The good ol’ days

Boy, if you think I’m cynical about the “let’s do it for the kids’ academics” angle being pitched in some quarters as a justification for reinstating freshman ineligibility, I don’t hold a candle to what’s expressed in this piece.  I bring that up because there’s a quote in it worth highlighting:

Purdue athletic director Morgan Burke said he believes in the NCAA policy that prohibited freshmen participation before a 1972 reversal.

“I, for one ,as a Big Ten AD, am tired of being used as a minor league for professional sports,” Burke said. “What was right for the NCAA in the first 70 years of its history, maybe we ought to go back and say, ‘What’s changed?’”

Among Big Ten leaders, he said, a consensus exists to “get education back on the proper platform.”

For those of you who buy the sentiment, here’s a question.  Prior to 1972, were student-athletes’ collegiate academic performances superior to what they are now?



Filed under Academics? Academics.

24 responses to “The good ol’ days

  1. HVL Dawg

    I don’t trust the B10’s motives one bit. Let me get that said before I say this:

    I like this quaint talk about getting college back into college athletics. I’d like to see initiatives that make the sports more closely identified with the true mission of the university. Quit the money grubbing. Quit accepting athletes who wouldn’t qualify for the university. Quit all the 2nd and 3rd chances. Quit being a development league for the NFL and NBA.

    And if the NBA and the NFL created their own developmental league that took better athletes than college sports, I’d still be a UGA fan. I became a fan in the late ’60s when I thought all the players were unpaid students.

    I’m a dreamer.


    • Macallanlover

      Well said. I don’t trust Delaney’s group, would love to see equal academic requirements for athletes, and would still love the college game. And I would watch the development league games with better young athletes, probably supporting the team from our region. Not so sure that is a total pipe dream, but it does appear to be a long shot. I think the NFL could make it happen regardless of what the college gurus think. It might not be as expensive as many think when you consider the television broadcast rights they would have, and the better use of dollars that are now wasted with bad draft costs.


      • Mac, I don’t disagree with you very often, but this time I do. Every time professional football outside the NFL has started up since the AFL merger, it has failed spectacularly because people are intrigued in the 1st year and then everyone says, “Thanks but no thanks.” Even the NFL’s foray into additional professional football (NFL Europe) was a major flameout. Minor leagues are money losers for the parent club. Jerry Jones, Arthur Blank, etc. aren’t good at not making money.

        Personally, I wouldn’t watch it or attend a game in person even if every blue chip high school kid went to the developmental league rather than to college.


        • 69Dawg

          You only have to look at the minor league system in baseball. The NFL would not need four levels of minor leagues, heck they wouldn’t need to even own the teams. There are enough owner wanabe’s that would buy the rights to a minor league NFL football team for the NFL to make money with minor risk. Look at the smaller markets that surround the NFL markets and you can find cities that would help the owners out. Birmingham/Falcons, Memphis/New Orleans or St Louis, Columbia/ Charlotte. The Jags, Bucs and Miami could share the Orlando team. All the NFL teams would have to do is enlarge their practice squads enough to furnish some of the players. The NFL would pay a set amount to the minors to cover the player salaries, which should be below the NFL minimum. The owner of the minor team could add non-NFL players to the team and would have the right to sell that contract to the NFL if the player moved up. It would work but it will take a guy like Mark Cuban to do it. Heck play the games on Saturday night, keeping CFB on during the day. The WWL would have to go for it because there is now competition from NBC CBS FOX and the NFL for broadcast rights. I wish I was 20 years younger I think I would go on Shark Tank.

          Colleges could then get back to being colleges with true Scholar-athletes. Heck if a kid truly GAS about an education but didn’t have the HS grades to get in, he/she could go to a Prep school or JUCO to get the grades to enter a University.


        • Macallanlover

          I understand the doubt, and who knows, it could be a total flop. I just don’t see them trying to put dozens of teams into small markets like MLB has done. Unlike you and 69, I see an “elite” league where there might be 8-10 teams nationally and scattered across regions of the country providing regional pride much like the conferences have. There aren’t enough athletes with elite ability to waste money on stocking more teams that that. Maybe 8 teams at 60 players each and a coaching staff’s salaries. The costs would be primarily offset by ticket sales and ad revenues from the NFL and ESPN channels, it could be a money maker.

          I could be way off but it is a test model that hasn’t been tested, it isn’t a competitor and the NFL has the money to do it right. Costs could be shared by the 32 teams, that would be insignificant with the cash they operate on. It could be inevitable because of all the changes that are coming to the NCAA method anyway, paying athletes is unaffordable for many schools and when you add the Title IX implications the feds are sure to hammer them with, there may not be another choice. Unlike you, if it is well done with limited teams playing on a Tuesday or Wednesday night, I would definitely watch. Now, if they played in competition with CFB time slots, I wouldn’t watch it live either.


