The summer recruiting seasons for both football and basketball are in full swing. While I donâ€™t follow the latest mutterings of 16/17 year old kids, there is one thing that I havenâ€™t seen any mention ofâ€¦how any of the kids are doing with respect to the â€œnew” admission requirements of the UNC system. I found that omission rather surprising because much was made over the last several years about how the new standards were going to have huge effects on Stateâ€™s and UNCâ€™s football teams.
Now I am not surprised that we havenâ€™t seen anything about either school missing out on some hot prospect. Long before offers or commitments would have been made, the coaches from both schools would have scoped out where a kid stood with respect to the core classes required by the UNC system. So only the coaching staffs know who they would like to have offered, but couldnâ€™t. And of course, even the coaches couldnâ€™t know in most cases whether they could have gotten any particular kid.
So a few seconds with Google gave the following two links that summarize the UNC System admission requirements for all students and the NCAA core classes required for athletic eligibility:
2004 and 2005
Letâ€™s look at the difference between the NCAA minimum eligibility requirements for athletes and the UNC System minimum admission standards for all students at the 16 schools in the UNC system.
For freshmen entering school in 2004 and 2005, the differences between the two requirements are not substantial. The main difference is that the UNC system requirements essentially define what the â€œfree electivesâ€¿ in the NCAA list an athlete has to take.
If I understand the NCAA eligibility standards correctly, an athleteâ€™s GPA in these core courses is used to determine what SAT/ACT score is required to be eligible to play during their freshmen year. If I understand correctly, the label of â€œpartial-qualifierâ€¿ was done away with starting in 2005. At least the NCAA Guide for College-Bound Student Athletes no longer lists partial qualifiers as a category.
2006 and 2007
The changes become more noticeable starting with the freshmen class entering school in 2006. The change in the admission standards for the UNC system is high-lighted in red.
I do not know how many potential athletic offers were never made because of the gap between the NCAAâ€™s minimum of two math classes and the UNCâ€™s system requirement of 4 years. However, you would have to be pretty foolish to think that this difference had no effect on football and basketball recruiting at State and UNC.
2008 and Beyond
Starting in 2008, the NCAA will raise the requirements for athletic eligibility with the changes noted in red:
This change closes the gap between the requirements for athletes entering the UNC system and those at any other school in the country. The key differences are an extra year of math and science above the minimum athletic eligibility requirements.
I found the justification for raising admission requirements on the UNC systemâ€™s website quite amusing:
The Board took this action to ensure that freshmen have a strong chance of completing a baccalaureate degree. A study of 1997-98 North Carolina public high school seniors who enrolled at a UNC institution in the fall of 1998 found significant differences in performance among those students who met only the current minimum course requirements, those who met only the additional second language requirement, and those who met both the additional second language requirement and the additional fourth unit of mathematics requirement. Here is a summary of the study’s findings:
It must be horrible to be so highly educated and yet so stupid at the same time. Can I have a show of hands of everyone that believes taking two years of high school Spanish actually increases your chances of earning a college degree?
I would suggest that everyone who voted for the increased requirements based on the faulty reasoning quoted above be required to take an undergraduate course in History of Science. The class should be taught with a special emphasis on the faulty correlations made between cause and effect over the last three thousand years, starting with Aristotle and the Greek philosophers.
Of those kids that you personally know that didnâ€™t finish college, how many left because they were unprepared for college academically and how many left because of a general lack of effort? If you are more socially aware than your average hermit, then you have known people in every area of life that strive to do their best and others that never do anything more than the minimum to get by.
When looking at the stats summarized in the UNC study, I was instantly reminded of the various factions in my high school. The best students took college prep classes in place of auto mechanics, brick laying, or drafting (with pencil and paper). While I wouldnâ€™t want anyone to take Chemistry 101 at State without a year of high school chemistry, I was not more likely to graduate from college just because of a given high school class. I graduated from State in four years because of the work that I did while I was in Raleigh, not because of any specific class that I took at Hickory High School.
There are only two ways that the increased admission requirements will actually work to provide their intended effect:
- Bright kids that donâ€™t actually work during high school will be shocked into doing homework for their college prep classesâ€¦and this somehow carries over to their college class work.
- Kids taking the college prep classes and don’t work in those classes will lower their GPA to point that they canâ€™t get admitted in the first placeâ€¦which will keep them from flunking out in the future.
You can decide which category has more kids.
It appears to me that the â€œgapâ€¿ between UNC System requirements and NCAA athletic eligibility requirements are the most severe for the 2006 and 2007 freshmen classes. Starting in 2008, the differences are smaller and hopefully wonâ€™t seriously impact recruiting from that point onâ€¦.at least until the pointy-headed fools on the UNC Board of Governors attempt more data analysis.
MY STOLEN QUOTE OF THE WEEK
If credibility was measured in pennies, The News & Observer could not buy a gumball.