The NCAA Board of Directors is evaluating a proposal that would require incoming first-year basketball student-athletes in need of academic help to take six credit hours in summer school and pass three hours in order to be able to eligible in the Fall according to the Associated Press.
The Basketball Academic Enhancement Group (BAEG) also recommended allowing players that take summer classes to participate in eight hours per week of athletic activities. Those student-athletes, as well as other players who opt for classes in the summer even if they are making sufficient academic progress, may participate in up to eight hours per week in athletically related activities, including two in skill instruction.
Individual schools would be required to set the criteria and assess the student-athletes ability to perform in the classroom. The development of this proposal occurred over the past year, approved in April, it will continue to develop over the next few months.
Most top conference Division I programs now subtly “require” their basketball student-athletes to attend a session of summer school together. The current NCAA policy states you can not “require” summer school or participation in conditioning, weight-training and pick-up games. Summer school is usually based on an institutions ability to fund the programand the academic needs of the student-athletes. Normally, the highest level teams use this time for team building. It is a tremendous opportunity for the entire team to come together in a lesser academic load period of time, focus on two courses, workout together and bond for the coming season.
The NCAA’s proposal of requiring this puts the priority on the student-athletes academic performance and the institutions support of that academic performance. The accountability that comes with requiring institutions to follow through on their academic assessment of prospects supports that. If the review reveals that students would be subject to academic challenges without the summer head start, then BAEG members say the school is obligated to put those students in a position to succeed academically.
“It (this proposal) also sends the message that this is how strongly our group feels that this program will benefit student-athletes who otherwise might become academic casualties,” said BAEG Chair and UCLA Athletics Director Dan Guerrero.
“Many schools already apply a similar approach for their incoming freshmen, and the data show the desired results.” NCAA Division I men’s basketball committee for 2009-2010. Guerrero will replace current chairman Mike Slive, commissioner of the Southeastern Conference, Sept. 1, 2009.