Integrity of coaches and college athletics is at stake!

With Division I sports falling under more scrutiny and being exposed to the public eye, controversy about multiple subjects has ensued rapidly. Many student athletes who colleges recruit reportedly are not equipped with the skills to effectively obtain a four-year college degree; UNC being the most notable college for claims such as these. Colleges are supposed to be about learning first correct? Therefore, a convincing plan needs to be erected to cover the best interests of both students and athletes.

If I were to add language to a D1 program coaching contract to address this issue I would break it into three distinct parts.

First, I would implement a rule that colleges can only recruit athletes who score one standard deviation below the mean on SAT ACT testing and no lower. Individuals who do score a deviation below the population must sit out as a freshman and obtain a college GPA equal to that equivalent of the average student at that specific institution. If they do not succeed their contract will either be dropped or they must complete another academic year with the required GPA and no sports play.

Second, stipulations for current athletes need to be implemented as well. Student-athletes who have met the criteria above and are eligible for play must maintain a GPA within .4 of the school average their freshman year, within .5 in their sophomore year, and within .6 for both their junior and senior year.

Third, I would make coach/staff incentives for upholding these stipulations as well as rewards for exceeding expectations. If coaches uphold the standards for a consecutive three seasons they will receive a bonus of between 100 and 200 thousand dollars. If they exceed the standards for any season they will be given a bonus between 200 and 500 thousand dollars.

The final area is graduation. Student-athletes must graduate at a rate within 5% of the school’s graduation rate. The coaches must obtain this within 3 seasons or risk being terminated.

If coaches do not meet the specified requirements of the last three articles they WILL be subjected to board review and possible termination.

The integrity of the college is at stake.  The love of succeeding on the playing field has become more important than the love of succeeding in the classroom.  There is so much temptation for these student-athletes, or athlete-student depending on whom you speak with, that it is hard to blame them for accepting “inappropriate” gifts.  The coaches are hired for one specific reason, to win.  If they don’t win, they don’t have a job.  Simply put, coaches are relying heavily on the student-athletes to ensure they have a job.  That last statement is one of the more obvious ones, but it needs to be said.  Not only is the integrity of the college at stake but the integrity of the head coaching position is as well.  Coaches are accepting students that barely make it into college.

This whole, “one and done” year that the NCAA allows is part of the problem.  You have athletes coming to the university solely to play basketball.  Yes, these athletics take classes and have to live on campus, but what isn’t required is they begin a legitimate path towards graduating with a degree.  I believe there needs to be a stipulation in the NCAA that requires student athletes to play a minimum of three seasons, if they choose to attend the school.  Currently coaches are putting more importance on performing on the field and not in the classroom.  Coaches have in the past, and assuredly will in the future, choose to ignore blatant rule violations if they athlete is performing well on the field.

To quote an article posted on www.al.com, “If Emmert’s words are to mean anything, the NCAA is going to have to drop the hammer again — and probably again and again — or the idea of integrity in college athletics will remain the same sad joke it is now.”

 

http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2011/04/ncaa_must_drop_the_hammer_to_s.html

http://www.ncaa.com/news/ncaa/article/2013-10-24/division-i-student-athletes-show-progress-graduation-success-rate

http://work.chron.com/average-salary-college-basketball-coach-2102.html

http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/07/us/ncaa-athletes-reading-scores/

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