Blog Entry

Emmert contacts DI CEOs on scholarship issue

Posted on: February 6, 2012 12:40 pm
 

NCAA president Mark Emmert has reached out to Division I presidents urging them to support what is becoming the controversial implementation of four-year scholarships.

In a document obtained by CBSSports.com, Emmert asks the presidents to defeat the override proposal on legislation that is allowing four-year scholarships for athletes. Previously, scholarships had been renewed annually, sometimes at the whim of a coach. The four-year measure was approved in October, but 82 schools subsequently signed an override petition.  

“It [override] will take away the opportunity for multi-year support for thousands of student-athletes,” Emmert wrote in the letter. “As we are a presidentially led Association, it is important that you direct what the vote of your institution will be. I encourage you to defeat the override of this proposal.”

Presidents can vote online next week beginning Feb. 13 through 5 pm ET on Feb. 17.   

The petition required the NCAA board of directors to reconsider. It will take 222 schools out of 355 in Division I to override the measure. Last week various reports stated that the majority of Big Ten schools support the measure, which was encouraged by commissioner Jim Delany. According to those reports at least eight of the conference’s 12 schools awarded four-year scholarships on National Signing Day.

“You’re going to graduate,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said last week. “We have that obligation.”

The rest of the 120 schools in Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) are split at best on the issue based on an informal canvassing of the division’s 11 conferences.  SEC commissioner Mike Slive supported the measure as early as July as part of a national reform agenda. Auburn went on record last week as saying it awarded four-year scholarships to its latest recruiting class.

If FBS is split, that suggests that approximately 70 percent of the remaining 235 Division I schools (approximately 162) are going to vote for the override in order to defeat the measure.

If the proposal survives, four-year scholarships would still be optional only for each school. The one-year renewable scholarship has been in effect since 1973. Since then coaches have been able to “cut” athletes for sub-standard performance on the field. The existing proposal would still allow scholarships to be revoked year-to-year due to academic or off-field issues.

Even then, there could be subjective issues defining off-field conduct.

“I’d be surprised, frankly, if it’s overridden,” said Chad Hawley, the Big Ten’s associate commissioner for compliance. “The proposal come out of a working group on student-athlete welfare. Nationally there seems to be a commitment to keeping it in play. I’d be more surprised than not if it went away.”

Supporters are worried about the practice “running off” players who do not fit when a new coach takes over. Critics have said the measure pits large, well-funded athletic departments against smaller schools. The Associated Press reported that Boise State said in its override request that four-year scholarships would be a “recruiting disaster.”

"There is never a guarantee that the incoming student-athlete will be a good fit for the program and the institution," the school stated. "If it is a poor fit, the program is put in a difficult situation to continue to keep a student-athlete on scholarship."

Last month, the board delayed implementation of the annual $2,000 player stipend. It asked that the working group to come back with a modified proposal by April. Even if a new proposal gets through in April, it would have to survive a 60-day comment period. During that time there would be a second chance to override.

Both actions (stipend/scholarships) came out of an August presidential summit in Indianapolis. Critics attacked the stipend for being implemented too soon. Also, there was a concern about affordability, especially for some schools outside of BCS conferences.

The heading of Emmert’s letter states: “Subject: Student-Athlete Well Being” It goes on to state, “ … I need you to participate in the vote. I encourage you to defeat the override of the proposal that will allow student-athletes to receive multi-year scholarships.”

Category: NCAAF
Comments

Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: February 8, 2012 3:00 pm
 

Emmert contacts DI CEOs on scholarship issue

skreffy, man you are wayyyy confused..the big ten doesnt oversign, the big ten actually has a rule against it..while the sec is now just putting one into place it is still not fully in effect..i saw somewhere alabama has had 104 signees in the past 3 yrs..85 is suppose to be the magic number..anyways why would a kid greyshirt at an sec school unless he is going to vandy or fla and not greyshirt at a big ten school? come on we all know that the academic prestige at a big ten school is higher(besides 2 stated) than sec schools


Did you even read my post?  The practice of arbitrarily cutting players for any reason at all is why the Big-10 doesn't have over-signing problems.  As explained in my post you didn't bother to read (though oddly enough you replied to it), that is much worse, and way shadier than grey-shirting, where the kid still gets to play without having an injured junior summarily dismissed for no other reason than being hurt.  If you attended any of those "better" Big-10 academic schools, then you contradict your own point with an amazing lack of reading comprehension.

You just called Florida a good school?  Funny.  And if you match up demographics between the two conferences, you actually see better performance in many apples to apples comparisons.  For example, white males from SEC schools score much higher than the same demographic in the Big-10, but Big-10 schools have many more white male students.  True SEC schools admit many poorer students which pulls down the average, but the top tells a much different story.  LSU is an amazing school and second in the conference in graduation rate.  Stop clinging to tired stereotypes and actually see what is going on, you would be surprised.



Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: February 8, 2012 2:59 pm
 

Emmert contacts DI CEOs on scholarship issue

skreffy, man you are wayyyy confused..the big ten doesnt oversign, the big ten actually has a rule against it..while the sec is now just putting one into place it is still not fully in effect..i saw somewhere alabama has had 104 signees in the past 3 yrs..85 is suppose to be the magic number..anyways why would a kid greyshirt at an sec school unless he is going to vandy or fla and not greyshirt at a big ten school? come on we all know that the academic prestige at a big ten school is higher(besides 2 stated) than sec schools


Did you even read my post?  The practice of arbitrarily cutting players for any reason at all is why the Big-10 doesn't have over-signing problems.  As explained in my post you didn't bother to read (though oddly enough you replied to it), that is much worse, and way shadier than grey-shirting, where the kid still gets to play without having an injured junior summarily dismissed for no other reason than being hurt.  If you attended any of those "better" Big-10 academic schools, then you contradict your own point with an amazing lack of reading comprehension.

You just called Florida a good school?  Funny.  And if you match up demographics between the two conferences, you actually see better performance in many apples to apples comparisons.  For example, white males from SEC schools score much higher than the same demographic in the Big-10, but Big-10 schools have many more white male students.  True SEC schools admit many poorer students which pulls down the average, but the top tells a much different story.  LSU is an amazing school and second in the conference in graduation rate.  Stop clinging to tired stereotypes and actually see what is going on, you would be surprised.



Since: Nov 17, 2007
Posted on: February 8, 2012 1:00 pm
 

Emmert contacts DI CEOs on scholarship issue

This will bring the new Saban-esque tactic of classifying poor play or attitude or less desirable talent as "Off field conduct".  The sleezy coaches will always find a way to escort a kid out the back door in the middle of the night, and the even more disgusting backing of corrupt ADs, Presidents and Boosters will have a snake's back.  Sad state of affairs these days and it is all about milking one more dollar for the bottom line.

There is a limit to good behavior, but there is no limit to bad behavior, unfortunately.

Certainly there will always be someone  who finds a way to abuse the system to his advantage. No security protocol is every perfect. No rulebook is ever perfect. Perfection, in fact, is "unobtainium."

However, to counter the possibility,  there would necessarily need to be a review by the school's legal department before a scholarship contract could be broken, which should include a hearing and the student-athlete could have legal representation if he chooses.

All that said, if the coach doesn't want the kid, but is forced to keep him, what are the consequences to the kid? Not a pretty scenario. In the Sabanesue scenario, the kid (if he has any brains at all), will gladly accept release and leave campus just as soon as he can shove his stuff in a car. 



Since: Nov 17, 2007
Posted on: February 8, 2012 12:54 pm
 

Emmert contacts DI CEOs on scholarship issue

No non-profits will give me a four year commitment and in exchange I do not have to give them a 4 year commitment.  So this proposed NCAA rule guaranteeing 4 years does not work in the real world.

It does not work in the real world narrowed in scope to BoGs for NP organizations, perhaps. But consider issuing a 1 year contract to build a bridge when that bridge will take 4 years to complete.

The specific context is the 4-year degree. Applying the concept to another context that does not have a similar associated timeline will, by definition, not match up well.
1. Players must meet minimum requirement (GPA, attendence mtgs/class, etc.)
2. Players cannot withdraw from the University without proper notice (minimum time window)
3. Players are committed to a University - not a coach.  If coaches change jobs, too bad, the scholarship is with the University.
Item 1. Concurr. It should also include the requisite particitpation in the sport, too.
Item 2. Withdrawal must include cause as well as notice (there are legitimate reasons why a kid would withdraw that should be allowed without penalry, and some of these would not meet a 2-wwek notice requirement) and a penalty for withdrawal without cause.
Item 3. This is a point that requires a lot of consideration. While the commitment certainly is to the University, it is founded on certain assumptions, one of which is the coaching staff. If, as an example, a kid commits to a school because it has an excellent Pre-Law Program and the school closes down the program, should the kid be allowed to renege? Same applies to the coaching staff. A change in coaching staff alters the assumptions that are part of the context of the contract. One can argue either side and be right.
  
 



Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: February 7, 2012 6:32 pm
 

Emmert contacts DI CEOs on scholarship issue

This will bring the new Saban-esque tactic of classifying poor play or attitude or less desirable talent as "Off field conduct".  The sleezy coaches will always find a way to escort a kid out the back door in the middle of the night, and the even more disgusting backing of corrupt ADs, Presidents and Boosters will have a snake's back.  Sad state of affairs these days and it is all about milking one more dollar for the bottom line.



Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: February 7, 2012 5:09 pm
 

Emmert contacts DI CEOs on scholarship issue

Mark Emmert is clearly outmatched as NCAA president. He is an incompetent boob.



Since: Aug 22, 2008
Posted on: February 7, 2012 2:02 pm
 

Emmert contacts DI CEOs on scholarship issue

I think that the 4 year option should be available, but not mandatory. Then it is left up to the schools as to how they wish to handle their schollies. If, for example, Auburn wants to give 4 year schollies because they feel it gives them a better shot at landing top recruits that may otherwise choose to go to 'Bama (or they just feel it's the right thing to do), they should have that option. However, if the one year renewables work for 'Bama, then they should have that choice.

If a school chooses to go the 4 year schollie route, then there should be no "yanking the schollie" for any reaon other than violation of team/school rules and/or not staying academically eligible.

Personally, I don't like the one year renewable/non-renewable schollie's because there is too much opportunity for abuse on the part of coaches. Coaches who have offered a scholarship should not be able to yank a kids scholarhip just because the kid turned out not to be as good as the coaches had projected him to be. The kid takes the risk when he signs a scholarship that the team may not be as good as the coach tells him it will be and has very few resources to leave if the team does not meet expectations. However, if the kid does not meet expectations, the coach can just send him packing.

I'd like to see either the 4 year schoolies remain as an option, or see the NCAA come up with legislation that would limit the reasons that a team has to not renew a players scholarship.




Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: February 7, 2012 10:41 am
 

Emmert contacts DI CEOs on scholarship issue

Wow Boise St. ?  Really?  "The program is put in a difficult situation"?  What about the students?  They are, at least nominally, still student athletes.  What about putting them in a difficult situation?  I just lost a lot of respect for their program.   "Son we are offering you a scholarship to our fine university. Please ignore the fine print that says we will "cut" you after one year so we can play that same song-and-dance to another unsuspecting 18-yr-old high school student."



Since: Dec 1, 2006
Posted on: February 7, 2012 10:11 am
 

Emmert contacts DI CEOs on scholarship issue

Another imperial action by Emmert. It makes it look like universities are "heartless" if they don't go along with 4-year scholarships, Academic scholarships can be taken away at anytime for academic non-performance. Why shouldn't athletic scholarships be allowed to be taken away at anytime for non-performance. The real culprit is Title IV and no one has the courage to do away with that Socialistic, sexist arm twister. When I was on football scholarship, all athletic scholarships were 4-years. But, because women's sports are money blood suckers, completely financed by revenues from football and sometimes men's basketball, football scholarships have been slashed to 85. For anyone who really knows sports, that is to few scholarship athletes for football. Couple the scholarship restrictions with the incredible pressure put on the coaching staffs to win and you are in a near untendable position as a football program. Win or be fired. But, we will not give you enough players to win and you can't get rid of the malcontents, or those that just don't fit the system that the new offensive or defensive coordinator utlizies. Yet, players can transfer out from under you because they are to immature to work for the reward or get passed on the depth chart.



Since: Mar 20, 2008
Posted on: February 7, 2012 8:28 am
 

Eliminate greyshirting

This is an interesting issue.  The rule appears to protect the student athlete from being cut on the whim of a coach.  The new rule still allows players to be cut for performance issues (character/behavior) off the field during the guaranteed 4 years necessary to obtain a degree from a university. The rule appears intended to eliminate the whim of coaches.  It was not clear to me if contractual minimums are included in the scholarship offer (minimum GPA, hours in gym, attendence in class/mtgs, etc) but I imagine it is expressly stated (but if not, should be.)  So if this is the case then the rule probably makes sense.

I like to look into the real world for comparable scenarios to check these rules against.  I am on a board of governors for a non-profit.
The non-profit benefits from my work, my experience, and my decision making (my play?).  I benefit because I get satisfaction from assisting, experience on a BoD, and from interacting with other professionals resulting in growth (my education).  I currently serve in one year terms at the will of the board and its voting members.  If my performance falls off, I may not get asked to come back.  I can also leave with proper notice at any time it suits me.  No non-profits will give me a four year commitment and in exchange I do not have to give them a 4 year commitment.  So this proposed NCAA rule guaranteeing 4 years does not work in the real world. I am not faced with a coach however who can dismiss me at will without cause.  I can be dismissed by the board if I commit certain behaviors deemed unacceptable by the terms of our contract (scholarship).

I think the rule is a good thing with several additions (which are probably already included):

1. Players must meet minimum requirement (GPA, attendence mtgs/class, etc.)
2. Players cannot withdraw from the University without proper notice (minimum time window)
3. Players are committed to a University - not a coach.  If coaches change jobs, too bad, the scholarship is with the University.  

 


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com