Changes NCAA made to be eligible to play

September 18, 2012 by Jose Garcia, AZPreps365

The NCAA is expecting more from high school student athletes in the classroom, beginning with this year’s high school freshman class.

The eligibility requirements increased, and parents, students and counselors can no longer wait until a students’ junior or senior season to see if he/she is on track to qualify.

This year’s freshman class must now pass 10 of the 16 core classes before his/her senior year, and seven of those courses need to meet the English, math and science NCAA requirements. 

And unlike the previous 15 years, if a 2016 class athlete fails a core high school class or receives a poor grade, that student needs to retake and pass that class before his/her senior year. Parents can get a core NCAA class list from the schools their children attend.

“A paradigm shift needs to happen,” said Dan Eassa, who runs a nonprofit website, that helps families and high school educators understand the college recruiting process. “If parents, students and counselors wait until your junior or senior years, you are asking for trouble. You need to address this your freshman year.”

The core GPA and SAT score requirements also increased for the 2016 high school class.

Currently, if a student earns a 2.5 core GPA, that student needs to score an 820 on the SAT, not including the written portion of the test, to qualify. But a 2016 class member with a 2.5 core GPA is now expected to score a 1,000 on the SAT.

The new minimum core GPA the NCAA wants students to achieve is 2.3, not 2.0, to be eligible to play as a freshman in college during the 2016-17 school year.

“Your cumulative GPA has nothing to do with your core GPA,” Eassa said. “You can have a 3.0 cumulative GPA and still not qualify athletically for college.”

Eassa started his website two years ago and has already worked with 40 state high school associations.

He is a former sports broadcaster and played football in college.

“I’m not a coach or a counselor,” Eassa said. “But I was always on the pulse of it (recruiting) and had a natural passion to address this and try to make a difference.”

To view recruiting and webinar updates from Eassa on Facebook go here.