So the one thing no one seems to be talking about regarding the admissions scandal is how the method of labeling applicants as an athletic recruit got them a spot at a school that their academic qualifications wouldn’t get them into.
So the question no one is asking is: Why are athletic students being preferred over academic ones at supposedly academic institutions?
I know I’ve had conversations with Disgust about how athletic programs interfere with academics but we could never come up with a workable solution, primarily because the schools would resist losing the money associated with collegiate sports. But anyway here is yet another suggestion, that could serve to solve multiple problems at once.
So recruited student athletes can choose either a full (or partial) ride scholarship to a NCAA Division I or II school of their choice (depending on what Division team they were drafted to) or a salary equivalent to the tuition and expenses that would have been covered by the scholarship. Students that choose a scholarship but are unable to gain admission to a school on their academic merits would take the salary instead.
Athletes would be drafted in a process similar to professional sports leagues. By taking the team choice out of the hands of students (and disassociating the team they play for and the school they attend) the problem of “gifting” to prospective recruits should be eliminated, although there may be some gifts to entice an athlete to declare themselves eligible for the draft.
An added effect, since the salary paid to non-student athletes would be based on tuition cost, it should encourage schools to keep tuition low, or at least not raise it as rapidly as its going up now. Another bonus is that flunking out or being expelled from a school would not effect eligibility to play on a team, so coaches wouldn’t have to pull strings or otherwise allow their players to “coast” in their academics.
It does create one problem, that of geography, for example if a student is drafted to Duke, but accepted to attend UCLA. This could possibly be mitigated by limiting it by conference, allowing greater use of online classes and distance learning, or possibly deferring the education until after the sports career is concluded. But separating the team someone plays for from the school they attend is an important aspect to eliminate conflicts of interest (which is the cause of most of these problems in the first place)
The draft would have to be to early enough to allow students to apply to schools in the division of conference they were drafted to, but considering they spend most of the student’s senior year in high school trying to court them to apply to their school it shouldn’t be a problem
Obviously this would require changing a LOT of NCAA rules, but in the end I think would be for the best, and it wouldn’t impact costs much, as the NCAA already pays over 200 million a year in Div I scholarships, that same money would simply be applied to scholarships for those students who attend a school, or the equivalent in a salary (and it might even reduce costs if tuition goes down as noted above) NCAA would retain all their licensing rights to both the team logos, game broadcasts, and player likenesses so their income would be unaffected