The long road
Perhaps BYU came to a crossroads where it had to determine whether it wanted to be a national athletic power (in more than just Olympic sports) or a school that does not compromise academics for athletic prowess. For BYU sports fans, let’s hope BYU is still near the intersection of these two competing forces and can reassess and alter its approach to bringing in student athletes who are starving to be a Cougar, but who may need BYU to exercise a little faith in the player and in itself.
Not Cut and Dried
Outside of honor code issues, BYU is typically level headed, so if the admissions office is nixing student athletes on academic grounds, I’m sure it’s also trying to find some wiggle room by putting together plans for academically marginal student athletes. This is commendable, but it will inevitably have a cooling effect on recruits.
So how should the school strike the balance between recruiting capable student athletes who will not be plagued with academic ineligibility at BYU? Trust the judgment of the coaches. BYU has a disproportionate number of coaches who are alumni. They know the challenges. They know the players. Let them decide who to recruit and who is not a good fit. The last thing a coach wants to do is bring in a player who will be academically ineligible. It’s a waste of the coach’s time, and it’s a waste of the recruits precious eligibility. Just as LaVell Edwards saw something special in Derwin Gray, let’s allow Sitake, Rose, and their respective staffs to find the next generation of successful ambassadors for BYU sports who began as less-than-ideal recruits.