Can you compete with high academic standards?

The SMU football recruiting class of 2010 has shaped up to be June Jones' best since coming to Dallas. However, it looks like one of his promising recruits won't be joining the others on campus this season.

The SMU football recruiting class of 2010 has shaped up to be June Jones' best since coming to Dallas. However, it looks like one of his promising recruits won't be joining the others on campus this season.

Defensive Back Jeremy Hall was ready to report to campus for the start of his SMU career last week when he was informed that he would not be admitted to the school. Hall met all of the NCAA academic regulations for admissions into an NCAA program, but did not meet the academic standard of the University.

Hall was a three-star recruit out of Brenham High School in Brehnam, Texas and turned down several offers including Colorado, Colorado State, Louisiana Tech, and UTEP to come to SMU. The 5-10, 190 lbs safety was the #154th ranked player at his position in the country and made up for his lack of size with great instincts and a physical mentality.

This loss, while disappointing to Jeremy Hall and his family, can be viewed by SMU fans from two different vantage points.

On one hand, SMU has refused to compromise its academic standards like the vast majority of Universities throughout the country. It's no secret that college athletic programs have often times ignored a player's academics in order for him to be admitted to the school. These players have been viewed as employees rather than students during their time in college, their job being only to apply their skills to the field or court as opposed to in the classroom. SMU can be viewed as taking a stand against this conformity and prove that a program can still perform well with high academic standards. On the other hand, as an SMU fan one can be concern about the dedication to winning.

Sure the University isn't going to admit anybody off the street who can play a sport well, but could something have been worked out in order to insure that a player like Jeremy Hall can have an opportunity to succeed academically even though he was not able to meet the initial academic criteria?

Whatever side you may take on an issue like this, it seems that SMU has made it very clear that they will not admit an individual solely on athletic talent alone. For a school that is attempting to emerge once again as a national football power, it will be interesting to see if they can succeed without compromising their academic standards.


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