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Sports Rules--Deserving Students and School Reformers Suffer: The Tragic Impact of the NCAA's Efforts to Impose Standards on High Schools


by Joe Nathan — 1998

Is the National Collegiate Athletic Organization (NCAA), an organization whose central role is regulating college and university sports, really the appropriate group to dictate high school course standards? The NCAA’s Initial Eligibility process illustrates the harm a poorly designed, badly implemented effort to impose standards from “on high" can do to deserving students and talented educators. The NCAA’s questionable standards and sloppy procedures have delayed or blocked thousands of high school students, including a National Merit Scholar, class valedictorians and other qualified students, from participating in college sports. A strong athletic record, good grades, and high test scores no longer guarantee that students will be able to participate in university sports they now must take an acceptable number of NCAA-approved courses. The NCAA has also frustrated high school reformers by classifying many researched-based courses as inappropriate for college preparation. This article describes a growing national challenge to NCAA policies and procedures, and proposes next steps.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 100 Number 1, 1998, p. 150-163
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10302, Date Accessed: 5/27/2017 7:44:07 AM

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  • Joe Nathan
    University of Minnesota

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