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NCAA wants soccer players to be more "academic"

The NCAA dropped a bombshell on non-revenue sports and released a proposal (which you read more about here.) which would reduce competitions by 10% and cut spring competitions. This would mean that Soccer players as well as other sports would only have a short season in the fall/winter and now games or practices again until August.

All of this is being proposed due to the fact that the NCAA is "worried" about the academics of participating athletes in the non-revenue sports. Last time I checked the GPA of most Basketball and Football teams at the big universities is far below that of the other sports. If and this is a big IF the NCAA actually cared about the academics they would lessen the load of the revenue sports first. 

We all know the NCAA is all about the Benjamins so lets just agree this proposal is idiotic.

Now how will this affect the MLS?


If the proposal goes through this means that those players who do go through college will have played only 20 months at a competitive level. You get 20 months if you figure the season last from August to December. However it usually is shorter for most teams that do not make the post season and that would move the number of competitive months to 16 over a 2 year period. 

If an MLS team drafts one of these players they will be drafting a player who is even more ill-prepared to go through the rigors of an MLS season. Not only will they have to take it slow with these players in terms of fitness, travel and other rigors of a lengthy season they will also have to coach more of the basics to these athletes. All of these factors would combine to make the Draft more like the supplemental draft instead of a draft where you would be getting the best soccer players.

If I were an MLS team who had to wait a few more years for my top draft pick to develop even after 4 years of college soccer I don't think I would want to put most of my focus on the college draft. I would focus more on developing an academy where the soccer season would be 10 months long. Not only would they be getting 40 months of competitive soccer in a 4 year period but they would also not count against the Salary cap.

In the end this proposal while idiotic in its premise if implemented would really shift the responsibility of developing soccer talent to the USSF and the MLS. Which could be good but would definitely create a possible 10 year lag as the academies are just not there yet.