          • 69Dawg

            I agree with you that it only needs to be 8-10 teams. The point is that there would be enough potential owners out there willing to carry some of the burden. The teams could be regional with the players coming from multiple teams in the same region. In the south cities like Birmingham, Orlando Memphis and others would jump at it. In the old Southern Association the Crackers used to be a farm team but many of their players were hired locally to supplement the kids from the major league system. I remember Bob Montag being a local guy who was a good player but he never made it to the show. The Crackers changed from being one major league team’s farm club to another but the core Crackers stayed with them.


  2. Cojones

    Cheaters would just start early in a kid’s career. They would adjust grades beginning in the 9th grade, tutor kids before natl exams by getting quiz answers by hook or more crook, use computers to hack in and change scores, grades, etc and continue to subsidize his education illegally that would benefit the industry…


    • Cojones

      Forgot: change their birth certificates just as they have in some Little Leagues so that they still have 3 yrs eligibility after Freshman holdout.

      No one would catch on until guys began having prostate problems that will have required pee breaks twice per qtr – in college.


  3. GaskillDawg

    HVL, I would be fine with the Ivy League model. I would still pay to the Hartman Fund and still buy tickets, but would enjoy not being told that the coin toss is made possible by the nice folks at SunTrust Bank.

    However, Morgan Burke does not want to retreat to those days because he likes cashing the paychecks in amounts made possible by ESPN and the Big 10 Network. His righteous statement that, “I, for one ,as a Big Ten AD, am tired of being used as a minor league for professional sports,” overlooks the fact that by providing school night basketball games to ESPN and the Big Ten Network he is not tired of being programming for television networks. As I have said before, the best first step for these ADs and commissioners is to eliminate sending students hundreds of miles, missing a day or two of class, to play games for the WWL.


  4. Chadwick

    What’s changed???? Seriously. That shill knows exactly what has changed and I guarantee you he’s spending it as fast as he can. I don’t know the Big 10’s motive, but I’m pretty sure it isn’t about creating better students on the b-ball and football teams.


  5. Deutschland Domiciliary Dog

    I’m thinking there’s an antitrust violation somewhere in putting that genie back in that bottle.


  6. My Dearest Purdue,
    We have a conference just for you – the Ivy League. Goest Thou There and Be Thou Silent Hence…


  7. Mg4life0331

    Some of theses kids get out of really bad family situations and have healthy, productive lives. I’m not for taking away that opportunity so I don’t care about the education part as much as others.


  8. W Cobb Dawg

    Seems like ADs are all-in on the ‘freshman ineligibility’ p.r. campaign, or at least the big10 ADs. What a waste of time.


  9. Mike Cooley

    What does he mean that HE is tired of being used as a minor league? And the fact that he thinks he is the one being used reveals much.


  10. joe

    Ok. You want to answer that question “Mr. What’s changed”? How much money did your University make off of football?
    You want to go back to what it was 70 years ago? Tear down the stadiums, shut down college football on TV and essentially make it a club sport. IT never boggles my mind to how out of touch these “educated” idiots are. What an arrogant moron.


  11. Mayor

    Am I the only poster on this blog that thinks all this B1G talk about banning freshmen from playing is a stupid move? Why would any top player want to go somewhere that is openly advocating holding all freshmen out? Logically, 4 and 5 star players will be running away from any B1G school recruiting them.


    • A10Penny

      It could backfire on them, sure. But I bet they’re telling all the recruits it’ll never happen unless applied across the Power 5 at the same time. That way they can pretend to still have a “superior academics” moral high ground.

      And in the unlikely event they’re able to wrangle concessions from the NBA, they can legitimately claim credit.


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  13. Cojones

    In answer to your question, Senator, I certainly thought so at UGA where Dooley and UGA emphasized scholastic accomplishment. I remember a Freshman award for best athlete/scholar accomplishment being awarded at halftime and the trophy was almost as tall as the kid. ‘ Course this was in the late sixties and the kid being black created a buzz and a hearty applause. He walked onto the field in “civies” to accept since it had already been published in a Red and Black interview that he had been in football his Freshman year, but declined football his second year because he wasn’t good enough (he felt), to make the team and play. Smart kid for assessing his capabilities as well as making an opening for another player.

    Yes , not only was academics stressed at UGA then, but also it was lionized. Can’t speak for the other institutes.


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