NCAA Division I board decides to retain current initial-eligibility sliding scale

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With the decision in October 2011 to raise the initial-eligibility standards for college basketball players beginning with the 2016 class, there was concern that a higher percentage of players would be ruled ineligible as freshmen.

That legislation would have required a prospective student-athlete to have a minimum GPA of 2.3 and complete at least ten of their 16 core courses before the start of their senior year of high school.

But due to a concern about “unintended consequences” that would occur as a result of the increased standards, the NCAA announced on Thursday that its Division I board has decided to retain the current initial-eligibility scale for the foreseeable future.

“APRs are improving, and I believe they will continue to improve,” Committee on Academic Performance chair Walter Harrison, also president of the University of Hartford, said in the release. “I’m concerned about minority students who would be affected by the dramatic change to the sliding scale.

“The new 930 APR benchmark required for postseason competition is impacting coaches’ recruiting decisions.  These changes and the action the Board took today to strengthen the high school core GPA calculation will make the positive effects even more dramatic.”

The decision to retain the current sliding scale is a good one, especially when considering the increase in corresponding SAT score that would come with the proposed “new” sliding scale.

Currently, student-athletes with a 2.5 GPA need an 820 on the SAT in order to be eligible. Under the proposed 2016 changes, the same student with a 2.5 GPA would have needed to score a 1,000 on the SAT.

In regards to the calculation of a student-athlete’s GPA in core courses only the best “16 best grades meeting the required distribution of math, science, English and other courses” will be allowed to count.

That change, which is a departure from the current system that “allows as many core courses as a prospective student-athlete takes within the time limitation to count toward the final GPA” will become official on August 1, 2016.

Raphielle also writes for the NBE Basketball Report and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

PHOTO: Ohio State’s new LeBron James shoe display

during the College Football Playoff National Championship Game at AT&T Stadium on January 12, 2015 in Arlington, Texas.
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Ohio State has capitalized on its close relationship with NBA superstar LeBron James over the years and now has a new shoe display that should come in handy during recruiting.

The Buckeyes put out a tweet late this week with the display, calling themselves “THE LeBron school.” While this is something small, recruits like that the Buckeyes are tied into the best player in the world and it’s cool to them that Ohio State gets some exclusive gear.

Rutgers hoping new duo can bring a spark

of the Ohio State Buckeyes against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during their Big Ten conference game at Rutgers Athletic Center on February 8, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey.
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Rutgers has struggled to achieve success on the floor the last few years and head coach Eddie Jordan is hoping that some talented newcomers can help start a turnaround. With the start of practice, local media saw some of the Scarlet Knights’ early practice and Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press noted that the duo of freshman point guard Corey Sanders and junior college forward Deshawn Freeman were getting a lot of burn together.

With both incoming players being four-star prospects, it’s hardly a surprise that Jordan would see what the two were capable of. According to Carino, it meant a lot of Sanders driving and forcing the defense to collapse before finding Freeman.

“It seems like coach always has us on the same team,” Freeman said to Carino. “Ever since we’ve gotten here, he’s trying to get us to play together.”

Carino also notes that since Rutgers is deeper, longer and more athletic in general this season, the team could do more with a pressing defense to help create turnovers.

While Rutgers still faces an uphill climb in the Big Ten, they at least have some exciting pieces that will be in place for a few seasons.