It’s stunning to think that no one outside the Big Ten has joined Jim Delany’s Merrie Crusade to bring back freshman ineligibility. I mean, he wrote a 12-page paper on it! Here’s a guy whose entire career has been devoted to sweet reason and the world just gives him the back of its hand. If only it was Karl Benson alone he had to convince.
But, alas, such is not the case. Selling dumb ideas is hard work. So what do you do when it’s not working? That’s pretty obvious: you change the label.
Three months after the league created waves with its reintroduction of debate over a practice eliminated more than 40 years ago, commissioner Jim Delany is backing away from serious talk about his “A Year of Readiness” document.
“That is not a proposal,” Delany said Wednesday. “It may never be a proposal. But is a great pivot point to have this discussion.”
What discussion? Nobody’s talking to you about freshman ineligibility, Big Jim.
“The most important thing is there be a discussion about how prepared the student is,” Delany said, “how the school accommodates that preparedness and how it all works.
“There’s no simple answer. There’s no one answer. This is not an answer standing by itself. And it’s not ready. It’s not mature enough to be a proposal. If it were, it would be a proposal. Instead, it’s an effort to encourage a discussion about the importance of education. And it’s happening, so for that, we’re happy.”
Well, I’m glad you’re happy, because it sounds like not even everyone in the Big Ten was on board with your
proposal pivot point.
“It’s really a discussion piece,” Indiana athletic director Fred Glass said. “I think it’s a good thing. I’m personally not sure I’m a fan of [freshmen ineligibility] ultimately, but I’m a fan of having the conversation. I’m a fan of talking about ways to make sure academics is front and center.
“I think it begs a broader conversation about other ways we could make a student who plays sports have a more college-like experience.”
Meaning the student-athlete isn’t exactly having one now, Fred? Sounds like another pivot point coming in 3… 2… 1…