Athletes Question Effectiveness of NCAA Rule

Progress requirement designed to punish delinquent students causes headaches for some high achievers

Three years ago, as part of a broad effort to raise academic standards in college sports, the NCAA adopted a controversial rule designed to make life difficult for athletes idling in the classroom.

The measure — known as the 40-60-80 rule, or the "progress toward degree" requirement — mandates that, to remain eligible to compete, athletes must complete 40