USA Today has some good stuff up about early entries.
The number keeps growing. What was once a trickle of football players graduating from high school a semester early and enrolling in college in time to participate in spring practice has turned into a steady stream that shows no signs of abating.
USA TODAY’s annual survey of the 66 Bowl Championship Series-affiliated schools found 105 early entrants this year, easily the highest total since the issue began being tracked in 2002.
The schools reported 69 early entrants last year and as recently as 2005 there were 34. USA TODAY found just 15 in 2002.
The article also raises an issue as to whether the new academic rules will impact the trend.
… It remains to be seen if the number will continue to grow, because the NCAA is about to change its freshman-eligibility standards in Division I. Starting Aug. 1, a student must pass 16 academic core courses in high school to meet the standards, up from 14.
“So now you’re talking about having to take 16 core courses in seven semesters, so if you’re considering (leaving early), it’s clear you have to start (the process) when you’re a freshman,” said Kevin Lennon, NCAA vice president for membership services. “I don’t have a sense if fewer students will do it with the change to 16, but you’ve got to start early.”
As a bonus, here’s the complete list of early enrollees.