Blog Entry

Many schools fighting multi-year scholarships

Posted on: December 28, 2011 10:57 am
By Matt Norlander

There now stands a good possibility that the reality and fairness of multi-year scholarships will not come to be. At least not in the near future. Plenty of NCAA member institutions have been trying to table the plan in the past two weeks.

It's the second halt on a major sign of progression for the NCAA in the past two weeks; on Dec. 15, the $2,000-per-athlete stipend/cost-of-attendance-allowanc
e boost was officially nixed after more than 125 schools said, "Unh-uh, we're not cool with it."

Doesn't speak well to NCAA president Mark Emmert's power or influence that he tried to usher these rules into effect with unprecedented fastidiousness -- and is now seeing his representatives push the papers back at him.

The nuts and bolts of this rule/situation: Every year, a player has to renew their scholarship and sign papers over to his or her school. Why doesn't a player just get a four-year scholarship? Great question! It's because coaches want the ability to bring in the best players possible, and the only way they can do that with a complete grasp of their program is if they have the ability to not renew a player on scholarship, instead sit a male or female for a year and deal with it down the road. Smelly things roll downhill, etc.
The AP reports on the latest push from dozens of schools who want to repeal the vote that got the OK two months ago.:

More than 75 schools are asking to override a plan approved in October to allow multiyear athletic scholarships rather than the one-year renewable awards schools currently provide. That's the minimum number of dissenters needed for reconsideration by the Division I Board of Directors when it meets next month in Indianapolis at the annual NCAA convention.

"The NCAA and presidents step up with this legislation and then the universities want to vote it down," said Christian Dennie, a former compliance officer at Missouri and Oklahoma."They say, 'We don't have enough money,' and then the coach gets a $2 million raise," Dennie added, speaking in general terms rather than about a specific school. "It's really a resource allocation issue."

The Division I Board of Directors has three options: scrap the two reform measures and operate under previous NCAA rules; modify the rule or create a new proposal that would go back to the schools for another 60-day comment period; or allow members to vote on the override, which needs a five-eighths majority of the roughly 350 Division I members to pass.

A permanent reversal could force the NCAA and its schools to have two sets of standards, with an obligation to honor multiyear scholarship offers and stipend payments for some students but not others.

You mean to tell me more than 75 schools see the potential for players to be locked in with multi-year scholarships, taking the power out of the hands of the coaches and programs in the process, and they're against such a proposal? Shocker!

This conundrum doesn't happen often, but it does happen, and once is more than enough. A player picks a school most times because he chooses it for the coach and the scholarship in tow. Sweeping the rug out from under a player to make room for another is dirty (and why people were confused/angry initially over the Andre Drummond-Michael Bradley situation).

The NCAA's vice president of governance for Division I, David Berst, believes many schools would not be opposed to this -- they just don't like how fast everything's moving.

"The overriding concern had to do with the time to prepare and plan (for a change) rather than objecting to the concept," he said to the AP. "I'm anticipating the rule will still be in effect (after the next board meeting)."

And that is promising. Also promising, but a bit veiled, according to the AP, some of the schools against multi-year schollies: Boise State, Wyoming, Indiana State, Vermont, Marquette, Utah, Marshall, Boston U., Rutgers. Lots of small fries, but BCS-level programs, too.

The negative to this is, would a player be locked into his or her program? Could they not transfer? That absolutely shouldn't be an issue. Just like a coach can, and almost always does, if they want to leave, they should be able to leave without hindrance.
Category: NCAAB

Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: December 29, 2011 12:21 am

Many schools fighting multi-year scholarships

While the NCAA is in the mood for tweaking the rules to level the playing field to some extent, here's a few more to consider:

1 -- If a head coach leaves a school for any reason, the student-athlete shall be allowed to leave his/her present school to join another school's athletic program.  However, if the player joins the "old" coach at the new school, the player must sit out one year without a scholarship to pay for that year.

2 -- End the early scholarship offers and students making verbal/written commits at various times.  Students will be allowed to sign early for a single month after the end of the sport season played as a junior -- but only if the junior has a cumulative 2.0 GPA or better.  Force the students who struggle to take care of business as students to focus on that very thing until the sport season is over.  Students who can't meet the 2.0 GPA as juniors have to wait until their sport's season is over as seniors to commit anywhere.  Let's put the "student" back into student-athlete.

3 -- Student-athletes may not work any jobs to make money outside the college itself.  In exchange the NCAA (not the schools themselves) will pay each student-athlete $100 per week provided the student maintains a 2.0 GPA.  GPA drops, and the money goes away.

4 -- Any coach found to have violated NCAA by-laws will take penalties imposed by the NCAA with them when they change schools.  No more slash-and-burn programs that leave a university cleaning up after the coach has left town.  The old school gets a smaller slap on the wrist than the coaches themselves.

5 -- Finally, something that will take the cooperation of the pro sports leagues themselves.  Any player agent found to be financing a collegiate player is banned for a minimum of five years from representing pro athletes.  This will guarantee agents think twice about reaching out to collegiate players if they have players in the pros already.  If could conceivably wipe out a player agent's business with one misplaced envelope of cash.

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