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My son is a very good high school running back and would love to play at the college level.  The problem is that because of the program he's in at his school,(he has ADHD)he was not required to take a language.  I know for most, if not all four year colleges and universities at least 2 years of a language is required to get in. My son is a senior this year an will probably have some colleges looking at him. He has a 2.5 GPA so he does qualify grade wise. Is there any way that he can go to a four year school?  It would be terrible if he had to turn down a full ride.  Maybe he can test out or take classes over the summer? I know that the junior college route is an option. Thank you for your time.

Jeff Shaw


I applaud you for raising what sounds like a terrific son.  Having the talent to play college athletics is something not many have.

The NCAA has very strict academic eligibility requirements when it comes to incoming freshman.  For Division I, if your son wants to be eligible to receive a scholarship, practice and compete in his first year, he must graduate, and must have completed 16 core courses as follows:
   - 4 years of English;
   - 3 years of math (Algebra or higher);
   - 2 years of natural or physical science (including one year of lab science, if offered);
   - 1 extra year of English, math, or natural or physical science;
   - 2 years of social science; and
   - 4 years of extra core course (from any of the above, or foreign language, comparative religion or philosophy).
He must also earn a minimum GPA in the core courses (not overall), and earn a combined SAT or ACT sum score that matches the core-course GPA average on the sliding scale.  You can Google "NCAA Division Sliding Scale Eligibility" to find the scale.  For example, if his GPA in the core courses was 2.5, he must have at least an 820 SAT or 68 ACT to be a qualifier.  If he doesn't qualify, he cannot receive a scholarship, practice or compete in his first year.

You can check his high school's list of NCAA core courses at  

With his ADHD, he may qualify as student with an "education-impacting disability" (EID).  If so, he may be provided certain accommodations to help him meet the necessary requirements set forth above (he still must meet the same requirements).  You should let the NCAA Eligibility Center know about your son's EID if he plans on using additional core courses after high school graduation (and before initial collegiate enrollment), and he intends to attend an NCAA Division I college.  If he qualifies, he may use up to three additional core-course units completed after high school graduation (but before full-time collegiate enrollment).  If he needs to access the additional three core-course accommodation, you should submit documentation to the NCAA Eligibility Center, including a diagnosis from the doctor and a current copy of an individualized education program or Section 504 Plan (or the high school can submit documentation describing accommodations that were available or explain as to why they were not provided).  For more information on this, go to

I hope that helps.  In short, foreign languages are not required for NCAA admittance.  It is up to the schools to admit him without meeting their specific requirements.  The advice above is only relating to NCAA eligibility.  Each school may have admittance requirements that are stricter than the NCAA rules.  For such schools, you should speak directly to that school's coaches or compliance department.  They can certainly help.

Good luck!


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William Robers


I can answer rules questions and officiating questions (including training, mechanics, and general questions).


College Football Official since 2005; assist in training newer officials.

Big Sky Conference Officials Association Sports Lawyers Association Rotary International

Law Degree from University of Minnesota Law School, 2001 MBA from Carlson School of Management at the U. of Minnesota, 2001 B.S. in Business Administration from Marquette University, 1997

Awards and Honors
Post-Season official in 2012 and 2013.

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