Some of you might have heard this brief on-air essay by John U. Bacon last Friday on one of the three stations of the Michigan Radio network.
I waited until Michigan Radio posted it online before starting this thread. You can read the post and listen to the Bacon podcast at this LINK.
Bacon's suggestion is a simple, elegant, traditional solution to much of what ails collegiate football and basketball right now; end the eligibility for freshmen in intercollegiate athletics.
John's suggestion is not in a vacuum. He is explicitly linking it to the establishment of minor leagues for basketball and football, and the implicit message is to push athletes who are less interested in four years of college and more interested in professional sports, to go directly to professional sports.
What John does in this essay is little more than to set out a premise for discussion. As a boradcast radio podcast, he is not given enough time or space to develop a full brief on the subject. Which makes it particularly sutiable for further discussion on the MGoBoard.
This is one of the more definitive and forceful policy positions to be taken by Bacon, who is customarily a reporter and storyteller. And I could not agree with him more. Freshman ineligibility would unquestionably be good, in just about every imaginable way, for student-athletes as athletic students.
Freshman ineligibility would only be bad for students who wish to use college exposure to get to professional leagues. Let those players go. Colleges should not be capitalizing on those players, and those players should not be using their college days in that fashion. Freshman ineligibility would actually help the development of developmental leagues. There would be, or should be, players who do not want to waste a year of their athletic development as a university student. Again, let them go. We'd be left with a population of student-athletes who are more dedicated to their collegiate careers.
Talk amongst yourselves.