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treep2000

NCAA Eligibility - WHY does this Concept Exist

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I made a comment, deeply buried in the Kemdawg thread about him getting an extension, but thought I'd surface it so more light may shine.

Why does the NCAA have "eligibility" rules?  Why is there is a limit on the number of years you can participate.  Theoretically, so long as you have the $$, and the drive, you can go to college for your entire life.  You may graduate, but you may re-enroll, and take different coursework, theoretically ending up with 50 degrees, etc. 

What purpose does eligibility limits actually serve?  Who benefits from having these limits?  

My thought is that so long as scholly money is appropriately correct, since this is a finite resource, then who cares how many years a person may choose to participate in NCAA athletics?  So long as they are an actual student of the school, it ought not matter? 

Am I missing something?  (and no... don't answer with a question like "how would you like to be an 18 year old wrestling a 28 year old".  I'm actually in favor of this, if the 28 year old can still hang after a decade of collegiate level wrestling).

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When I was 26-27 I was eviscerating 18 and 19 year olds on the mat, and that was after 7 or 8 years of not wrestling at all. Men get stronger as they age (and more savvy), until they hit their mid-30s. That's why Baumgartner was able to hang around for so long internationally (and winning consistently).  I'd say any man in their mid twenties, or older, has a gigantic edge on the kids. That edge isn't gone until he loses his physical edge, which may be a long, LONG time if he takes care of himself. Hell, Andre Metzger at the age of 50ish won a few matches trying to make the National Team a few years ago. Sure, he ain't what he was at 25, but he's a helluva a lot better than nearly every guy in his weight in this country anyway.

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The answer is exactly what you don't want to hear so I don't know how else to explain that. If you think that being a more mature (physically and mentally) doesn't have an impact then you're being ignorant. 

Secondly, the amount of money to keep someone in school for 6-7+ years strictly because they're good at sports is nonsensical. It goes across all sports as well. It would take away opportunity from a ton of athletes. 

There's a ton of other reasons the eligibility rules exist. 

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I believe that several decades ago (1920s and 1930s) before there were eligibility rules, it was common for colleges and universities to bring in “ringers” to play for their sports teams. Essentially, these were athletes who were “hired guns” and some of them played for multiple schools over a period of several years. 

I remember reading an article many years ago about some very bitter arguments between some Ivy League schools regarding the members of their rowing teams. Rowing was the premier college sport in the late 1800s and early 1900s , and there were lots of allegations about schools bringing in rowers for the season, or even just an important event. These athletes were enrolled, but almost never attended any classes, rowing was a seasonal job for them.

Eventually, sanity prevailed and it was decided that some rules were required to ensure that collegiate sports were more of an amateur affair than one in which many “professionals” played, but rarely stayed at one school long enough to graduate. 

It would be interesting to see which sports stars in many college’s distant pasts actually attended classes and graduated.

Edited by Old Corps

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48 minutes ago, Sparky said:

Because the real reason for college isn't to participate in athletics.  Kind of why it generally follows right after high school, unless you serve in the military or a religious mission. 

Exactly. Amateurism and eligibility go hand in hand with academic progress.  The goal is to allow kids to compete and provide a pathway towards graduation, ultimately.

Edited by pamela

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This is a slippery slope. Some of the posters on this board took 7 years to finish HS. As long as their parents were paying their property and school taxes, why should they have been barred from participating in a sport all 7 years of HS? 

I agree the NCAA is getting a tad bit lax on eligibility. There should be a age cutoff requirement.

Matt Brown was collecting Social Security when he won his NCAA Championship...:)

 

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5 hours ago, Old Corps said:

I believe that several decades ago (1920s and 1930s) before there were eligibility rules, it was common for colleges and universities to bring in “ringers” to play for their sports teams. Essentially, these were athletes who were “hired guns” and some of them played for multiple schools over a period of several years. 

I remember reading an article many years ago about some very bitter arguments between some Ivy League schools regarding the members of their rowing teams. Rowing was the premier college sport in the late 1800s and early 1900s , and there were lots of allegations about schools bringing in rowers for the season, or even just an important event. These athletes were enrolled, but almost never attended any classes, rowing was a seasonal job for them.

