The Scoop on New NCAA Guidelines
With the somewhat off-the-wall new rules put into place by the NCAA’s governing board this year, the world of college athletics is again in a whirlwind state. Currently, the rulebook is a whopping 500-plus page novel that often requires an oversight staff of four or more within each university to keep students in compliance. Some of these rules will benefit the players, while others seem to have been put into place in the interest of preserving pride.
Additions to the Academic Requirements
The method that is utilized to calculate the academic progress rate will not be changed, but the requirements for the overall team average have increased from 900 to 930. This may not sound substantial to those who do not understand how the calculations work, but had this rule been in place last year, many bowl games would not have existed. Teams that do not meet the new guidelines will not be eligible for bowl games, post-season play, or March Madness. It will be quite interesting to see how these new rules effect college athletics and their sponsors this season.
Additionally, student athletes will be required to make academic progress each year. Long gone are times when athletes could slack off during the semester when their sport of choice is in season. Students will now need to earn at least 9 semester hours during their playing season or face ineligibility the next year.
Wedge Blocks and Taunting
The implementation of the new rule concerning wedge block is a great idea, and it seems odd that it has taken the NCAA this long to come to this conclusion. The NFL instigated the rule last year, which states when the receiving team has more than two players within two yards of each other on a kickoff, a 15 yard penalty is applied, regardless of contact between the teams. Big collisions on kickoffs have been responsible for a number of concussions, and hopefully this penalty will have the desired results.
If a player is considered to be taunting while cruising into the end zone, the touchdown will not be counted. This rule is open-ended and can be misconstrued quite easily. Essentially, a player could be raising his arms into the air in response to a wildly cheering crowd, and be called out on this penalty just because an opposing player is nearby. Wow, what are the odds of that happening?
Eye Block Messages
Really? If a player has the word Jesus under one eye and Christ under the other, no one really cares. Reggie Bush popularized the trend of adding messages within one’s eye block years ago, and the practice has been reinvigorated by Tim Tebow’s typically religious themes. It is hard to imagine that opponents would be disturbed by these messages in the slightest, and it probably has more to do with advertising and sponsorship dollars than anything else.
In essence, the benchmark rules will have a more drastic effect overall within the scope of the new guidelines. These rules will ensure that student athletes will get a good education as their play their way through college. Either way, it is doubtful that most of these athletes will ever find the need to put their homes on the market with a real estate short sale, as many of them will move on to great paying careers.
Tracey is a short sale expert and avid sports fan who enjoys writing about college athletics.