Cut Out in the Tunnel Walk at Nebraska Football Memorial Stadium
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Nebraska Recruiting: NCAA Task Force Recommends Removing Minimum Test Scores

October 19, 2021

Recruiting never stops and it’s easy to miss the top stories day-to-day. Recruiting analyst Greg Smith recaps all things Nebraska recruiting news, analysis and more so you never miss a thing.


A pretty big change could be brewing behind the scenes in college football. A recommendation was made to the NCAA last Friday. It would no long require minimum standardized test scores for incoming freshman. This would affect Division I and II sports. The recommendation was made by the NCAA Standardized Test Score Task Force. That task force was formed as part of the NCAA’s eight-point plan to advance racial equity.

The proposal will be considered in February by the Division I Committee on Academics and Division II Academic requirements Committee. Changes would have to be reviewed and made through each division’s legislative process. Morgan State President David Wilson is the head of the task force. He said the following about the recommendation.

“This work reflects the NCAA’s commitment to continually reviewing our academic standards based on the best available data and other relevant information,” Wilson said. “We are observing a national trend in NCAA member schools moving away from requiring standardized test scores for admissions purposes and this recommendation for athletics eligibility aligns directly with that movement.”

This would be an interesting step forward for the NCAA. It would get the NCAA out of the academic eligibility gatekeeper. Schools would be able to enroll and play whoever they felt comfortable letting join their teams. We saw relaxed academic standards to play athletics during 2020. That was an unprecedented year so drastic action was needed. If something like this proposal became permanent it could yield interesting results.

Players would still need to go to class and maintain GPAs while playing college sports. So under this role the schools would need to be sure that they could handle any academic risks they took. That’s where Nebraska would be in a unique position. The academic assistance it provides for student-athletes through the LifeSkills department is second to none.

Nebraska places a big level of attention on academics. That is something that consistently comes up with recruits. Illinois offensive lineman Charles Jagusah spoke highly about the Huskers’ academic emphasis. He visited for the Northwestern game. He noted afterwards that he was surprised at how much effort they put into academics. How many Academic All-Americans Nebraska has had was a surprise.

This proposal gives more young people an opportunity to go to college. Scholarship opportunities would be attainable for a wider group. This would really help many student-athletes. Many of them are on the fringe of qualifying based on test scores. I’m not seeing much of a downside to the proposal to do away with standardized test score requirements to play college athletics. We’ll keep an eye out in February to see what the next steps in the process brings.

Recruit Watch

>> New Jersey 2023 defensive lineman Sydir Mitchell showed some great toughness last week.

>> Cedric Baxter Jr., a 2023 athlete from Orlando, has posted some big stats so far this season.

ICYMI

>> I gave three takes (Premium) on Nebraska losing Florida defensive line commit Hayden Schwartz on Monday night.

>> I had Steve Marik on the Straight Up Breakdown podcast to discuss a wacky weekend in college football.

>> As Steve Marik wrote, finding leaders and pitchers with mound presence is key for Husker baseball this year.

>> As Drake Keeler writes, Vanessa Bouvet is thriving in a return to Nebraska’s lineup.

>> If Nebraska is going to go on a run to close the season its red zone offense (Premium) needs to be more diverse.

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