Well, here we are. For kids across America, school is in session. But, it’s actually the counselors, athletic directors and coaches who need to take a course this semester. And, that course would be NCAA Initial-Eligibility 101.
You see, the NCAA has levied massive changes in initial-eligibility standards, which are sure to have a profound impact on the class of 2016 (current high school freshman) and beyond.
How profound? How about NCAA research showing that 43% of basketball recruits could be ineligible for D1? Or, 35% of football recruits could also be ineligible? Across all sports, 15% of D1 recruits are staring at potential initial-eligibility issues in 2016.
So, instead of constantly reminding us that “there are almost 400,000 NCAA student-athletes and almost all of us are going pro in something other than sports,” maybe a better message from the NCAA would be, “Hey, class of 2016! Want to go D1? Then get your act together academically….NOW!”
Of course, the underlying challenge is, how can kids be held accountable for academic standards that their athletic directors, coaches and counselors are not even aware of?
In just the past two weeks, I have presented seminars to the Chicago Public Schools AD’s, Philadelphia Public Schools AD’s and counselors, and to Arizona AD’s at their state conference.
I asked the attendees at each presentation to tell me, by a show of hands, how many of them feel like they have a good working knowledge of the new 2016 NCAA academic standards. An estimate of 3% of the hands raised would be generous.
The fact of the matter is, neither the NCAA, nor our little 501(c)3 nonprofit, can get to all of the nation’s 39,000 high schools in person. But, everyone can find 60 minutes to view one of our free webinars and become better educated on the new NCAA academic standards, plus NAIA academic eligibility and other important recruiting topics.
So, I ask you to be proactive, and not reactive. Let’s not wait until the problem becomes front page news in the year 2016. Let’s get ahead of this “Academic Armageddon” and not chase it.
You can do your part by forwarding this blog to the high school student-athletes, teammates, parents, coaches and counselors in your life. Encourage them to view a webinar today and get educated on this impending academic problem. School is in session, and the clock is already ticking.