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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, 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

Since: Nov 17, 2007
Posted on: February 7, 2012 8:17 am

Emmert contacts DI CEOs on scholarship issue

Every student athlete should have a 4-year scholarship.

Like all other scholarship, it can be revoked due to academic and other issues. But allowing the coach to cut a player who is showing up to practice, keeping up his grades, not getting into any trouble, putting in 100% effort to be the best athlete he can, doing everything he is supposed to and more, and he is cut because the coach needs the scholarship for another recruit is just plain wrong.

The student-athletes need and deserve at least a little protection and stability.

FYI, the scholarship contract is between the kid and the school. So, yes, a new coach is bound by the scholarships already signed. He should not be allowed to cut players just because he did not sign them.

It is easy enough to write a contract with the appropriate terms and conditions. The kid gets 4-years (paid out annually) but is obligated to conform to the stated terms and conditions. Failure to conform is grounds for revocation of the scholarship (i.e., breaking the contract with cause and no penalty). Failure of the school to hold up its end is grounds for the the kid to break the contract with cause and no penalty.

One of the terms and conditions in the scholarship contract needs to be that, in the event of a coaching change, the student-athlete may, at his discretion, request and be granted a contract termination without penalty. The NCAA rules should allow that student-athlete to enroll at another school and continue in the sport without having to wait a year. But, again, this is only for a coaching change, but should also be extended to the case where the school fails to honor its obligation and the kid severs the contract with cause and no penalty.

We need to treat the kids like people and not some kind of token in a board game.

What about the coaches? Well, someone who gets between $500,000 and $5,000,000 a year should be able to include a review of the roster before taking the job and should be able to start with the players on the roster. A new coach should be granted a grace period where the demands for winning championships are not made until he has had a chance to get 3-4 recruiting classes of his choice.

We need to treat the coaches like people, too.

We also need to remember that collegiate athletics is about the sport and not merely about winning championships. 

Since: Oct 29, 2006
Posted on: February 7, 2012 6:56 am

Emmert contacts DI CEOs on scholarship issue

If college coaches are able to "cut" players and revoke scholarships for sub-standard performance on the field, then Division 1 football is pay for play.  This is the exact same way the NFL does business, except the NFL can openly pay better players more money.  In college football, the better players are compensated above and beyond the money for their scholarship on the down low to prevent NCAA violations.  And the NCAA hates to have to hand out violations. But if there is a whistle blower out there, they have to listen or else they will tip their hat that they don't care.  The system is flawed and this will never change.  Too much money involved.   

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: February 7, 2012 6:01 am

Emmert contacts DI CEOs on scholarship issue

alright HG i didnt even have to go through the site to find it i just went here.. scroll down a few times and youll see a bunch of bama stuff youll notice quiet a few transfers(8), medical hardships(6), and scholarships not renewed(3) and thats just from 2010 and hardly have that many transfers during a coaching change..

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: February 7, 2012 5:44 am

Emmert contacts DI CEOs on scholarship issue

alright so you got 48 in 2 seasons already..maybe it wasnt 3 years and it was actually on this site so when i find that article again i will gladly show it to you..yeah they might have 85 now..but when your signing classes close to 25 a yr its going to add up quick..and we know saban is quick to not renew scholarships..

Since: Oct 9, 2006
Posted on: February 7, 2012 2:50 am

Emmert contacts DI CEOs on scholarship issue

Ahahahaha!!!! Thank you Buffalo joe; You one of the rational few on here

Since: Sep 27, 2011
Posted on: February 6, 2012 8:40 pm

Emmert contacts DI CEOs on scholarship issue

You'll want to provide a link to that number since they had 26 this season (one backdated to last season) and 22 last season, and they certainly didn't sign 56 two years ago.  You should put some thought into what you think you read before repeating it. :/

But the statement itself is're allowed 85 players on scholarship.  I guarantee you Alabama doesn't have more than 85 on scholarship.  The NCAA keeps careful track of this and it's impossible to hide.  Records in that regard are pretty much open to everyone.  Also, remember stuff like players leaving early for the draft, etc causes attrition.

Since: May 25, 2007
Posted on: February 6, 2012 8:14 pm

Emmert contacts DI CEOs on scholarship issue

I have seen a couple of programs that have had new coaches come in and yank scholarships from players because they don't fit the new coaches system. That needs to stop. If the original coach signed him, then the new coach should have to honor that scholarship. By the same token, if the athlete does not hold up his end, pull the scholarship. Such as cases involving off campus problems, academics or not showing for practices etc. But make it legit, don't allow it to be a farce.

Since: Feb 7, 2008
Posted on: February 6, 2012 7:21 pm

Emmert contacts DI CEOs on scholarship issue

You used Division I twice - both in the headline and the body of the article. It's Division 1, not I.

1. Take a deep breath.  2. Take out your favorite book, Webster's Dictionary: Irrational, Overzealous Elitist Blow Hard Edition.  3. Look up "Roman Numerals." 4. Realize what a douche you are.

Since: Jul 4, 2010
Posted on: February 6, 2012 6:25 pm

Emmert contacts DI CEOs on scholarship issue

You used Division I twice - both in the headline and the body of the article. It's Division 1, not I.

Since: Jun 21, 2007
Posted on: February 6, 2012 5:56 pm

Emmert contacts DI CEOs on scholarship issue

It's a shame... so long as we can do the same for people with 4 year academic scholarships, I'm okay with it.

Don't worry about your grades, so long as you can jog a lap around a field, you can stay in school. 

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