In case you missed it, there's some bad news for the class of 2007. Colquitt County cornerback Vance Cuff has been in a holding pattern the past few weeks because two courses he had been counting on to gain admission were not approved by the NCAA Clearinghouse. One was a computer course and the other a speech communication course.The NCAA changed its rules regarding computer courses this year, disallowing them to meet the core course requirement (athletes enrolling in 2007 must complete 14 core courses).So Cuff went to summer school and replaced that course.
Courses which may be used to meet the requirement are listed on Form 48H, an NCAA document that lists the courses that are considered core courses, on a school-by-school basis.Cuff's high school coach says that when they checked the List of Approved Courses for Colquitt County last week, the computer couse was on it. This week, it was gone, along with Cuff's chance of gaining initial eligibility.
The weird result of Form 48H is that while Introductory Swahili could theoretically be required for graduation from an acreditted high school in Rhode Island, but offered only as an elective in Alabama. Regardless of the difficulty of the respective courses, student athletes taking the course in Rhode Island might well be able to count the course as "core". Even in Cuff's case, had he chosen to go back and take French I as an elective, and passed, he would be qualified.
Speech is a course, of course, of course/But only Myles Brand knows what's core, of course/ And if you don't have enough cores, of course/ you should just take driver's ed. (But not really.That's not a core course at Colquitt County, either.)
This, then is the strange voodoo of the NCAA Clearinghouse. Sometimes the public gets the impression that athletes who do not qualify initially as freshmen are dumb, lazy or both. Unfortunately, they sometimes are just misinformed, as appears to have been the case for Cuff. Because his GPA and test scores are fine, he's not really a candidate for a prep school like Hargrave or Fork Union. Instead, he'll probably have to spend at least one semester at a junior college and report for bowl practice.
The Moultrie Observer has the whole whacked-out story, but in a nutshell, it appears Cuff will be heading to a junior college unless the folks in the Colquitt County school system can pull some serious persuasive jujitsu on the NCAA.
And don't think this is the last time you'll hear from the NCAA on this type of issue. It's a little known fact that the NCAA is actually increasing its core course requirement for initial freshman eligibility to 16 courses for 2008, which will make things even more difficult for some students.