Saw this behind Rivals paywall and requested it be made free. They obliged! Very interesting discussion on freshmen eligibilty and the impact the 1972 rule change has had on education. Changed my mind immediately.
Rivals: Should true freshmen be eligible?
Good article...I am glad Coach Hoke really pushes these kids in the classroom. That is a lot to ask of these Freshman coming in to put school and Football above everything. It takes its toll.
Coach Moeller and the others supporting a repeal of freshman eligibility, their reasons seem misguided. The emphasis on education will not change by taking freshman out of the playing time equation (unless somehow anyone can prove that freshman in 1971 went to hard classes and got good grades and don't now), and you simply add another year for all of the non-superstars. Most guys, even at Michigan, will "go pro in something other than sports". Why not let them play as much as possible during the time normally taken for a degree?
CFB players who go to the NFL, usually do so after their 3rd year in college. There are a few exception true sophomores, but I believe that's rare.
In this case, the true juniors that are going out now, would have 4 years in college, thus they would need to be eligible for 3.5 years out of the 4 to practice/ play with their college team. This means they are more likely to graduate (if not immediately, then with some extra credits after the NFL).
I'm not sure what you're saying here. If everyone redshirted, you would have the best players leave after two years playing in college (and as you mention, someone with a prep year could leave after one year playing), and someone not going to the NFL would have to stay a year longer than a "normal" graduation plan in order to play their eligibility out.
The NFL has a rule that states, essentially, three years after high school graduation a player is eligible, that's the source of good players leaving, not freshman eligibility.
We would have been totally boned in 2008 and 2009, even more than we were.
I attended the U during the period the law changed. The point is that asking an incoming freshman to deal with being away at school, dealing with starting their academics at a collegiate level, and deal with the pressures of a top college football trainng schedule, may be not just unfair but also damaging to their educational prospects.
I get that if we snag a top prospect out of high school, and we are weak at his position we want to be able to play him. Also it's a safe bet he wants us to play him. Is that the right thing for us to do?
I'm torn. Fifty, sixty years ago people got married at 17 or 16 and set off on their lives. An eighteen year old can vote. They can sign up and serve our military in combat. While, for the most part, they are naive about life, but can we fairly say that an incoming freshman should be barred from play for a year?
The best thing would be an adjustment to title nine so that colleges could go back to 105 scholarships and add the caveat that freshman can't play. But, given the level of effort required to get the feds out of the scholarship process, that is probably impossible.
I gues that on balance we need to recognize that while young they are adults. Let them play, Perhaps any incoming freshman should be able to request a red shirt, so that they can focus on academics their freshman year. Upon reflection I like that idea. The coaches recruit them, but on their arrival the student - athlete is free to say "Coach., I need this year to make sure I'm up to speed academically. I request a red shirt."
Yeah that works for me.
I agree the NCAA should revert back to 105 scholarships, and combine that with an outright ban on oversigning.
If the rules were different, we wouldnt have had to use as many frosh to compete. The most shallow response on this board belongs to you ritzy.
only if kids had to complete 4 years of college before the went to the NFL
I agree with this, with the caveat of hardship waivers. You know for the kid who ends up the breadwinner of the family, he should be able to player earlier and thus have a shot at leaving the school earlier. As an example of this one player at a southern school was taking care of his brother, after his parents were killed. Guys like that should be able to take a shot at the NFL paycheck as soon as they feel ready.
If the NFL is only going to require you wait three years, the NCAA should require at least one of those years have somewhat of a classroom focus. Plus I'd imagine it would help all those kids who exit high school with bad weight. They could focus on the weight room and classes without having to worry so much about cracking the depth chart since they're regulated to practice squad.
Hail yes they should be eligible! You should be able to play your best players no matter what class they are in.
If, as he says, the primary fucntion of the football program was to develop student-athletes toward successful completion of a degree, everything else would serve that one goal. And no freshman eiligibility would be part of that. Reduced practice time, too.
But under the present circumstnces, Michigan football's primary goal is to compete, successfully, under current NCAA rules-schemes.
Mike Spath makes some intelligent, but fundamentally mistaken, arguments. He looks at current NCAA D-1 scholarship rules and Title IX as all part of a seamless web that has been crafted to encourage parity, create opportunities for women's and other non-revenue sports, and generally make things work well for college football to be a continuing farm system for the NFL.
He's probably right, if you are one of those people who are concerned about college football parity,about the funding levels for women's sports or about the NFL. I'm not one of those people.
I think it's a good idea. They could just not count freshmen in the 85 schollie limit to get around the numbers crunch. On the other hand, they get on campus in the summer usually and have a couple months to adjust. With the proper support, I don't think the current method is the end of the world either.
Thing is you can't just not count them. They would still be on scholarship and male.Then if they weren't counted, any female athlete at a school that would be in violation of Title IX, if those extra scholarships in football were accounted for, would have a salm dunk lawsuit.
Yeah, you're right, wasn't thinking about the title IX limitation.
We should repeal Title IX?
We need a policy that protects the viability of women's collegiate athletics without pretending that we are the same from a biological perspective.
