Citing the success of existing academic reform measures, the NCAA Division I Governance Board has decided to not enact the new “sliding scale” requirements that would significantly increase the initial eligibility grade requirements for prospective student-athletes.
Specifically, in July of 2012, the NCAA announced a number of new academic requirements, including one that would increase the high school GPA needed for an athlete to be eligible immediately at Division I institutions for any given ACT or SAT score.
The standards to be on campus and receive financial aid and scholarship money wouldn’t have changed significantly, however, the GPA to compete was bound to skyrocket. For example, an athlete who scored a 1000 on their SAT (math and reading combined) previously would have required just a 2.05 GPA to compete. Now, they would need a 2.5 high school GPA to compete.
These new measures wouldn’t have had a huge impact on swimming & diving, where athletes are generally speaking exceeding of the NCAA requirements, but it still would have been felt.
The rationale on overturning this new scale, according to the NCAA announcement, were the following:
- Taken as a whole, the academic reform changes already underway or adopted are likely to result in improved graduation performance of student-athletes.
- The increase to a 930 Academic Progress Rate requirement for access to postseason competition, which begins with this fall’s data collection, is predicted to have a significant impact that will encourage institutions to make admissions decisions that ensure student-athlete academic success.
- The impact of a more stringent scale on access to higher education, especially for certain socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds, could be significant. The goal of academic reform from the outset has been to improve the academic performance of student-athletes, including increasing graduation rates, while minimizing disparate impact on ethnic minorities.
- Membership expressed concerns about the sliding-scale increase, including that it might not have the intended impact, should be implemented on a slower timeline or that coaches would decline to offer scholarships to players who could not compete in their first year for academic reasons.
The other new rules regarding initial eligibility that included a change in the core class requirements for incoming freshman, and a minimum GPA floor increase from 2.0 to 2.3 to compete right away, are still proceeding, however. The NCAA did, though, commit to examine the effects of these new rules changes shortly after their implementation in 2016.
See the full NCAA release on their decision here.
See the proposed changes to the sliding scale below.
|Sliding Scale Prior to 8/1/2016||New Standards 8/1/2016, NOW NULL|
|Core GPA||SAT||ACT||GPA for Aid||GPA for Comp.||SAT||ACT|
|3.55 & above||400||37||3.55||4||400||37|