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May 03, 2007


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Connie Mack Jr

"The NCAA men's basketball rules committee announced Thursday it has voted to recommend extending the three-point line in men's competition by one foot to 20 feet, 9 inches beginning in the 2008-09 season."*Ed

Well there goes the corner shot! It appears that the team bench is the outerbounds line now. However a trade off has been discover in this rule change. The head coach can now go on the court behind the offensive motion of the team like Arena football. Sports experts predict that many old head coaches will suffer heart attacks and give a whole new meaning to the term " The sixth man is on floor"

Meanwhile in another dress code change by the rules committee. The hip hop rap bag shorts is gone and replace with jockey shorts in a move to smooth the Gay community relationships with Sports.

Danny Wright

You missed the big change, Ed . . .

(And I only post the entire article because it comes from a pay-only site that I subscribe to. . . )

NCAA Attacks Academic Abuse
New Rule Targets 'Diploma Mills'

By Eric Prisbell and Josh Barr
Washington Post Staff Writers

In its latest and most significant step toward addressing academic abuses in prep basketball, the NCAA has approved a rule that prohibits the practice of players attending prep schools for a year to correct deficiencies in their academic transcripts following four years of high school.

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 addresses the recent proliferation of "diploma mills," fraudulent schools that players use to correct deficiencies in their academic transcripts compiled at traditional high schools. In the past, players who did not meet eligibility standards after their high school careers could enroll in these prep schools, which had little if any oversight, and receive the grades necessary to compete as college freshmen.

The rule also takes aim at the emerging trend of "reclassifying," in which players repeat a high school grade in order to enhance their attractiveness to colleges, by either retaking classes to improve their academic standing or by competing largely against players one year younger than they are. As of Aug. 1, all student-athletes who need more than four years to fulfill their core-course requirements -- except for those currently attending prep schools -- must apply to the NCAA for a waiver to be eligible to play college athletics.

"If you've been a good student and taken academic courses, you shouldn't be worried at all," said Kevin Lennon, NCAA vice president for membership services, adding that the association likely would be lenient as it phases in the new policy. "I'd be worried if I hadn't done very well in high school and I transferred to a new school and had a miraculous recovery in one year, then, yeah, the NCAA is going to look at my record and my SAT or ACT score.

"If you're a prep school that was in the business of educating students to go to college, you have nothing to be worried about. If you're a prep school that is more interested in eligibility and having these students gain eligibility, then that might be a problem."

The Washington Post reported in February 2006 that Lutheran Christian Academy in Philadelphia, which sent players to Georgetown and George Washington among other programs, was operated out of a community center, had no textbooks and had only one full-time employee, a former sanitation worker with no college degree. The New York Times reported in November 2005 that University High, a correspondence school in Miami, offered diplomas to students despite having no classes or instructors.

By limiting the number of core courses allowed to be taken after four years of high school to one, the new rule prevents significant overhauls of academic transcripts. The NCAA's goal is to revamp legislation that, in some cases, encouraged recruits to "purposefully delay high school graduation to meet NCAA initial eligibility requirements. This is not a sound academic practice."

"The primary target were the kids who were deliberately not graduating," said Gary Roberts, the faculty athletic representative at Tulane and a member of the NCAA's initial eligibility subcommittee. Roberts, speaking of his personal opinions, added that the practice of deliberately not graduating for athletic purposes "was the most outrageous and abusive tactic. There are an awful lot of kids who are doing it to redshirt for athletic reasons and that is one of the things the rule is designed to stop."

Chris Chaney, the boys' basketball coach at the Patterson School in Lenoir, N.C., said more than half the players on his team have been reclassified. Chaney said the practice of reclassifying players is "going to go out the window. It's not going to happen. It's going to take away a lot of prep school kids obviously and it's going to help junior colleges.

"It's going to affect a lot of situations. Obviously, it's going to affect us. It's going to change things.

Washington Post

Danny Wright

The NY Times version:

N.C.A.A. Cracks Down on Prep Schools and Angers Some

The N.C.A.A. quietly passed legislation last week to continue its fight against prep schools that require minimal academic study. In perhaps its most significant move to deter diploma mills, the N.C.A.A. will limit high school students to one core course that would count toward college eligibility after a student’s four-year high school graduation date.

“The decision will shut down a glaring N.C.A.A. loophole, one exploited by diploma mills: students avoided graduating high school to pad their grade point average in a fifth year. The N.C.A.A. also hopes the new policy will help eliminate schools that exist solely to qualify players for college scholarships.

“If you’ve been a prep school focused on simply getting kids eligible that are not high school graduates, this is going to be problematic for you,” the N.C.A.A. vice president Kevin Lennon said.

