Some major academic changes for freshmen student athletes are on the way in 2016.
Current academic standards require incoming college freshman to graduate high school with 16 core courses passed and a minimum of a 2.0 GPA matched with an ACT or SAT score, on a sliding scale. The higher the core GPA, the lower the allowed ACT or SAT score.
The changes for 2016 still include that the student must pass 16 core classes in four years, but further notes that 10 of those courses must be finished by the start of their senior year. The minimum GPA also jumps up to 2.3. The message is clear. Better prepare student athletes for the hurdles that they will face in college.
According to ESPN, a recent survey showed that of all Division I football players to enroll this past fall, about 40% of them would have failed to meet the new requirements. That's two out of every five players on the roster.
The term academic redshirt will be used for student athletes that meet the old standards, but fail to meet the new standards set to take effect in 2016. Those players will be allowed to practice with the team, and still receive a scholarship, but will ineligible to play in games. As long as the student athlete passes nine credit hours in their first semester on campus, they will be eligible to continue to participate through the off season and begin the next year as a redshirt freshman.