As you probably know by now, there's been talk amongst the commissioners of the Pac-12, Big 12 and our own ACC that freshmen should be ineligible to compete in collegiate sports. This would send us back to 1972, when the freshman ineligibility rule was rescinded, and is an obvious move to get rid of one-and-dones in college basketball.
But why? And to that point, why does anyone think that this solves the college game's various issues -- lack of fundamentals, poor shooting, better defense, ball-stopping -- in the immediate term? If you tell freshmen they can't play, they'll just go play elsewhere and THEN get drafted. See what Brandon Jennings did several years ago. And what Emmanuel Mudiay's doing right now. And what Thon Maker very well could do for 2015.
This does not help athletes in any way -- removing exposure and opportunity to get drafted from college -- AND it hurts them as students, too. Luckily, one athletic director has an idea that helps that. And everyone else, too.
Instead of making freshmen ineligible to play, I’d rather give every athlete five years of eligibility and do away with redshirting.— Scott Stricklin (@stricklinMSU) February 18, 2015
Or, all freshmen are ineligible unless they reach certain HS academic standards. And then they get five years of eligibility as a reward.— Scott Stricklin (@stricklinMSU) February 18, 2015
Perfect! Not only does it eliminate the issue created by making freshmen ineligible, but it also furthers the goal of "supporting student athletes" -- one that you can laugh at as the NCAA's main goal, sure, though it really should be prioritized here. The overwhelming majority of athletes on campus do not play professionally after that. So this solution seems like a perfect opportunity to help them earn a degree and go on to other success.
Some combination of this goal, and the baseball rule -- either you get drafted out of high school or you stay for three years -- seems to make to much sense, even if it takes some adjustment on the part the leagues (in particular, the NBA and NFL, which do not have rules in place to allow for high school players).
We can debate the above down in the comments for awhile, since I think there are various solutions to toss around. But what's DEFINITELY worth looking at is what Syracuse would have lost under a potential freshmen ineligibility rule. The most important one:
The 2003 Men's Basketball National Championship
No Carmelo Anthony. No Gerry McNamara. No way this team makes it as far as they did... so yeah, no title.
But what OTHER stellar/notable freshman campaigns would we have lost in football and basketball since the 1972 rule change?
- Tyler Ennis (BB; 2013-14)
- Dyshawn Davis (FB: 2011)
- Ross Krautman (FB; 2010)
- Brandon Triche (BB; 2009-10)
- Jonny Flynn (BB; 2007-08)
- Donte' Greene (BB; 2007-08) -- "DYNASTY" (/natch)
- Eric Devendorf (BB; 2005-06)
- Brendan Carney (FB: 2003)
- Damien Rhodes (FB; 2002)
- Troy Nunes (FB: 1999) -- Yes. Shut up.
- Donovan McNabb (FB; 1995)
- John Wallace (BB; 1992-93)
- Lawrence Moten (BB; 1991-92)
- Derrick Coleman (BB; 1986-87)
- Pearl Washington (BB; 1983-84)
- Joe Morris (FB; 1978)
- The Louie & Bouie Show (BB; 1976-77)
- Dale Shackleford (BB; 1975-76)
... Now I don't know about you, but I don't think I could go without any of those names. Obviously the large majority of them played after that freshman season -- so why does the NCAA want to wash away one season?
Worthwhile conversation in the comments, of course. So have at it as we try and figure out a solution that keeps everyone happy...