College and prep school coaches, however, say the N.C.A.A.’s decision is an overreaction, especially because the number of core courses required by the N.C.A.A. will increase to 16 from 14 in 2008. They say the legislation is detrimental to legitimate prep schools and will limit opportunities to those from poor backgrounds.

“It’s a shame to see what we’re doing to young people, and a lot of the young people don’t have the resources,” the Georgia Tech basketball coach Paul Hewitt said. “We’re slowly but surely taking away the opportunity to overcome a bad start.”

Memphis Coach John Calipari, whose team may be ranked No. 1 in the preseason next season, has a significant number of players on his roster who went to prep schools. He said that the N.C.A.A. should focus on shutting down illegitimate prep schools and not hurt those attending others. “If you have a problem with some of the prep schools, shut them down, do what you’ve got to do,” Calipari said. “Why blow the whole thing up with a bazooka? I understand what their concern is, but I know that they’ve never discussed it with any of us.”

Lennon said that coaches were informed of the potential of the new policy at a national coaches meeting and that the issue had been on the N.C.A.A.’s agenda for the past six months. The policy follows new rules that will allow the N.C.A.A. to review individual transcripts with academic anomalies and visit questionable schools to determine their legitimacy.

But coaches at accredited prep schools who have strong academic traditions expressed concern.

Raphael Chillious, the basketball coach at the South Kent School in Connecticut, predicted that there would be a flood of lawsuits on behalf of students who he said would be “caught in the blender.” Chillious said that it was common for traditional New England prep schools to “reclassify” students, meaning that they would repeat a year of high school to better prepare themselves for college.

By doing so, those students do not graduate until a fifth year. Lennon said there was a waiver process to handle situations in which students were trying to improve themselves at legitimate schools; the rule was designed to limit schools and athletes from abusing the system. (Learning disabled students are not affected by the new legislation.)

“We’re not shutting out opportunity, we’re encouraging better behavior,” Lennon said. He added that “legitimate prep schools in the business of preparing students for college and wanting to improve their academic portfolio” would continue to be able to do so.

Mike Byrnes, the basketball coach at the Winchendon School, a prep school in Massachusetts, said he understood the intent, but was worried about youngsters caught in the middle.

“With this and the 16 core courses, you have kids shooting with their left hand instead of right hand, and now they’re supposed to make the basket,” Byrnes said. “There’s no time for adjustment.”

Byrnes also said those benefiting the most from this rule were junior colleges.

“They went from eating Caesar salad to prime rib,” Byrnes said.

Junior college basketball programs were virtually gutted in the past decade as students took fifth, sixth and sometimes even seventh years of prep school as alternatives to using two years of eligibility at a junior college. The last star players to go through junior college and play at four-year colleges were Steve Francis and Shawn Marion.

“This puts the focus back on junior college again, where our people are prepared to help these kids,” said Steve Green, the head coach at South Plains College, a junior college in Texas.

As both college and prep school coaches become aware of the legislation, the N.C.A.A. could be faced with a backlash.

“In theory, this thing is probably the right idea,” said Bill Barton, the coach at Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass. “But the reality is that you’re hurting a wide spectrum of kids that come from different backgrounds, but most are minority kids from the inner city. There has to be a lawsuit in here somewhere.”

NY Times

Danny Wright

And the following thoughts from those in NC private school sports on a message board that I subscribe to (identities withheld):

Just found this on the Rules and Regulations/Eligibility page of the NCISAA site.

F. SIX SEMESTER RULE. Students may participate in athletics in no more than six consecutive semesters or nine trimesters after enrolling in the 10th grade of any NCISAA member school, no more than four consecutive semesters after enrolling in the 11th grade of any NCISAA member school, and no more than two consecutive semesters after enrolling in the 12th grade at any NCISAA member school, regardless of whether he/she remains continuously enrolled. A student transferring from one NCISAA school to another at mid-year would be considered to have used up one semester of athletic eligibility for that school year.


Holy cow! How did they keep that under the radar? That is a huge decision, and I assume that the NCISAA now must adopt a 8-semester rule. Am I correct in that interpretation?


We have been in contact with the NCAA reps all week and they are getting flooded with calls. There will be lawsuits over this. It will be interesting- I was told the NAACP was looking to get involved!.


This is going to be a stunner for some people. Any idea when this goes into effect, and what happens to students that have already been reclassed and haven't graduated yet?


Like ****, I've been on the phone a good deal today talking to everybody from the NCAA to numerous head college coaches hoping to gain some insight into what in the world is going on with this. The intent of the rule is fairly clear.

