Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - The NCAA's increase in initial academic
eligibility standards will take affect for the high school class that enters
college in 2016.
An 18-member Division I Board of Directors, composed of university presidents,
voted in an increase last October to start in 2015, but decided last week
that by delaying the timeline by one year, it would allow for high schools and
its students to become more familiar with the new initial eligibility
"We want to give young people a fair chance to meet the new standards by taking
core academic courses early in their high school education," Board Chair Judy
Genshaft, president at South Florida, told NCAA.com. "The presidents have every
confidence that future student-athletes will do the work necessary to be
academically successful in college."
The current initial eligibility standards require entering freshmen to graduate
high school with 16 core courses passed and have a minimum 2.0 GPA to be
matched with an ACT or SAT score on a sliding scale.
In 2016, the NCAA will require the same 16 core courses, but stipulate that 10
of them be completed by the start of the student's senior year of high school
and that all 16 are finished in four years. Also, the minimum GPA will be
raised to 2.3.
A student-athletes who doesn't meet the new standard will spend his or her
initial year of college as an academic redshirt, eligible to receive a
scholarship and practice with the team but not participate in games. A student-
athlete who is eligible after the first year will be left with four years to
play four seasons.
"When a young person is growing up, everybody knows exactly what they have to
do to be prepared to play college ball," NCAA president Mark Emmert said.
"People are constantly saying you have to work on this part of your game, you
have to work on that part of your game.
"Academics are vitally important and demand just as much attention as
athletics, especially in college."
The NCAA said its research indicated student-athletes in football and men's
basketball will feel the most significant impact from the higher academic
standards. The lowest Academic Progress Rates and Graduation Success Rates are
prevalent in those sports.
The Sports Network