In April of 2015 the Big Ten Conference circulated a white paper, Education First, Athletics Second: The Time for a National Discussion is Upon Us, that proposed freshmen ineligibility for Division I football and men’s basketball players. The white paper argued that freshman ineligibility would benefit athletes academically, but that it should only apply to men’s basketball and football players because (1) their graduation rates lag behind those of athletes in other sports and (2) football and men’s basketball are the sports in which most NCAA academic infractions occur. The Drake Group notes that according to current research, “red shirting” (e.g., prohibiting an athlete from playing in the freshman year) by selected sport teams does not result in improved academic performance. In fact, research indicates that athletes who did not compete were more likely than those who competed to end the year in poor academic standing even when admitted under normal admission requirements.
The Drake Group Response to Declaration of James E. Delany in Support of the NCAA’s Class Certification Opposition Brief
Compensation of College Athletes Including Revenues from Commercial Use of Their Names, Likenesses, and Images
Student Fee and Institutional Subsidy Allocations to Fund Intercollegiate Athletics
- Academic Integrity
- Athlete Compensation, Scholarships and Benefits
- Athlete Health, Insurance, Medical
- Athletes’ Rights
- Certification, Accreditation
- Coach and Administrator Salaries
- Congressional Intervention
- Eligibility for Participation
- Enforcement and Due Process
- Ethical and Professional Conduct
- Facility Excesses
- Gender Equity
- NCAA Reform
- Racial Exploitation
- Revenue Generation and Distribution
- Student Fees and Institutional Subsidies
- Tax Preferences
- Transparency and Reporting
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