O'Neil: NCAA eligibility's judge and jury

The High School Review arm of the NCAA's Eligibility Center sees plenty of examples of shockingly deficient course work. ESPN.com

INDIANAPOLIS -- True or false: A cat has nine lives and a dog has four legs?

For five points: Describe a brief encounter that you have experienced in the last month and explain whether it made you feel good or bad.

Answer: I was playing basketball and this kid fouled me really hard and cut my finger I was so mad that once I got the ball again I dunked so hard that I made the cut worse. It made me feel bad cause now I can't play for a week.


The first is from a high school geometry test; the second from an online high school English course.

Both were turned in -- by different high schools -- to the High School Review team, the arm of the Eligibility Center charged with determining, among other things, whether a high school class can be considered a core course, whether a high school deserves certification by the NCAA and whether an individual high school athlete meets NCAA eligibility requirements, which will increase for the 2016 class, beginning with this fall's high school freshmen.

If you want to know how the sausage of college eligibility is made, these are the folks to talk to. They have seen it all: from high schools set up in hotel rooms to kids living on air mattresses at phony prep schools; from doctored transcripts to clueless principals; and yes, from the aforementioned laughable test questions to another example where a student was allowed, for half credit, to take another stab at an incorrect answer … on a true-false quiz.

Click here for the rest of Dana O'Neil's story.