Partial Qualifiers - Will Nebraska go back to this old B8 trick...

Submitted by Sextus Empiricus on June 13th, 2010 at 2:17 PM

This is an old issue but interesting... ...


In the Fiesta Bowl, Nebraska started four partial or non-qualifiers (cornerback Michael Booker, defensive tackle Christian Peter, cornerback Tyrone Williams and defensive end Jared Tomich), and two others, wideout Reggie Baul and outside linebacker Jamel Williams, played almost as much as the starters. According to Nebraska officials there were at least 12 partial or non-qualifiers in the program last fall. "Among elite schools Nebraska is a true haven for partial and non-qualifiers," said the coach of another elite school.


They may be instant contenders but this is not a level playing field (time will tell.)

In the Huskers defense they do lead the nation in Academic All-Americans...they take marginal athletes and make them work.  I'd expect Pelini to go back to this norm...

EDIT: Thanks for the get back below...Partial Qualification is no longer an option for Div I players...Partial Qualification was possible up until August 1, 2005.  For a two year period the old and new standards overlapped from August 1, 2003 to August 1, 2005 where a student could be admitted under either standard.  Each conference had there own policies wrt Partial Qualification.  The Big Ten had none.



June 13th, 2010 at 2:24 PM ^

I could have sworn the NCAA disallowed that practice. I know Nebraska was doing it during their Big 8 days, and that the Big 12 wasn't cool with it ... but I thought that Nebraska's beef with the B12 was moot in light of the fact that the NCAA disallowed it soon thereafter.


June 13th, 2010 at 3:09 PM ^

I found this line quite amusing:

"Sure, Nebraska will always be one of the most powerful programs in college football—along with teams like Florida State, Michigan and Notre Dame..."

Emphasis mine - probably not the list used if the article was written today.


June 13th, 2010 at 6:00 PM ^

If you listened to Nebraska's Board of Regents vote, they more than once stressed the importance of academics in their discussion. Osborne in particular stressed the importance of athletes graduating and doing so with life skills.

I also don't claim to know the Big Ten rules and how they relate to the NCAA rules, but at least in the case of how many scholarships may be issued in a given year, the Big ten rules are more restrictive. Perhaps they are here as well.

Couple that with the NCAA now not allowing such a practice, and it would appear that an old, and now disallowed practice will not be a problem.

Way to dig old dirt on a new conference. Particularly when we are the last ones who should be casting stones these days.


June 13th, 2010 at 6:24 PM ^

hopefully this helps. directly from the NCAA



 Final Eligibility Center Certification Decisions.

1.   Qualifier:  All four initial-eligibility requirements (i.e., high school graduation, minimum number of core courses, core course grade-point average and test scores) must be satisfied at the time of initial full-time enrollment to be certified as a qualifier.  Qualifiers may practice, compete and receive athletically related financial aid.

  •   The final certification must be a "final/yes" as listed on the Eligibility Center's Web site for a prospective student-athlete to be a qualifier.

2.   Partial Qualifier:  A partial qualifier is a student-athlete who does not meet the requirements for a qualifier but who, at the time of graduation from high school, presents one of the following requirements:

     a.   Successful completion of the required core curriculum consisting of a minimum number of courses and a specified minimum grade-point average in the core curriculum; OR

     b.   Specified minimum SAT or ACT score.

  •   A partial qualifier is eligible for practice conducted only in the institution's regular practice facility and athletically related financial aid, but may not compete in any outside competition during the first academic year in residence.

Please Note:  Institutions may not certify a student-athlete as a partial qualifier until the Eligibility Center certifies the individual as a final/no.

3.   Nonqualifier:  A nonqualifier is a student-athlete who has not graduated from high school or who presented neither the core curriculum grade-point average and SAT or ACT score required for a qualifier.

     a.   A nonqualifier is not eligible for practice, competition or receive athletically related financial aid for one full academic year at the certifying institution.  A nonqualifier may receive other institutional aid unrelated to athletics.

     b.   A nonqualifier may not attend any practice sessions in any capacity, including any meeting characterized as practice.

4.   If a student-athlete's final certification status is a partial or nonqualifier, the student-athlete must establish an academic year of residency prior to representing the institution in outside competition.  

5.   A partial or nonqualifier may participate in an institution's intramural program (not coached by a member of athletics department staff) but may not participate on an institutional club team or outside sports team.

6.   A student-athlete who has never applied to the Eligibility Center is by default a nonqualifier until he or she applies and receives a final certification decision.