Eventually, sanity prevailed and it was decided that some rules were required to ensure that collegiate sports were more of an amateur affair than one in which many “professionals” played, but rarely stayed at one school long enough to graduate. 

It would be interesting to see which sports stars in many college’s distant pasts actually attended classes and graduated.

This does not seem much different than big time college athletics today. D1 athletes, especially basketball and football, are at their schools to be athletes and academics is an afterthought. 

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37 minutes ago, Jim L said:

This does not seem much different than big time college athletics today. D1 athletes, especially basketball and football, are at their schools to be athletes and academics is an afterthought. 

I’m not disagreeing with you, but aren’t athletes in those sports held to the same academic standards, level of progress as DI wrestlers are?

Either way, there’s no doubt that some kids will do whatever it takes to stay eligible, with graduation and a career as an afterthought. And, if they’re good enough, there will always be coaches willing to have them on their teams. 

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On ‎5‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 9:30 AM, treep2000 said:

Who benefits from having these limits?   

Every student-athlete entering college from high school with the intention of graduating in four years which is the historic (and still current) overwhelming majority of college students.  As well as the schools themselves that don't have to try to convince college students to not move on to productive careers outside of college (be athletic or non-athletic) where they can make a living for themselves and their families.

 

On ‎5‎/‎12‎/‎2019 at 9:30 AM, treep2000 said:

 Am I missing something?  (and no... don't answer with a question like "how would you like to be an 18 year old wrestling a 28 year old".  I'm actually in favor of this, if the 28 year old can still hang after a decade of collegiate level wrestling).

Yes, you're missing: Oh... so you're not really looking for answers...

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19 hours ago, Greatdane67 said:

I agree the NCAA is getting a tad bit lax on eligibility. There should be a age cutoff requirement.

Matt Brown was collecting Social Security when he won his NCAA Championship...:)

There are explicit exemptions in the rules for Mormon missions, military service, and the peace corps.  Brown used this exemption.

The rule is supported by all members because it doesn't actually benefit any one and it is not a loophole that is used for athletic benefit.  More athletes are lost to never return to college sports from entering these programs than those who enter them and then return to college sports.

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16 hours ago, Old Corps said:

I’m not disagreeing with you, but aren’t athletes in those sports held to the same academic standards, level of progress as DI wrestlers are?

Either way, there’s no doubt that some kids will do whatever it takes to stay eligible, with graduation and a career as an afterthought. And, if they’re good enough, there will always be coaches willing to have them on their teams. 

They are held to the same standards for at least the fall semester, just enough to stay eligible.  I remember seeing my university's stud basketball player (mid-major D1) on campus every day in the fall semester.  Didn't see him on campus one time in the spring and he was drafted that June.  I'm sure that Zion probably didn't attend a single class at Duke this spring.

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1 hour ago, Pinnum said:

Every student-athlete entering college from high school with the intention of graduating in four years which is the historic (and still current) overwhelming majority of college students.  As well as the schools themselves that don't have to try to convince college students to not move on to productive careers outside of college (be athletic or non-athletic) where they can make a living for themselves and their families.

 

Yes, you're missing: Oh... so you're not really looking for answers...

I'm looking for the rationale.  If I CHOOSE to stay enrolled for 10 years, why couldn't I continue my athletic career for that duration as well.  You're stating factual status quo without actually answering my question:. Why? 

 

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1 hour ago, Pinnum said:

There are explicit exemptions in the rules for Mormon missions, military service, and the peace corps.  Brown used this exemption.

The rule is supported by all members because it doesn't actually benefit any one and it is not a loophole that is used for athletic benefit.  More athletes are lost to never return to college sports from entering these programs than those who enter them and then return to college sports.

I believe the religious "mission" exemption should be eliminated. It's abused routinely. BYU has football players 25 years old on the field, for example. Matt Brown was 25 or 26 before he exhausted his eligibility.  Military service exemption I'm good with because we may be at war and need the manpower (WW2, for example). Peace Corps exemption: never knew there was one, but I'm opposed to that one.

