Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
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: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: February 6, 2012 5:51 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



Since: Oct 5, 2006
Posted on: February 6, 2012 5:19 pm
 

Emmert contacts DI CEOs on scholarship issue

First, the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB should commit to only hiring (IE extending contracts and employing) players with 4 year degrees.  Not an unusual thing in the employment world.  Used to be hardship rules which are complete joke.  Yeah, Le Bron James is great -- but we could have had 4 less years of his play waiting for his degree.

So, the idea that a college signs a four year contract with a student athlete seems good -- especially if it is made binding (they cannot jump to the professional ranks).  So the rules ought to be laid out that 2-year schools give two-year scholarships, and 4-year universities give four-year scholarships (or two-year ones to JUCOs), educate them and stand by the contract.  And then limit the number of athletes who can be scholarshipped in a sport.



Since: Mar 20, 2007
Posted on: February 6, 2012 5:15 pm
 

Emmert contacts DI CEOs on scholarship issue

It is improtant to make scholarships 4 years, though I think some acceptable exceptions should be discussed.  The SEC got a lot of bad press, and really over-hyped press, about greyshirting, but the much bigger problem has been cutting kids for any apparent reason to make room for some other kid.  This has been standard practice in the Big-10 for literaly decades.  The Big-10 never had to greyshirt true, and this is why.  If they oversign they merely pull a scholarship from a kid who might be hurt or possibly just not good enough.  I think everyone can agree that this is much shadier, and much more despicable than greyshirting.  At least no one gets kicked off the team for any ol' arbitrary reason to make room for the next greatest recruit, and all recruits still get the scholarship, even if a year or semester later.




Since: Oct 31, 2011
Posted on: February 6, 2012 4:16 pm
 

Emmert contacts DI CEOs on scholarship issue

terrible job here, isn't the point to protect and promote the student part of student-Athlete, gauentee the 4yrs so they dont have to fear of playing bad and getting kicked out, take the pressure of sucess off them so they can suceed in the class room.




Since: Dec 28, 2006
Posted on: February 6, 2012 4:04 pm
 

Emmert contacts DI CEOs on scholarship issue

This new rule probably is a mistake.  Most players will be motivated to play and start, but nevertheless no one needs a full ride guaranteed.  The coach does not have a 4-years ride.  He must produce.  What's wrong with requiring that of the players.  In the old days, coaches like Woody Hayes would threaten to pull a kid's scholarship.  He probably never did that, but it made for a great motivation tool.  LOL!



Since: Sep 17, 2009
Posted on: February 6, 2012 3:52 pm
 

Emmert contacts DI CEOs on scholarship issue

But isn't mandating 4-year scholarship offers the same thing as indentured servitude on behalf of the universities?  We say to the universities that they are required to give student athletes scholarships for 4-years and that it can't take that away from them, but if they want to quit or go pro that's just fine?  The schools are locked into an athlete but in return they are not locked into the school?  Not much of an even handed deal.  It's totally in the favor of the players and completely limits any accountability they may have.

I'm not saying that the 4-year scholarship offer is a bad thing, just that it needs to be more even handed.  I don't think that the way it is being presented is a fair representation of the way that the program should work. 



Since: Nov 14, 2006
Posted on: February 6, 2012 3:48 pm
 

Emmert contacts DI CEOs on scholarship issue

This is a bad rule because it transfers power to the players.  If coaches don't have this to hold over a player's head, it will be difficult to get said players to perform at their highest potential and not commit mutiny at the expense of all involved with the program from coach, to other teammates, to fans. 



Since: Sep 13, 2011
Posted on: February 6, 2012 2:34 pm
 

Emmert contacts DI CEOs on scholarship issue

I would say that this commitment has to go both ways.  If the school is obligated to honor a 4-year scholarship for a player, then the same player must be required to honor the 4-year commitment as well. 
It would have to be limited in scope like they could not transfer but it couldn't stop them from going pro or quiting altogether.  You simply cannot have a contract that could arguably create indentured servitude plus if you denied a kid the chance to go pro and he got hurt you could be liable for his missed potential earnings.





Since: Sep 17, 2009
Posted on: February 6, 2012 2:21 pm
 

Emmert contacts DI CEOs on scholarship issue

I would say that this commitment has to go both ways.  If the school is obligated to honor a 4-year scholarship for a player, then the same player must be required to honor the 4-year commitment as well. 



Since: Jun 10, 2011
Posted on: February 6, 2012 1:16 pm
 

Emmert contacts DI CEOs on scholarship issue

If coaches have been able to “cut” athletes for sub-standard performance on the field... then
What are the rules / practices relating to injury? Suppose a player needed extensive surgical repair? Can they just cast them aside?
What if after rehab  the injury leaves them at a level of "sub-standard performance on the field."


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