Since 1995 - Insightful commentary on the Georgia Bulldogs

Post Lady Dogs one of the last to benefit from questionable BYU online courses

Wednesday July 14, 2010

You might remember the news from earlier in the year that the NCAA would stop accepting credit from courses at two schools: the American School and BYU’s online program. The news focused mostly on football players like Michael Oher and at schools like USC (and everywhere else, really). The courses were derided as not rigorous enough, and the practice was often seen as a shortcut to qualifying. BYU is currently working with the NCAA to remedy the situation.

The NCAA prohibition goes into effect August 1st, and students claiming those credits before the deadline will be evaluated individually. One of those students looking to come in under the deadline is an incoming women’s basketball player at Georgia. Ronika Ransford was a top prospect last year and was a McDonald’s All-American. But, as the Washington Post describes, she joins a long list of players from the DC area who ran into problems qualifying according to NCAA standards. Ransford’s problem was a single course – freshman English – that wasn’t certified by the NCAA.

Unfortunately the problem was not caught until her senior season, and her plans to enroll earlier this summer were put on hold as she had to make up the credit:

Ransford, who enrolled at H.D. Woodson in the fall of 2006, said guidance counselor Carl Allen told her last September that the NCAA would not accept her freshman English class. She said Allen told her the school would petition the NCAA to accept it by showing the material covered met the criteria for ninth-grade level coursework. By the time she signed with Georgia, Andy Landers, the Georgia coach, told her she needed to find an alternative class that met NCAA standards. Ransford paid $124 to sign up for an independent studies course administered online by Brigham Young University.

I don’t mean to suggest any improprieties with Ransford’s academic standing, and it’s not even clear whether or not Georgia had any role at her choice of online class beyond Landers’ explanation that “she needed to find an alternative class that met NCAA standards.” She’s already registered at UGA, so this class apparently satisfied the eligibility requirements. The bigger story in that Washington Post article isn’t surprising to anyone who’s followed recruiting of any kind: substandard schools that make it tough enough to qualify often aren’t even familiar with the NCAA process and standards. In one case, counselors “had no idea about core courses.” For kids already at a disadvantage looking to come out of troubled neighborhoods and schools, the process of qualifying – even using the high school’s own courses – is another hurdle.

Comments are closed.