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11 minutes ago, TobusRex said:

I believe the religious "mission" exemption should be eliminated. It's abused routinely. BYU has football players 25 years old on the field, for example. Matt Brown was 25 or 26 before he exhausted his eligibility.  Military service exemption I'm good with because we may be at war and need the manpower (WW2, for example). Peace Corps exemption: never knew there was one, but I'm opposed to that one.

I'm still trying to figure out why anyone cares that there are guys in their mid-20's on the field, the court, or on the mat?  

I'm a maximized freedom type of guy, and I'm still trying to see how allowing people to compete into perpetuity, so long as they're a full-time student, harms someone else?

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50 minutes ago, treep2000 said:

I'm still trying to figure out why anyone cares that there are guys in their mid-20's on the field, the court, or on the mat?  

I'm a maximized freedom type of guy, and I'm still trying to see how allowing people to compete into perpetuity, so long as they're a full-time student, harms someone else?

Let's supposed there's a high school sophomore, 16 years old, who suddenly drops out of school (maybe it's to help out on the family farm, maybe they have a serious illness that forces them out of school, whatever the reason). A few years later, this person decides they actually want to finish high school and enroll again at 19 to finish their sophomore year, on track to graduate at 21. Should this person be allowed to still complete in high school sports? I realize this is outside of the NCAA umbrella, but just posing a general question/scenario.

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32 minutes ago, Griff the BullRam said:

Let's supposed there's a high school sophomore, 16 years old, who suddenly drops out of school (maybe it's to help out on the family farm, maybe they have a serious illness that forces them out of school, whatever the reason). A few years later, this person decides they actually want to finish high school and enroll again at 19 to finish their sophomore year, on track to graduate at 21. Should this person be allowed to still complete in high school sports? I realize this is outside of the NCAA umbrella, but just posing a general question/scenario.

That person will not be allowed to continue there education in a traditional public high school and they should not be. They are not precluded from continuing their education just not at a publicly funded institution filled mostly with minors. Personally I do not have a preference one way or the other on this issue and I do not think there should be an age limit. Now I can see an altruistic benefit from this rule; no small number of schools can keep very high level athletes on their rosters in perpetuity creating essentially professional team(s).

This might be difficult to do but without limits I can see ways around athletes eventually starting a career and being paid by "companies" owned bu supporters for what is nothing more than busy work a few hours a day for a salary which would be high enough to keep them active in athletics.    

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2 hours ago, treep2000 said:

I'm still trying to figure out why anyone cares that there are guys in their mid-20's on the field, the court, or on the mat?  

I'm a maximized freedom type of guy, and I'm still trying to see how allowing people to compete into perpetuity, so long as they're a full-time student, harms someone else?

The schools themselves don't want it.

They don't want to keep athletes around long term.  They want to move them on.  The schools made this policy.  Sure, they will try to get a waiver when they have a good athlete who missed two years due to injury.  But as a rule, none of the schools want this.  They want to serve college students for a limited term.

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2 hours ago, treep2000 said:

I'm a maximized freedom type of guy

Me too!

And I recognize the freedom of Penn State, UCLA, Rice, Hartford, Georgia Tech, and every other school in the NCAA to get together and agree to create an association where they agree to rules for sports.

I also support athletes who maximize their freedom by choosing other options when they don't want to agree to the rules of the NCAA or any other entity.

There is no problem with any of the NCAAs policies.  You're not entitled to have a school subsidize your participation in sports ever, and especially not in perpetuity.  

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1 hour ago, Griff the BullRam said:

Let's supposed there's a high school sophomore, 16 years old, who suddenly drops out of school (maybe it's to help out on the family farm, maybe they have a serious illness that forces them out of school, whatever the reason). A few years later, this person decides they actually want to finish high school and enroll again at 19 to finish their sophomore year, on track to graduate at 21. Should this person be allowed to still complete in high school sports? I realize this is outside of the NCAA umbrella, but just posing a general question/scenario.

In my world, if a 35 year old fell into that bucket, then yes... they should be able to compete.  I was a late bloomer, so it seemed like everyone had "man-strength" compared to me!  ha!

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13 minutes ago, Pinnum said:

Me too!

And I recognize the freedom of Penn State, UCLA, Rice, Hartford, Georgia Tech, and every other school in the NCAA to get together and agree to create an association where they agree to rules for sports.

