The NCAA Presidents Commission will consider eliminating or restricting freshman athletic eligibility during its regular two-day fall meeting beginning Tuesday. The commission also will consider modification of Proposal 48, a 2-year-old rule that becomes effective in August setting minimum requirements for freshman eligibility based on scores on entrance exams.
If the commission, comprised of 44 presidents or chancellors of NCAA member schools, acts on freshman eligibility at this meeting, its proposal will be presented to the NCAA convention in January. Other proposals to be voted on in January may be made by the NCAA Council or any group of at least six NCAA member schools.
Under Proposal 48, incoming freshmen must have a 2.0 grade-point average based on an 11-course high school curriculum. They also must have at least a 700 SAT score or a 15 on the ACT; both are college entrance exams.
Research has shown that Proposal 48 will seriously disadvantage black male student-athletes, according to Ted Tow, the commission staff director.
Some of the presidents would like to modify Proposal 48 by applying some type of index, which would allow a higher grade-point average to compensate for a low test score, or vice versa, he said. Another group of NCAA members believes the standards set by the rule are minimal and should not be lowered in any way, Tow said. An NCAA committee in August recommended a sliding scale that many proponents of Proposal 48 consider a gutting of the rule.
Some favor freshmen being eligible to play in some "low pressure" sports and other members believe there should be no freshman eligibility, Tow said.