The age limit is the devil.
Nathaniel Friedman

Do you mean a completely separate, curated curriculum for student-athletes? I graduated from a basketball school and it was an open secret that most of the basketball players had the same major (sociology) and took the same courses with the same professors; how much more “special” can you get? That would open up a whole ‘nother can of worms, what with players already perceived (and actually receiving) perks not bestowed among the regular student body, as benefits their stature as players[ (the bigger the school’s sports rep, the greater the perks).

[Then again, that was during a time when a four-year player was the rule and not the exception ( I came up in the Dean Smith/Jimmy Valvano/John Thompson, Jr. era). I am, admittedly, Team Get Off My Lawn. :)]

I do agree that some career planning needs to be in order. We see countless students declare for the NBA draft before they are ready and end up in either the D-League (James McAdoo of UNC, though he is now on the roster for Golden State; Andrew Harrison of Kentucky; JP Tokoto, also of UNC), overseas, or in limbo because (before the NCAA rule change) they couldn’t go back to school once they declared for the draft. Unfortunately, no amount of planning can overcome the lure of potential multi-millions to ostensibly take care of kith and kin, or the whispers of unscrupulous agents or guardians (hi, Skal Labissierre) to hype up a young player to think he’s the best thing since Michael Jordan.

Scheduling also needs to be handled, particularly when it comes to student meals. Shabazz Napier (formerly of UConn, currently with the Orlando Magic) made waves with his statement about not having enough to eat during his college days, but he just brought to light an accepted (and wrong) practice. Former players at my alma mater have spoken of the then-coach paying for their road meals, so that they could pocket their per diems for later spending. It shouldn’t have to come to that, though the gesture was much appreciated and further cemented their loyalty to the coach and program.

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