Here's the jist. If a student has graduated from HS and proceeds to a PG year, then he/she can only take ONE core class for "record sake". If a student reclassifies, then only one core class can be taken for "record sake" in that fifth year. The logic behind this is conterintuitive at best. The NCAA is raising its core requirements from 14 classes to 16 classes beginning in '08, but it is going to reduce the amount of time an individual has to accomplish this.

As **** put it, this is blanket public policy run roughshod. As to ****'s point...yes, membership into the NCAA is voluntary, but the legal stances you are going to see taken here is that the NCAA cannot regulate how independent schools operate. My knee-jerk response to this is that the NCAA tried last year to eradicate the "diploma mills" that are proliferating around the country. Like a superpower country invading some far off land in what would appear to be an open-and-shut war, they (the NCAA) found this task may be bigger (or harder) than orginially suspected. Hence, broad, sweeping regulation.

Ironically, I spoke with three Division I Basketball Head Coaches today and not one of them knew anything about this! What the NCAA may have underestimated here is that prestigious and powerful "prep" schools with $500-$700 million endowments may not just "go gently into the good night" on this one.

I know from my school's perspective, many students choose to repeat a year and very few of them have anything to do with athletics, though some do. When those same kids then go on to gain admission to the likes of UVA, the University of Richmond, the College of William and Mary, Georgia Tech, Washington&Lee, among others.....it's hard to see the point of such drastic measures.

Again, like one of the posters mentioned, I think it's more of a reflection of the NCAA's unwillingness to get in the trenches and battle this out case by case. Unfortunately for them, this plan is so short-sighted that one of the most beauracratic institutions in our society may have just created an unmanagable work load for themselves. In the instances of "reclassified" students; every student who takes more than one core subject in that fifth year must petition the NCAA for a waiver to gain eligibility. I guess the vaunted NCAA Clearinghouse just went out the window too.....boarding school admissions business may have just gotten infinitely more difficult as well.


As I understand it, kids who are already enrolled in schools and have reclassified are going to be okay with the NCAA. They cannot change the rules in mid stream for those kids, no court in the land would allow that. It will cause those of us who have allowed reclassified athletes admission in the past to take notice. I cannot understand why you would not allow a foreign kid to have an extra year to learn the language and prepare themselves academically be they an athlete or not. I cannot understand why you would not allow a young senior (Someone who is 16 years old) not to take the extra year to mature before being thrown in a college setting. I applaud what the NCAA is doing in trying to shut down diploma mills but feel what they are doing to the legitimate prep and high schools is very wrong. It will be interesting to watch this drama unfold. I guess if you have any kids who have failed 9th grade you should just go ahead and start getting their stuff out to the JUCO's because that is the best they can hope for under this legislation.


yes, ****, all current kids are "grandfathered" under the rules. Here's a concept for the NCAA to help rectify the problem.

Every school who reclassifies a student must be accredited by a nationally recognized accredidation association. Wouldn't this kill multiple birds with a single stone? Obviously, the NCAA would know the the school's curriculum would be sound if they are accredited and secondly, if the "diploma mills" aren't accredited and kids who play ball there will not have the opportunity to be eligible at the next level.....then.....will the kids not just simply stop going to these flight-by-night "schools". Lastly, if kids stop going to these places, many of them will have to shut their doors for good which, in turn, solves the problem.

Yes, I know, this makes way too much common sense for the NCAA to figure it out on their own.


I did just speak to a representative in the NCAA membership services division. First of all he said that this new rule which goes into effect August 1st will not have an impact on currently enrolled students who are at least in their 11th grade year now. He also said that schools who do have kids that reclassify will be able to apply for a waiver and if they can show reasonable academic reason for the reclassification then it should be approved. He felt the foreign student waiver was going to be a definite because it obviously does make academic sense to have someone who does not speak the language take an extra year so that they can be better prepared. He also felt and brought up the fact that public school kids coming to private schools with tougher academic work loads would also be eligible for the waivers. My guess is that if you can show adequate academic reason and especially if the age matches up within the deadline of a state association cutoff approval will be fairly automatic on these waivers. In other words the NCAA will approve reclassification for many of the same reasons that many of our schools currently do it for. For legit schools it should not be a problem. For those schools who let in kids with all F's on their previous transcript, they will be the ones who are in trouble.


John Newsom

Just a thought: Maybe a kid who needs five or six years to finish high school should consider doing something else besides, you know, going to college.


"Just a thought: Maybe a kid who needs five or six years to finish high school should consider doing something else besides, you know, going to college."

Yeah....like go straight to the NBA.

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