Wednesday, January 8, 2014

NCAA Allows Freshmen To Play

On Jan. 8, 1972, the NCAA announced that freshmen would be eligible to play on varsity teams.

Prior to this, freshmen were ineligible to play on varsity as they had their own league of play, freshman league.

There were some exceptions, most notably the waiver that was granted to the Marshall football team after their 1970 plane crash. But after this announcement, all schools could use freshmen on their football and basketball teams.

In August of 1973 the NCAA announced the creation of three separate divisions, which is the current three-division setup of Division I, Division II, and Division III.

Under NCAA rules, Division I and Division II schools can offer scholarships to athletes for playing a sport. Division III schools may not offer any athletic scholarships. Generally, larger schools compete in Division I and smaller schools in II and III.

Division I football was further divided into I-A and I-AA in 1978.

Subsequently the NCAA no longer officially uses the term “Division I-AAA” was briefly added to delineate Division I schools, which do not field a football program at all, but that term.

In 2006, Divisions I-A and I-AA were respectively renamed the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) and Football Championship Subdivision (FCS).

Until the 1980s, the association did not offer women's athletics. Instead an organization named the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) governed women's collegiate sports in the United States. By 1982, however, all divisions of the NCAA offered national championship events for women's athletics and most members of the AIAW joined the NCAA.

As of 2008 if a freshman wants to play on an NCAA team the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) states that students must meet three requirements; graduate from high school, complete the minimum required academic courses, and have qualifying grade-point average (GPA) and SAT or ACT scores.

The 16 academic credits are four courses in English, two courses in math, two classes in social science, two in natural or physical science, and one additional course in English, math, natural or physical science, or another academic course such as foreign language.

To meet the requirements for grade point average and SAT scores students the lowest possible GPA a student may be eligible with is a 1.700 with an SAT score of 1400. The lowest SAT score a student may be eligible with is 700 with a GPA of 2.500.

As of 2011, a high school student may sign a letter of intent to enter and play football for a college only after the first Wednesday in February.

In August 2011, the NCAA announced plans to raise academic requirements for postseason competition, including its two most prominent competitions, football's Bowl Championship Series and the Men's Division I Basketball Championship; the new requirement, which are based on an "academic progress rate" that measures retention and graduation rates, and is calculated on a four-year, rolling basis. The changes raise the rate from 900 to 930, which represents a 50 percent graduation rate.

In 2009, Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada became the NCAA's first non-US member institution. 

In 2012 a freshman, Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, won the Heisman Trophy. It was the first time in the history of the award that a freshman was given the honors.

In 2013 the trend continued with freshman winning the Heisman Trophy, as Jameis Winston of Florida State won the honors.