How does Title IX pretend that men and women are the same biologically?
of mens and womens sports ignores that fact that men's sports are more competitive, draw larger crowds and rake in greater profits. This is due to biology is it not?
1. More competitive? No. More popular, sure, but everytime I've watched women's sports, they seem to be competing hard and most of the competition is closely matched. The Michigan-Alabama softball games were very competitive and at a very high level of their competition.
2. Larger crowds and greater profits? Sure. But I don't see how that's due to biology. It's due to cultural factors that lead ours (and most) societies to value men's sporting competition over women's. But that's a cultural and historical development, not something rooted in biological difference.
Title IX doesn't pretend men and women are biologically identical. It does mandate that scholarship funding (though not other funding) be equalized. That's a political decision about equality of funding, not a biological one about equality of bodies.
From a competitive angle I see 2 things he could have meant. 1 would be from a pure-skills POV there absolutely is a difference between the men and women's games; 2 he was referring to the parity in mens sports. With a few exceptions it seems every womens sport has a few teams at the top, and every other one is stuck below them
It's due to cultural factors that lead ours (and most) societies to value men's sporting competition over women's. But that's a cultural and historical development, not something rooted in biological difference.
Why do you assume this? Why is it unthinkable that there might be biological factors that make male human beings more interested in athletic competition, on the average, than their female counterparts? Cognitive research suggests that men's and women's brains function quite differently in many respects. Here's one article on the topic:
Do you really think that men are born with a genetic trait to like sports that somehow doesn't belong to women?
Men are generally socialized from birth to be involved with athletics. Women generally aren't. That's the cultural difference. When women have been given opportunities to participate in athletics (Title IX) they have taken them.
To be hunter/gathers, and compete with other men for mates. Where women had genetic value in one mate taking care of them and their kids, rather than as many men as possible, and weren't built for 365 day a year hunting, because unlike say, a lioness, they're not genetically built to be effective hunters for the 9 months they're pregnant. It's not like men were socialized to hunt, thus they became physically more dominant. They were more dominant, so they did the hunting and such. Now a pregnant woman can work for almost the full term, because we work with our minds now more than our bodies. But sports is basically our surrogate for the hunting/competitive activities that we don't partake in anymore because we've become a civilized society.
It's certainly a big combo, and at this point may even have more to do with nurture than nature, but to not think there's a genetic quality is to ignore genetic differences and the traditional evolutionary needs of each sex in a primative state, and how they differ.
Men are generally socialized from birth to be involved with athletics. Women generally aren't. That's the cultural difference.
Think about what you are suggesting. If it's purely cultural, wouldn't it stand to reason that there would be some cultures out there for which it isn't the case? Surely, there'd have to be some cultures somewhere where women are more interested in sports than men. But there aren't any. In every country in the world, men participate in sports in greater numbers than women. That's a pretty remarkable "coincidence."
Men have more testosterone in their bodies than women. This is associated with a drive toward competitive, dominant behavior. It is perfectly logical that men would be more attracted to competitive endeavors, such as sports. Of course, some women are as well. But on the average, men are more into it - in every culture in the world, not just ours. (Actually, Western cultures are pretty much the only ones in the world in which there is any kind of participation in women's sports, and even then it lags far beyond men's participation.)
Remember, no less a Michigan Man than Gerald R. Ford signed Title IX in into law.
Don Canham personally traveled to Washington to lobby Ford not to sign it. Canham wanted college sports exempted. Canham told the President that it would kill collegiate sports as we knew them. It's too bad that Canham went too far with those statements. Because he could have said; "This is a bad law with a lot of problems and too many rotten unintended consequences to count." Canham would have been right if that is what he had said. Maybe he did say that to Ford.
Alan Paul, interviewing Bo Schembechler:
AP: So you think the concept of the student-athlete is alive and well?
BO: Of course it is, for a vast majority of college athletes. But as we have put more pressure on the football and basketball teams to win and added more showbiz to the mix so we can make more money, we have in a way made a farce of the student-athlete concept. We’re coming close to making the phrase a joke.
You hear the college presidents and administrators complaining about athletes not getting degrees and they’re resonsible for it. They made freshman eligible and they cut the grants-in-aid [scholarships], so you had to play them. And then they milk every dollar they can get from football and basketball. And they make every single decision based on money–not on what’s right for those kids. You want to see football done the way it should be done, it’s simple: increase the grants-in-aid, which have been cut from 135 to 95, and make freshman ineligible. Basketball is almost absurd by now–they only have 13 grants-in-aid.
AP: Why does that make such a difference?
BO: It ratchets up the pressure on every kid and on every coach. It makes recruiting, which is a horrible process, even worse, because there is less margin for error. It puts pressure on coaches to take away the scholarships from kids who don’t pan out, which is totally wrong. And by having freshman play, kids don’t have any time to adjust to being students before they become athletes–which is essential if you’re serious about this issue. I went over to summer practice the other day and I saw two freshman–who had not yet suited up in a game here, had not taken a class, were not really students yet–being interviewed by 12 media people. It’s absurd.
