"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Monday, May 07, 2007

Diploma Mills no more

In case you missed it, late last week the NCAA approved a new rule that prohibits prospective student-athletes from attending prep schools for a year to improve their academic standing following four years of traditional high school.

Per the Washington Post "the new rule states that upon entering ninth grade, athletes have four years to meet the eligibility standards in core academic courses to participate in college athletics; following those four years, they may take only one additional core course to achieve eligibility at any high school recognized by the NCAA."

The rule has far-reaching ramifications -- its also sure to largely elimiate 'reclassification' which is a high school euphamism for redshirting or repeating a grade.

Adam Zagoria has a couple of informative posts on his blog -- including this one which includes interviews with a couple of prep school coaches. The coaches are concerned about the status of players currently on their rosters - will these students be grandfathered-in?

Who knows, but the take-away here is simple: the pressure is on student-athletes to get their academic house in order much earlier in life. Gone are the days when marginal students can count on the extra year of prep school to overcome academic deficiencies.

Perhaps its merely a coincidence, but one of these 'diploma mills', Boys to Men in Chicago, will no longer have athletics in the 2007-2008 academic year. That's interesting since the school was founded by its now former basketball coach, Loren Jackson, and most of (all of??) the student body just so happened to play basketball.

How convenient.

Programs like Boys to Men are a far cry from established prep schools like South Kent (CT) or Notre Dame Prep (MA), which have deep academic roots dating back decades. While so-called diploma mills will be weeded out because of this new rule, traditional prep schools should be able to attract student-athletes earlier in their high school careers due to the emphasis the new rule places on academic progress over a four-year period.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't think your characterization of Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg is quite accurate. That entry might even fall under the "those in glass houses" category.