Pac-12 Hoops: Larry Scott Seeks Reinstatement of Freshman Ineligibility Rule

Jordan Ingram FishWrap, FishWrap Archive

Most college basketball fans have heard of ”one and done” in college basketball. The relatively recent phenomenon concerns the nation’s top players using their college experience as a one-year holding station before jumping ship to the NBA. For some players, finishing their college education is the last thing on their mind.

Freshmen such as Oregon's Jordan Bell would be required to redshirt their first year under reinstatement of  the freshman ineligibility rule.

Donald Alarie

Freshmen such as Oregon’s Jordan Bell would be required to redshirt their first year under reinstatement of the freshman ineligibility rule.

But that might change as conference commissioners around the country are seeking to end the “one and done” athlete as more conferences are realizing their athletes aren’t being adequately educated.

The proposed solution? Reinstating the NCAA‘s pre-1972 freshman ineligibility rule.

By eliminating freshman playing eligibility, players are essentially required to redshirt their freshman year, regardless of circumstance. This would potentially keep kids in school longer in hopes that players will stay longer and obtain a college degree.

According to Jon Solomon of CBS Sports, who has extensively researched this matter, the subject is a hot issue for the Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott. In a 10 point list of NCAA reform suggestions sent to the presidents of the Power Five conferences, the presidents of the Pac-12 addressed ”one and done, ” seen below at number seven.

7. Address the “one and done” phenomenon in men’s basketball. If the National Basketball Association and its Players Association are unable to agree on raising the age limit for players, consider restoring the freshman ineligibility rule in men’s basketball.

“I’ve had conversations with several commissioners about (freshman ineligibility). We are pushing, and I think you will see much more serious conversations about it in the coming months and year,” Scott told Solomon.

And proposed changes aren’t just coming from the collegiate side. NBA commissioner Adam Silver is contemplating raising the minimum age limit from 19 to 20 years old, another attempt to require student-athletes stay in school longer.

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby is one of the Power Five commissioners who supports Scott and the Pac-12 president’s efforts to stem the tide of this growing trend in NCAA basketball.

Bowlsby told Solomon that there is “almost a uniform acknowledgment that there’s kids in college that don’t have any interest in an education and don’t have the proper education to take advantage of an education.”

Another problem for many schools is that players often aren’t academically prepared to begin college level studies, much less maintain a minimum GPA throughout their time as a student-athlete. Requiring freshman athletes to redshirt a year doesn’t necessarily fix that part of the problem. 

The rule also brings up the issue of scholarships and funding, as coaches will inevitably look to recruit older students that can transfer without any eligibility obstacles.

Ultimately, it will be a battle that will be met with resistance from some commissioners, players, and coaches. However, it appears that change in college hoops is on the horizon.

Top photo from video

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