Author Topic: Academically Ineligible  (Read 2883 times)

Offline delta cook

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Academically Ineligible
« on: December 21, 2016, 06:27:11 pm »
I am going to come clean, and admit I am a father of a current player.  I asked a couple questions here because I get a quick, and honest response.  I guess this is the only place I can participate now that I have no idea what is going on in my child's life.  He just finished his first semester and was notified by the AD that he is ineligible to play second semester 1.8GPA.  They informed him he could take a J-term class and get eligible.  I assume if he takes the J-term class he will NOT be able to practice, and he will have one years eligibility behind him.  If he elects to concentrate on his studies...(which I recommend) and take the rest of the year off of basketball, does he still lose a years eligibility?  Is there a first semester academic hardship for a freshman?  If you played and practiced one semester does that count as a full years eligibility?  Before you judge he was in way over his head, and never reached out.  Biology, Chemistry, Calculus, and Philosophy.  Does anyone watch grades for these kids?  He is crushed...but I believe, hopefully a valuable learning tool.  Should I advise him to leave the school, and find a fresh start.  I am not to sure his coach will ever trust him again.  Not going to lie...I am so disappointed.  I am sure I want his success in basketball more than him...I guess I am "one" of those dads, but you would never know because I do not say anything to him and I do not say a word in the stands.  Just hiding out here. 

Offline Darryl Nester

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Re: Academically Ineligible
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2016, 06:54:50 pm »
...  If he elects to concentrate on his studies...(which I recommend) and take the rest of the year off of basketball, does he still lose a years eligibility?  Is there a first semester academic hardship for a freshman?  If you played and practiced one semester does that count as a full years eligibility?
Yes. His participation in any part of the regular season counts as a "season." The relevant rule from the D3 manual is 14.2.4.1:
"A season of intercollegiate participation shall be counted in the student-athlete’s sport when a student-athlete participates (practices or competes) during or after the first contest in the [regular season] following the student-athlete’s initial participation of that academic year ...." (emphasis added; slight paraphrase for clarity)

In D3, the only way (aside from a few exceptions) to reclaim a season of eligibility is if a season-ending injury occurs in the first third of the season.

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Before you judge he was in way over his head, and never reached out.  Biology, Chemistry, Calculus, and Philosophy.  Does anyone watch grades for these kids?
I'm sorry that your son fell through the cracks. Usually there is some mechanism for grade monitoring. I believe that at most schools, athletes get more scrutiny than non-athletes, but no system is perfect. (In my experience, some students--athletes or not--will not acknowledge their struggles even to those who have their best interests at heart: parents, advisors, coaches, etc.)

Note: I am speaking here as a 25-year faculty member, and now in my fourth year serving as FAR (Faculty Athletics Representative) for my institution. It may be that the FAR at your son's institution could be helpful to you; you might ask his coach who that person is.

Offline Darryl Nester

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Re: Academically Ineligible
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2016, 08:29:38 pm »
By the way: Feel free to email me (nesterd@bluffton.edu) if you have any follow-up questions, or want to take this discussion off a public forum. I'll try to keep my eye on this discussion, but might not see any further posts here for a few days.

Also: Pat (or other board denizens with such capabilities), perhaps this discussion could be moved to "General basketball"?

Offline Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan)

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Re: Academically Ineligible
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2016, 08:24:30 am »

Darryl,

How is it then that sometimes a player ends up with an extra semester of eligibility along the line?  Is that just if they weren't enrolled for one of the semesters?  I've asked so many questions about eligibility over the years and it still seems crazy.  I even read the entire handbook this summer to try and catch up, but it's tough.


Delta Cook,

As for the academic progress, I know most coaches have study sessions and monitor grades, but what can be difficult in the transition to college is just how few grades exist.  Often times a large percentage of the course grade can be based on a final paper and final exam that don't happen until the last two weeks of the semester.  I was a great student in HS, but still got overwhelmed my first semester with just the volume of work that's due at the end of the course - you really have to work hard to learn how to space it out through the semester.

I'd recommend taking that J-term class and doing well and returning for February (and maybe March).  There should be academic support somewhere on campus that will help him get a handle on the schedule, etc.  Many times students don't even realize those supports exist - the coach should be able to help him track them down.
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Offline Darryl Nester

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Re: Academically Ineligible
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2016, 11:02:33 am »
Darryl,

How is it then that sometimes a player ends up with an extra semester of eligibility along the line?  Is that just if they weren't enrolled for one of the semesters?  I've asked so many questions about eligibility over the years and it still seems crazy.  I even read the entire handbook this summer to try and catch up, but it's tough.

I confess that I don't know exactly what circumstances would lead to "an extra semester of eligibility"; I don't think I have encountered or heard of that happening in my (admittedly limited) time as FAR. I assume it might arise in a sport like basketball that (in most/all schools) straddles two terms, where a student might withdraw, or transfer in/out, during the break between terms.

I certainly agree that reading the handbook is not always illuminating.

Offline Gregory Sager

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Re: Academically Ineligible
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2016, 12:12:57 pm »
Schools that have D-terms or J-terms have the advantage of a (relatively) quick mechanism to get an ineligible student's grades back up to par -- especially since D-term and J-term class offerings are notorious for their lightweight, or at least more manageable, courses that are a boon to student-athletes who are struggling with their grades. (I don't speak from personal experience, as my alma mater, North Park, didn't have a D-term or a J-term, but I've heard this from lots of people who've attended schools that did have those abbreviated midwinter terms.)
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Offline Ryan Scott (Hoops Fan)

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Re: Academically Ineligible
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2016, 08:06:39 am »
Darryl,

How is it then that sometimes a player ends up with an extra semester of eligibility along the line?  Is that just if they weren't enrolled for one of the semesters?  I've asked so many questions about eligibility over the years and it still seems crazy.  I even read the entire handbook this summer to try and catch up, but it's tough.

I confess that I don't know exactly what circumstances would lead to "an extra semester of eligibility"; I don't think I have encountered or heard of that happening in my (admittedly limited) time as FAR. I assume it might arise in a sport like basketball that (in most/all schools) straddles two terms, where a student might withdraw, or transfer in/out, during the break between terms.

I certainly agree that reading the handbook is not always illuminating.

Yeah, it's confusing, because the definition of "season" seems pretty straightforward, as you outlined, but all of the other eligibility sections deal with semesters/quarters - the only 4 in 5 rule, which is really 8 in 10 (semesters).  You have five enrolled years to play four, but clearly people split that up by semester, so I'd assume it's really broken down that way for winter sports.  If you're enrolled in the spring but not playing, you may still have a semester of play left at some point.

We need a compliance officer in here to walk through this whole mess.
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