Malik Mueller, an incoming freshman guard for Virginia Tech’s men’s basketball team, will not play this year because he did not meet NCAA initial eligibility requirements. Mueller missed the GPA/test score sliding scale because of two classes the NCAA did not accept:
Mueller, who attended a German boarding school, is enrolled at Tech and is practicing with the team. But he said Monday that the NCAA took issue with two of his courses in Germany – a physical education class and a religion class.
“There were two classes they didn’t accept, which dropped my GPA too low,” he said.
It makes sense that physical education is not considered to be a core course by the NCAA. Religion courses are trickier. Comparative religion or non-doctrinal religion courses are sometimes accepted as core courses. The doctrinal religion courses one might associate with a Catholic or other religious school are not considered core courses. But Mueller’s mother Petra takes more issue with the phys ed course:
“Physical education … is a challenging core course in Germany consisting of 50 percent practical exams in different fields of sport … but also 50 percent theory, similar to sports sciences courses in college, including written exams,” she said in an email.
The rub is that even a true kinesiology class might be a tough sell to the NCAA unless it was heavily based on physiology and biomechanics. As soon as practical exams in sport skills are included, the odds that the NCAA would accept a sport science course are essentially zero.