I also support athletes who maximize their freedom by choosing other options when they don't want to agree to the rules of the NCAA or any other entity.

There is no problem with any of the NCAAs policies.  You're not entitled to have a school subsidize your participation in sports ever, and especially not in perpetuity.  

At no time did I suggest "subisidizing" the prolonged athletes career.  In fact, I posted numerous times throughout this thread as how ASIDE FROM SCHOLLY MONIES... why this concept existed.  

My point is if I:

* Exhaust my scholarship money (or for some schools/divisions, there is no scholly money)

* Pay my own way through grants, financial aid, side hustle/job

* Am considered a full-time student by the University

Then... who cares if I've wrestled/played ball at the university for 10, 15, 20 years?  If I can physically do it, beat out all those who would challenge me at my weight or position, then who cares.  By the by, that person would ALSO be foregoing professional athletics/jobs.  

I'm fine with an association, freely associating, and freely making their own policies.  I'm not questioning that.  I'm questioning THIS policy, and why it exists.  I still have yet to hear a valid, logical argument for why the eligibility rule exists.  

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47 minutes ago, Zebra said:

That person will not be allowed to continue there education in a traditional public high school and they should not be. They are not precluded from continuing their education just not at a publicly funded institution filled mostly with minors. Personally I do not have a preference one way or the other on this issue and I do not think there should be an age limit. Now I can see an altruistic benefit from this rule; no small number of schools can keep very high level athletes on their rosters in perpetuity creating essentially professional team(s).

This might be difficult to do but without limits I can see ways around athletes eventually starting a career and being paid by "companies" owned bu supporters for what is nothing more than busy work a few hours a day for a salary which would be high enough to keep them active in athletics.    

i can see this point, and this is probably one of the more logical arguments... however, I'm questioning the feasibility/likelihood. 

The other rules about endorsements and such would still hold, and so the "jobs" or "side hustle" to make ends meet given the financial toll of being in school for an extended number of years would also be clearly defined (i.e. dining hall jobs, OWA, etc.).  There are already rules about booster involvement, so I think this is a very archaic and unecessary rule.  

But... for the guy/gal that is individually wealthy, good enough to keep it going, and wants to stay in school forever and a day, then who are we to say they can't compete?  There's a lot of "if's" there, and that is exactly my point.  A rule exists for no reason but to have a rule, and the rule is only really enforced based on wild exceptions.

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1 minute ago, treep2000 said:

At no time did I suggest "subisidizing" the prolonged athletes career.  In fact, I posted numerous times throughout this thread as how ASIDE FROM SCHOLLY MONIES... why this concept existed.  

My point is if I:

* Exhaust my scholarship money (or for some schools/divisions, there is no scholly money)

* Pay my own way through grants, financial aid, side hustle/job

* Am considered a full-time student by the University

Then... who cares if I've wrestled/played ball at the university for 10, 15, 20 years?  If I can physically do it, beat out all those who would challenge me at my weight or position, then who cares.  By the by, that person would ALSO be foregoing professional athletics/jobs.  

I'm fine with an association, freely associating, and freely making their own policies.  I'm not questioning that.  I'm questioning THIS policy, and why it exists.  I still have yet to hear a valid, logical argument for why the eligibility rule exists.  

It applies the same reason professional league player associations push for minimum salaries based on years of service.  The point of these policies is to get more athlete the opportunity to compete.

College freshmen have traditionally not been ready to compete.  For the longest time college freshmen couldn't even compete at the varsity level.  These rules get more people engaged in college athletics.  It serves more people and it fits in with the whole college mission.

Without a doubt, it would make college sports look bad to have someone playing for ten years.

To answer your question of why it exists: Because no one wants it to go away.  There's no one that has a problem with it.  Great athletes move on to professional opportunities.  There are tons of opportunities for people.  College is great but people recognize that it is limited and frankly even those who are loving their time don't want to be in that state long term. 

There is no one pushing for a change. 

(Note: When I say "no one" I don't mean that you can't find a single person.  You can find someone to support any policy issue no matter how crazy it might be.  But there is no measurable faction of stakeholders that have ever shown an interest in taking up the issue.) 

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