn’t in there, he would be stuck with it.”

Yeah, we can’t have coaches “stuck” with improving admissions standards.

As for the effect of the clause, it’s a lot easier to let a coach walk when the program goes 1-11 (which FIU did this year) than it is when, say, it goes 10-2 and said coach is a hot prospect at other schools looking for a savior.

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