Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen has a proposal in response to the NCAA's new academic requirements for freshmen.
Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said he thinks players above the NCAA's new core grade-point-average requirement should be granted five years of eligibility as opposed to four, reports The Huntsville Times.
Beginning in August 2016, prospective NCAA athletes must have a 2.3 GPA to compete. Athletes who are above a 2.0 but below the new threshold will be forced to take an academic redshirt year. Mullen is proposing to give an extra year of eligibility for athletes who meet the 2.3 threshold as a counterbalance to athletes who are forced to redshirt for a year.
In Mullen's opinion, freshmen who would normally redshirt may be forced to play because of academically-ineligible teammates, and thus should be rewarded with an extra year of eligibility.
"You might take a freshman and they are being punished for having better grades. They might be forced to play even though they needed a redshirt year," Mullen said. "One of the thoughts I had was there's a mandatory academic redshirt year for a certain group of people ... well, if you are above that new standard you should get five years of eligibility. Why punish someone who might be forced to have to play? Instead of punishing guys for doing bad, why not reward guys for doing good?"
Mullen's idea is far short of a formal proposal. According to the Times, talks of the idea have not been advanced during any SEC or coaches meetings.
The Bulldogs open the 2015 season on Sept. 5 at Southern Miss.
- Rohan Nadkarni