Category Archives: Academics? Academics.

Dan Mullen has an idea.

Instead of Jim Delany’s blanket ineligibility proposal for incoming freshmen student-athletes, the Mississippi State coach offers something more nuanced to help kids adjust:  Any player above the NCAA’s new core grade-point-average requirement should get five years of eligibility instead of the standard four.

As he explains it, here’s what you’d get with that.

“You might take a freshman and they are being punished for having better grades. They might be forced to play even though they needed a redshirt year,” Mullen says. “One of the thoughts I had was there’s a mandatory academic redshirt year for a certain group of people…well, if you are above that new standard you should get five years of eligibility. Why punish someone who might be forced to have to play?

“Instead of punishing guys for doing bad, why not reward guys for doing good?”

Well, that’s nice, but he’s a coach, so you can figure there’s another agenda lurking in the background.  And there is.

His idea is to counteract the NCAA’s requirement, set to go into effect August 2016, which requires prospective student-athletes to have a minimum GPA of 2.3. If the recruits can’t hit that 2.3 GPA figure but are above the old 2.0 scale, they’d be forced to take an academic redshirt year. The NCAA also raised its sliding scale based on GPA and SAT/ACT scores, and now requires recruits to have completed 10 of their 16 core classes before their senior year.

Mullen imagines a hypothetical scenario in which multiple players have to take an academic redshirt year, and how that’d force other guys into playing time before they might be ready. That’s the impetus behind his push to give those players an extra year of eligibility.

If Mullen’s idea were passed, it could dramatically change the way programs recruit. Schools would still recruit talented players with shaky transcripts, but the benefits of signing a stronger student would be big when another year of eligibility is on the table. It would even the scales a bit for programs with tough admissions standards.

So what he’s really after is more signing flexibility.  That, in and of itself, isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  (In fact, if it leads to less pressure on coaches to futz with players’ grades, it’s likely a good thing.)  But the bottom line here is that this is about giving guys like him a lifeline to be able to manage continuing to bring in athletic talent that isn’t so talented in the classroom.  And to the extent that eases the pressure on high schools and high schoolers to bring their academic efforts up to a more serious level, that isn’t such a good thing.

What do y’all think?


Filed under Academics? Academics., The NCAA

Amateurism… it’s not just for college athletics anymore.

Universities are discovering the value of selling naming rights to anything.

It’s a shitty turn of events that dwindling public funding support is forcing schools down this path, but when you’re forced to hook to keep up appearances, it makes it harder to shake a righteous finger at student-athletes for not wanting to stay financially virtuous themselves.


Filed under Academics? Academics., It's Just Bidness

Friday morning buffet

A little of this, a little of that…

  • Tennessee goes from firing a basketball coach after just one season amid an NCAA investigation into his former program… to hiring a basketball coach linked to questions about of academic misconduct alleged to have occurred during his tenure with his former program.  The spirit of Mike Hamilton lives on.
  • Dial into the audio clip here at about the eleven minute mark and you can listen to CBSSports’ Jerry Hinnen talk some Georgia football.
  • Brian Kelly is brutally honest about player academics at Notre Dame.  And I mean brutally.
  • The board of Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges slaps North Carolina with a 1-year probation penalty.
  • Dig into Florida’s budget numbers, and you’ll find that the Gators lost money on football last year.  Can you say Boom’s buyout?  I thought you could.
  • The early signing period for football comes up for a vote next week.  The SEC is the only major conference on record opposing it.
  • You want to see a list of Georgia’s freshmen jersey numbers?  Here you go.


Filed under Academics? Academics., Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, Gators Gators, Georgia Football, Recruiting, SEC Football

Tuesday morning buffet

Buffet away, dudes and dudines.


Filed under Academics? Academics., College Football, Gators Gators, Georgia Football, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, It's Just Bidness, SEC Football, What's Bet In Vegas Stays In Vegas

Monday morning buffet

Man, it’s already the first of June.


Filed under Academics? Academics., Arkansas Is Kind Of A Big Deal, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, Look For The Union Label, Science Marches Onward, See You In Court, The Blogosphere, Whoa, oh, Alabama

“All those things are for the welfare of the student-athletes.”

I’m sensitive to many of the criticisms minority coaches have raised over the years and am the first to concede that some have had validity.  But this?

A new organization of minority coaches on Friday sharply criticized NCAA eligibility standards set to take effect next year for incoming freshmen, saying they will deny too many athletes the opportunity to go to college.

The National Association for Coaching Equity and Development, a group led by Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith, Georgetown coach John Thompson III and former Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt, issued a statement to The Associated Press said the standards disproportionately target minority and less affluent students in “an unintended consequence beyond acceptability.”

The new rules require high school athletes to have a grade-point average of at least 2.3 in 16 core courses (up from 2.0 in 13 courses). And 10 of those courses must be completed in the first three years of school in order to be eligible to compete as a freshman. Once a student completes a core course in his or her first three years, it cannot be retaken for a better grade.

The NAFCED group said they fear the bar has been raised too high for some athletes hoping to play college sports.

C’mon, man.  You’ve had four years to prepare for this rule change and only now are you raising the alarm?

Even under the new NCAA guidelines, student-athletes get preferential admission standards.  Is it too much to ask that they at least be prepared enough coming out of high school that college isn’t a glorified re-run of eighth grade studies?

Instead of venting your anger at the NCAA (can’t believe I’m typing that), why not try pointing the finger at state governments that tolerate shitty public secondary education systems?  A little accountability on that level might go a longer way, and for more than just student-athletes.


Filed under Academics? Academics.

Not as smart as they used to be

Seth Emerson gives a straightforward rendition of why Mark Richt has lost control of Georgia’s APR:

Georgia’s APR score this year is 960, which ranks ninth among the SEC’s 14 football programs. But the program is still well clear of any potential penalties, which begin only when a team’s score is 930 and below.

The APR formula measures a team’s ability to retain student-athletes and their progress towards graduation. A team’s score is hurt when a player leaves early, particularly during a semester, so last year’s departures (such as Josh Harvey-Clemons, Tray Matthews and Shaq Wiggins) did not help.

I blame Pruitt, of course.

By the way, nameless AJ-C editor, what’s with the header?  “Early departures hurt Georgia’s APR rate”?  What kind of click bait is that?


Filed under Academics? Academics., Georgia Football