Obviously I’m biased on this one, but I really believe the college eligibility rules should be changed. The current rules give a huge advantage to large state schools. The current eligibility rules allow a player five years of eligibility. The clock starts ticking as soon as a player signs up for the UPA. The 2004 Women’s AC All-Region Team consisted of four seniors, two juniors, and a graduate student. The seniors were from UGA, UNC, NCST, and Duke. Three of the seniors returned for a fifth year with their team. As you probably guessed, it’s the kid from Duke that didn’t return. Maybe it’s because Duke costs between 10 and 15 times and much as the in-state tuition at the other schools?
I think the rules should be changed to only allow players to have four years of eligibility--just like the eligibility rules of every other college sport. I think the rule should be that starting with the first time you sign up for the UPA you have five years to play four seasons. This would prevent the UPA from having to grant red shirts because a player who is injured could sit out the college series one year and not appear on the teams roster. Playing a season only means being on the teams UPA Series Roster. I realize at the moment there is a potential logistical issue tracking this stuff as all of the rosters are done by hand. However, next year all of the rosters are supposed to submitted online. It shouldn’t be a difficult thing to track in a database – a player gets five years to play four seasons. I don’t think the rules should be changed right away as many players who are in college now have already made plans to stay in school for 5 years. It’s also conceivable that there are seniors in high school who have made their college decision based on going to a place where they can play five years. I think we should grandfather all of those people in. But the rules need to change. So, if I were running the show, (thankfully for everyone I’m not) I’d say starting with the 2007-2008 season, players that sign up for the UPA for the first time are only allowed to show up on 4 College Rosters in the next 5 years. Is there any reason not to do this?