Big Ten

Big Ten proposes a “Year of Readiness”

The Big Ten Conference has been consulting with its members on a proposal to make college athletes ineligible their freshmen year to help them adjust to college life.

According to an article in The Diamondback, the University of Maryland student newspaper, the Big Ten is circulating a letter titled, “A Year of Readiness,” detailing the possibility of making freshmen ineligible for competition.

In a statement made by a Big Ten official to ESPN, the conference is trying to get feedback from its members on a national decision to make student athletes ineligible their freshmen year.

This wouldn’t be the first time freshmen were ineligible. Up until 1972 they were ineligible from varsity sports.

In their previous business meeting, coaches and athletic directors did not discuss this issue but they will expect it to be mentioned in the coming months.

“This wouldn’t be the first time this was proposed. Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott told CBS Sports that he has talked to other commissioners about freshman ineligibility and expects there to be many more serious talks in the future.

The main reason this is being proposed is to help freshmen to get adjusted to college life academically.

“The document, which shows football and men’s basketball as the only sports with graduation rates less than 75 percent across the NCAA, states that a push for freshman ineligibility would benefit athletes academically” the Diamondback stated.

Maryland president told the newspaper that spending a year receiving academic advising would go a long way in helping student athletes graduate.

“That would be one of the healthiest things we could do for college sports right now,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said. “Recruiting’s kind of a runaway train, and what a lot of people don’t consider is there’s a lot of serious pressure that’s put on some players’ shoulders that I’m not sure is healthy for them big picture-wise.”

This will decrease the amount of one-and-dones but Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith doesn’t think that keeping those one-and-dones in school one more year is a good enough reason to change the eligibility policy.

The conversation of freshmen ineligibility is definitely one that will be back in the near future.

Kevin Bridge

Owner at The Backfield Press
I am an undergraduate student at the University of Tennessee majoring in journalism and electronic media. I am the founder of The Backfield Press.