The Student News Site of Malvern Preparatory School

Friar's Lantern

The Student News Site of Malvern Preparatory School

Friar's Lantern

The Student News Site of Malvern Preparatory School

Friar's Lantern

NCAA Core Requirements limit recognized classes for students


Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 9.50.44 AMNCAA regulations prohibit Malvern classes like Literature and Film to count as credit for students looking to play sports in college.

Malvern Prep prides itself on their elite athletic teams and the athletes who play on them. However, there are certain classes Friar-athletes and all student-athletes nationwide must take in order to be eligible to participate in college athletics.

According to the NCAA Eligibility Center, prospective student athletes are required to complete 16 “core courses” to be permitted to play Division I athletics. With this requirement, the NCAA strives to make sure student athletes take classes at their high school that will make those students ready for college level courses.

A main goal for Malvern as a college preparatory school is to ensure every student is ready “for further study in institutions of higher education,” as written in its statement of philosophy. The school requires students take 16 of these core classes in order to graduate and be fully prepared for college level courses. These prerequisites are based off of state requirements.

“The NCAA compared each state’s varying prerequisites and then came up with a number that seemed to best fit into each state’s regulations,” Director of Guidance Paul Simpson explained. “Malvern’s requirements are slightly higher than the state’s, and the typical Malvern student will even graduate with three or more credits than required.”

According to Simpson, Malvern athletes have never had eligibility problems with playing Division I sports. “The college counselors make sure that [athletes] are taking the appropriate classes and amount necessary to be able to play,” said Simpson.

According to the NCAA Eligibility Center, some courses at Malvern that have been denied in the past include Effective Business Communication, Science and Art of Narrative, Storytelling, and beginning next year, the popular senior elective Literature and Film. These classes are denied because “The course does not meet NCAA core course guidelines as established by the NCAA Membership.”

Another course that appears in the denied list is AP Computer Science. According to the NCAA Guidelines, if a school awards computer science courses technology credit only, the courses cannot be approved in any NCAA core area.

Some denied courses are classified by the NCAA as, “courses that are taught below grade level, at a slower pace, with less rigor or depth.” The famed Literature and Film class will no longer be a core class because it has been labeled as “not academic in nature,” in an indicated list including examples such as Film Study, Video Editing, and Greenhouse Management.

For a Catholic school like Malvern that requires three and a half years of theology, Comparative Religions is the only theology class approved by the NCAA.

Sophomore lacrosse player and future Lehigh Mountain Hawk Sam Charlton ‘17 says he did not know of this requirement before he committed. “After I committed I was informed that I had to take a certain amount of these core classes,” said Charlton.

“I was not concerned with this rule, however,” said Charlton. “As a student at Malvern I am sure I will have no problem completing the requirement.”

Mr. Pison, Mr. Rogai, and Ms. Plows are hoping that a Journalism and Media class proposed for next year will be approved by the NCAA as a core course.

“Because Literature and Film will no longer be an approved course, we were looking for some possible options to replace it,” said Rogai. “In September, Ms. Plows raised the possibility of having this course, and we think that this class with this new schedule will be a perfect fit and an opportunity to teach and develop writing skills and techniques.”

Rogai said they are looking into a variety of other classes to get approved. Whether or not they are approved may affect student interest in taking these new courses.

A Boston Globe article last year detailed that every year the NCAA reviews qualifying information from about 85,000 high school juniors and seniors who want to play at the top college level. On average 10.5% of incoming college freshmen are rejected annually for Division I play because they don’t meet academic standards, according to the NCAA.

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