Coaches comments raise questions about eligibility

Aaron Dunton

University of Arizona head football coach Mike Stoops’ words ran clear. “Obviously, Arizona State has turned into a junior college and we’re a four year college.”

This was in response to Arizona losing three verbally committed players to ASU, because the athletes said, “It was easier to get into ASU.”

That got me thinking. I wondered exactly how does the eligibility in the NCAA work.

Then I thought and wondered when the last time a major athlete at ASU or UofA was academically ineligible due to grades.

I even asked around. Nobody could remember a situation.

There is almost 60 football players on the ASU football team. Not one of them was having problems in school??

The NCAA requires at least a 1.9 GPA to remain in athletics.

Are we seriously suggesting that none of these stud athletes flirted with that mark.
And its not just ASU. Its everywhere. Mike Stoops can cry foul on ASU, but truth is, UofA sat not one player of significance due to academics either.

In fact, it was Stoops himself that notoriously got defensive end Louis Holmes enrolled even though he was initially denied admission to the university due to grades.

Did he all of a sudden become one of the smartest athletes on the UofA campus?

I guess so, since he has started every game since his arrival, with not one mention of grades.

The same can be said here at ASU. Starting running back Keagan Herring missed many track meets in high school due to his academics not being up to snuff.

Sure enough, talk of him even being close to that 1.9 GPA bar has not surfaced since his arrival at ASU. Man, did Herring get smart quick or what?

I look at it this way. I could grab 60 or so MCC students that “desperately need to do good in school this semester” and follow their grades.

I’ll bet you my next years salary that not all 60 students remain above a 1.9 GPA throughout the year.

Not all of us are cut out for college. Especially not 60 football players, each and every year.

It just amazes me that each college athlete of significance is flying through their respective four year college so easily, even with all the sports hoopla around them.

Don’t get me wrong. Universities are benching players due to not meeting the NCAA requirements. Just not the significant ones.the starting ones.

During the 2006 football season, ASU did break through.

It benched starting wide receiver Terry Richardson due to academics.

It’s just a shame(and coincidence) Richardson had a collarbone injury during his ineligible time.

And I’m sure some of us remember the notorious T.V. conversation two years ago between an announcer and Arizona Cardinals running back Edgerrin James

The interview got cut short because James couldn’t complete a sentence…seriously.
It was the prime topic on Sportscenter the next day. Guess what, Edgerrin has a bachelors degree in Kinesiology from the University of Miami. Wow, just wow!

The examples are aplenty. To be honest, I picked out my four favorite. I have almost a dozen more from many other major universities. Too bad I don’t have more space.

Granted, proving grades were faltered is borderline impossible to do. But the NCAA could still be doing a lot more to prevent this. After all, degrees are being awarded to athletes out there who are not one bit qualified for it.

It’s a problem we all should look at. Hopefully, the NCAA notices this problem quickly, before it way too late to stop it.

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These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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