Eliminating freshman eligibility will not solve all of our problems, but it is the fairest thing for the student-athlete, because right now they are thrown out there and told to be students without being shown how to do it. We need to give them a year to just be students. In order to do that, we are going to have to get rid of that ridiculous gender-equity rule. It just can’t work.
BLITZ: How does that law, which states that a university has to have an equal number of male and female athletes, affect this issue?
BO: It’s forced us to cut back the grants-in aid, which makes all of the other reforms impossible. Right now, men’s basketball has 13 and women’s has 15. Of course, none of these things that they we are talking about will ever happen because the NCAA won’t let them happen.
Assuming that we are just looking for an equitable and socially beneficial way to distribute the piles of money generated by college football and basketball, I think you can make a strong argument that Title IX does a lousy job of producing really positive results.
The money set aside to pay the coaches and administrators for women's sports (who often aren't women) could be used to hire female professors, which would not only produce a degree of gender equity in the University, but probably does more to increase the quality of the educational experience for all students across the board (more professors, more course offerings, more ongoing scholarship and research opportunities, etc.). Instead of offering scholarships to talented female athletes so they can compete against other talented female athletes, you could offer scholarships to women majoring in business, math, or science (where a substantive educational gap still exists), who will go on to compete against people of all genders in the classroom and in the workforce when they graduate. You have to really value the sporting experience at the collegiate level to view Title IX as the best use of these funds, even from a gender equity standpoint.
You can make a case for the strong value of having high school sports available to young women in equal number to their male classmates, but when the vast majority of students (male or female) aren't competing in intercollegiate athletics, I'm not sure any vast social good is achieved by directing resources to a small group of young women who are the best in the country at some sport rather than the best students or the most likely to succeed in the classroom and after college in the workforce.
Bo would probably agree with you.
But his complaint was more basic. He suggested that when you set up this huge financial enterprise that is a big time athletic department, funded out of football/basketball revenues, you put inordinate pressure on the athletes in those sports to produce. Not out of competitive spirit, but rather out of grave financial need.
People complain about what a gigantic mercenary enterprise major college football has become. Title IX helped make it so. Just as Canham predicted, and as Bo warned.
True Freshman SHOULD be eligable. They must maintain their grades to play anyway. On top of that, they have to play 2 years of college football before going pro.
Everybody knows that true freshmen shouldn't be allowed to compete in college sports. The changing of that rule has really been the begining of the end of the student athlete.
With title IX for atheletics (if you have the money that michigan has) is the lack of a women's football team (or equivalently large women's team). Pretty much every other sport has a men's team and a women's team, or only a women's team to make up for football. The issue is that football requires such huge rosters, much larger than any women's sport save maybe track, and we also have men's track.
As for the arguments about small schools not being able to finance a lot of scholarships, I believe the well fare of the student athelete comes before parity in the sport.
What would happen to college basketball if freshmen lost their eligiibility? Would the one-and-dones go overseas or just take the year off? It might help the game.
I'm really not sure where I stand on the situation, as both sides have their fair share of pros and cons. I don't mind if true freshman play as long as they are the best option available to the coaches. But in the ideal world, I want their asses planted on the bench taking a redshirt year so they can get in the weight room, learn the schemes, and get adjusted to college life w/o having to worry about performing in a game.
Playing a true freshman right out of the game can potentially destroy their confidence if they have a really bad first game. That's why I'm worried about Kalis or Magnuson seeing the field in the Alabama game. They might be "college-ready" or whatever the hell that means, but they are not ready for the Alabama defense.
I have to wonder how Forcier would have turned out if he had spent his freshman year as a redshirt. While there are no guarantees (especially when competing with Denard for playing time), my gut tells me things would have been more favorable had he had more time to mature without as much pressure (at least academically).
In short, yes, I think so. In most cases it is no secret why kids are at schools they end up at (to play ball) and there are times in which they are physically capable of playing. If they value academics I think it is something they will take upon themselves to do well at, not being forced by the NCAA or any other measure into a classroom and into reading books.
Oh downvote stalker, you make me feel fuzzy inside.
This is not an easy issue. Some kids are ready for the pressures/challenges of being a freshman student-athlete, but most are not. Most people, myself included, mature more in their first semester at college than in almost any other period of their lives. It's a lot to suddenly be without parents, without structure, and to have to take responsibility for your life for the first time. Add that to the pressures of college athletics, and it's a potential disaster for many student-athletes, especially in CFB where the TV and national exposure is so significant.
Quite frankly, they should just make this a rule for all sports, and in that way they could bypass the whole Title IX issue. I played in Division III, and less than 40% of my class played for four years, almost 75% took more than four years to get a degree, and almost 50% transferred or dropped out.
College sports are tough, and they should be. And while I wouldn't have wanted to give-up my playing time when I was a freshman, by the time I was a senior I was saying that I should have redshirted. Some maturity helped me see how much it would have benefitted me.
But that's fantasy land. While it could and probably should be that way, I don't see how that happens. You'd have to add scholarships to all the sports--increasing the cost dramatically. We'd have a "transition year' where programs that needed true freshmen to play would be in a bind, especially in basketball.
Should it happen? I think so. I think it's best for the kids and the schools. Will it happen? No way.