June 13th, 2010 at 8:37 PM ^

...and the partial qualifier controversey is found here.

NCAA rules don't restrict the number of partial qualifiers or nonqualifiers a school can have, but conferences can. The Big 12 does. The initial eligibility standards are among the toughest of the major athletic conferences in the country.

Under the new Big 12 rules, only two male and two female partial qualifiers are allowed to enroll each year, with no more than one athlete in each sport. And nonqualifiers aren't accepted at all. They must go to junior college.

For NU and other former Big Eight schools, the Big 12 eligibility standards were a big change.

The Big Eight didn't limit the number of partial qualifiers a school could have and allowed nonqualifiers to enroll at institutions. Nonqualifiers had to sit out the first year - paying their own tuition - and then were eligible to play the second year provided they passed 24 credit hours over two semesters.

Originally, Big 12 schools agreed to adopt the old Big Eight rules for initial eligibility, former NU Football Coach Tom Osborne said. Then some Big 12 schools, led by the University of Texas, pushed for stricter rules. These standards are the one in place now.

The Big 12 now uses NCAA Clearinghouse standards to admit athletes. An athlete can establish eligibility with a GPA in 13 core classes as low as 2.0, provided the student also presents an SAT score (re-centered) of 1010 or an ACT sum score of 86. At the other end of the index, a minimum 820 SAT or 68 ACT sum score establishes the floor for students with GPAs of 2.500 or higher.

What upset Osborne at the time was the limits on partial and nonqualifiers. Some conferences like the Big Ten, don't have any.

"Where this rule can hurt you is if a player is considering Nebraska and Ohio State or some other school in the Big Ten," Osborne said. "The initial signing day is in February."

The Big Ten, which had always proclaimed itself as an elite academic conference, does not limit the number of partial and nonqualifiers. Theoretically, an athlete could have scored a 60 sum score on the ACT (an average of 15) and had a 1.5 GPA and still enrolled in a school like Michigan. They wouldn't play, but they could eventually.

But the Big Ten does have stricter rules once students enroll in institutions, said Jennifer Heppel, director of legislative and eligibility services for the conference.

The NCAA rules states an athlete must complete 24 hours toward his or her major each year. The Big Ten rules require 51 completed credit hours after the second year and 78 after the third year.

"We put more emphasis on their college work than high school grades," Heppel said.

Osborne's complaint that Big Ten schools could take the partial qualifiers that Nebraska was restricted from taking is not borne out by the experience of the past few years as Big Ten schools have not made this a practice.  In fact, with the Demar Dorsey affair, we have an example of a reported full qualifier who was not offered admission to Michigan because he apparently didn't meet university admissions standards.

Here's Peter Bean's father's (a former Texas professor's) take on the issue from a 2006 story.  I thought this was pretty interesting given the current controversey regarding the non-admittance of Dorsey and the contention that Michigan is handcuffing itself by maintaing standards higher than NCAA Clearinghouse standards.

...back then, under Berdahl, UT gave more weight to academics than before.  This may explain Texas' stand on the qualifier issue more than anything.  When I was at The University in those days, Texas football, if you recall, wasn't on top like it is now.  I heard endless complaints that the reason was UT had to adhere to higher academic standards than other schools. Sound familiar? A bit like Nebraska now? In reality, it's a bogus argument.  The truth is the schools that win are the ones who recruit best, coach best, and play best. And none of these is that easy.


June 13th, 2010 at 10:18 PM ^

Tom Osborne  or  Dr. Tom  (he has a doctorate in education psychology )  as most people in Nebraska know him by has a strong belief in education.  In a state where he is probably most loved and respected by everyone  he once lost a race for governor because his stance on education was everyone should be entitled to an education.  So much that he believed that all illegal immigrants should be entitled to in-state college tuition rates. This lost him the race. During his head coaching years,  his football team had 35 academic all americans.  He also worked on developing a strong student academic program for student athletes.   Nebraska  had 260 academic all americans in all sports in 2008.  In 2009  they lead the nation with 271  beating out  Notre Dame, Penn state,  MIT,  and Standford. 

This man  had his start in coaching at Nebraska  when then head coach Devaney  who did not have a position open told Tom that if he moved into  a dorm with 7 - 8 players who were causing trouble, who had a frontier mentality, whom the dorm counselors were afraid of and the school was at a loss of how to deal with them,  and if he had success with them would rethink his decision about putting him on the coaching staff.   Tom was successful and got a coaching job. This may explain his postion on the partial and non - qualifiers.