NCAA: No Grades, No Game?

College athletic graduation rates have been an increasing problem in the NCAA, and the organization has increased academic entrance standards for future athletes.

According to data ESPN gathered since 2006, 76 percent of college athletes graduate in six years. However, these numbers among football and basketball players are dramatically lower. The graduation rate for college football has reached an all-time high of 69 percent; basketball sits a few numbers lower at 67 percent.

These low rates, especially from athletic powerhouse schools, can mostly result from players going pro before they graduate. There was not one college graduate selected in the top 10 picks of the 2012 NBA draft.

Nevertheless, in 2011, the NCAA changed its academic standards for student-athletes. According to, “The new philosophy will require student-athletes enrolling in August 2015 and later to meet a higher academic standard to compete in the first year.” 

The NCAA divides athlete eligibility into two categories. To be eligible in the first category – aid and practice – an incoming freshman must have earned a 2.0 GPA in order to receive scholarship money and to practice with his/her team. However, this does not mean they’re eligible to compete in games until they earn enough college credit to qualify for the next season. The second category is competition; incoming freshman must have earned a 2.5 GPA in high school in order to compete during their freshman season. 

A version of this article appeared in print on 19 September 2012, on page 12 of The Shakerite

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