BIG TEN considering Freshman Ineligibility
When I first read the headline on ESPN, my initial reaction was anger and outrage that they would even think about doing something like this. After I read the article though my anger and outrage turned to indifference.
The BIG TEN officials are considering this rule for academic reasons. They would like freshman student-athletes to get acclimated with the college life first before getting acclimated with college athletics. The proposal is only for the money making sport, Football, and Basketball. The proposal would be called "A Year of Readiness".
This is turning into a national discussion that the other power conferences are also considering. In the Diamondback, University of Maryland Student Newspaper, UMD president, Wallace Loh, had this to say,
Randy Edsall in the same article also said he would like to see all freshman red-shirted. School can be hard for an athlete, especially at D1 programs who have practice two or three times a day. Trying to balance time between class, practice, and study could be too much for some, which leads to one of the three not being completed.
Prior to 1972, Freshman were not allowed to play any college sports. The ban was lifted for money reasons, schools having athletes on full scholarships but they weren't playing ball. Some schools would have two football programs, like a JV, for those who freshman weren't allowed to play on Saturdays. After '72, freshmen like Joe Washington (Oklahoma), Archie Griffin (Ohio State), and Tony Dorsett (PITT) all started their their first year in college.
In 2015, seeing a freshman start is not something uncommon, in fact, it's normal. Kentucky's Basketball coach, John Calipari for the past 5 seasons has started multiple freshman. Ohio State rode True Freshman QB, J.T. Barrett all the way to an 11-1 record until he broke his ankle in the final game against Michigan.
If this proposals does in fact go in effect, that mean we wouldn't see players like Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones, Karl Anthony Townes, Deangelo Russell, Melo Trimble, and Stanley Johnson, all of which are main reason for their teams current success. For that reason, I don't want this too happen, but I look at it from an academic standpoint, and it makes me reconsider. If this does go into effect, this will definitely change the dynamics of college sports especially basketball. The One-n-done rule will be no more, which would make me a happy fan.
I don't have a quick solution for this, only because I still want to hear more information on the matter. The only thing I would propose is that they take better care of the athlete, which to me, should be the main topic. If freshmen can't play ball, allow them to get jobs and make money. If this proposal is to make sure the athlete graduates, then also make sure that their Full scholarship is valid for all 4 years, even if they can't play ball anymore. The NCAA still have to fix those problems within their league before stopping freshmen from playing ball.