SEC Commissioner wants tougher high school standards, changes for student athletes
SEC Commissioner Mike Slive on Wednesdsay proposed significant changes for high school athletes which would require prep athletes to make satisfactory progress in core courses annually to help stop student-athletes from being behind the closer they get to graduation.
The changes would include an increase of the requirements for initial eligibility into college from a 2.0 grade-point average to 2.5 in 16 core classes, and could lead to restoring partial qualifiers. Athletes who fall short of the new standards, but meet the old requirements would be able to enroll on scholarship and practice but not compete during their first year.
Slive also wants to extend the six-year window for athletes to finish their degree while still receiving a scholarship.
"One of the most important discussion areas in this agenda is to advance new ways of evaluating freshmen academic eligibility and to support proposed revisions to the two-year college transfer model,'' Slive said. "To help high school seniors meet established NCAA academic eligibility standards, we should consider alternative strategies for determining whether freshmen can play in their first year or not. The existing approach of conducting a review of their credentials only at the end of high school is not always effective. A suggested approach is to include a full analysis of a prospects' academic performance throughout his or her high school career to give us a better picture and more complete picture of the individual's preparation for college work. Three components of this proposed strategy are, first, consider increasing the minimum GPA required for first-year athletic competition from a 2.0 to a 2.5 in the 16 required core courses."
Slive said he recognizes the proposed changes won't fix all of the eligibility problems student athletes face, but could help in some areas.
"It will have some impact,'' he said. "But you know, in all the years we've been doing this and raising standards, kids are competitors and tough and tenacious and they appear to rise to the occasion. To me, the crux of the academic proposals is the high school satisfactory progress. We've just seen too many youngsters who don't wake up until they are juniors or seniors to realize they are talented. Now all of a sudden to be eligible they've got to pass all these core courses. That's where some of the problems came from. If you take the 16 core courses and you require a certain number to be passed every year then you force the young person to realize that if he wants to play in the first year he's got to start now."