Posted on: October 13, 2011 3:59 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2011 1:21 am

NCAA exploring scholarship cut for several sports

Posted by Bryan Fischer

The NCAA is exploring a reduction in the number of scholarships programs can give out as part of a long-term look at reallocating various resources around the organization and at member schools.

The proposals are in a very early stage and stem from one of the four presidential working groups established by President Mark Emmert following his August Presidential Retreat. The groups are expected to recommend significant changes to the operation of Division I athletics to the NCAA Board of Directors to address the growing need for reform.

Following a six-hour meeting in late September, the Resource Allocation Working Group, chaired by Georgia President Michael Adams, agreed to consider a reduction in FBS football scholarships from the current number of 85 to 80 and a reduction in the number of FCS football scholarships from 63 to 60. The reductions would likely follow a move toward a full cost-of-attendance scholarship that is expected to be passed in early 2012. In addition to football, the group agreed to consider a reduction in the number of men's basketball scholarships from 13 to 12 and in women's basketball from 15 to 13.

The cuts are just a few of the controversal recommendations the working group is expected to pursue prior to their presentation to the Board of Directors at the NCAA Convention in January. According to a summary of the group's update, obtained by CBSSports.com, it was agreed upon to recommend eliminating all foreign travel, reduce mandatory out-of-season practice time and explore a reduction in competition (i.e. cutting the number of games for several sports).

Other presidential working groups are also examining financial costs, NCAA rules and student athlete-well being. The NCAA Legislative Council and Board of Directors will both meet next week in Indianapolis.

Posted on: August 4, 2011 1:03 pm

Embree wants players rewarded for graduating

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Last week at Pac-12 Media Days, conference commissioner Larry Scott echoed the thoughts of many and said that college athletics was at a crossroads. The newest head coach in Scott's conference, Colorado's Jon Embree, agrees but he isn't just sitting back and lamenting at the state of the game, he's putting forward ideas.

For all the talk about paying players and full cost of attendance scholarships, Embree is advocating a different approach that takes elements from both. Instead of paying players directly, he argues, how about giving players $50,000 or so upon receiving a degree for them to either further their education or get started in life.

"I think they should be rewarded for graduating," Embree told CBSSports.com. "If we're going to use the term student-athlete, if we're going to be releasing graduation rates, if we're losing scholarships because of APR, then let's put our money where our mouth is. They don't do anything special for the kids when they win.

"To me, that graduation piece is best because they're earning something: a degree. You're helping them setup themselves for the future. In the NFL, they might get one year, two years or none. But that degree will be with them. Then you'll have a decent amount of money to get a head start on life."

Embree likes tying money to graduation as a way of incentivizing education for coaches, players and schools. A former tight end at Colorado, he knows the challenges players face more than most and recognizes that a scholarship doesn't cover all of a student-athlete's living expenses. While he is receptive to full cost of attendance scholarships, Embree is very much against giving players "spending money" on a weekly basis.

"A scholarship only covers so much," he said. "I don't believe you can pay the student-athletes a monthly stipend and keep it fair across the board. You start doing that, then one guy things he should get $300, another guy thinks it should be $500."

The concept of giving players money upon graduation is not a new one. Many have advanced the idea that those players who's jersey is sold (i.e. the ones the school is really making money off of) would receive a cut of the money upon graduation or leaving for the NFL. The idea of tying the money to something like jersey sales is a no-go for Embree however.

"No because what will happen is that they'll start selling jerseys in the book store that isn't a guy that's playing," he said. "They'd get around that. There's no doubt that college athletics is at a cross roads. A lot of money is made off these kids, me included. I don't know what all the answers are but they need some kind of equity. Just something."

Some food for thought for NCAA president Mark Emmert and 50 college presidents when they meet for a retreat on athletics later this month.

Posted on: May 20, 2011 12:53 pm

Louisville loses three scholarships

By Brett McMurphy
CBSSports.com Senior Writer
Louisville will lose three of its 25 football scholarship this year due to substandard academic progress rate (APR) scores, the school announced Friday.
The Cardinals' 2009-10 four-year APR for football for the period from 2006-10 is 908, below the minimum required mark of 925. In anticipation of the scholarship reduction, Louisville only signed 21 student-athletes in its 2011. Louisville will still be allowed its full allotment of 85 scholarship players.
"Continuity and stability among our coaching staffs lends itself to better performance and unfortunately our football student-athletes endured three football coaches in four years," UL athletic director Tom Jurich said in a statement.  "We want to improve our figures rapidly and I'm impressed with the measures Charlie Strong has implemented in our football program.  I'm confident that we are our currently headed in the right direction.  We have already addressed the penalties and have put it behind us."
Second-year head coach Charlie Strong has emphasized improving the team's APR rate and the Cardinals have already made strides.  Twenty-one of the 23 seniors who will be included in the 2010-11 APR report either have already graduated or are expected to graduate in August 2011.  In the classroom, the team's GPA has also risen over the last three semesters.
Louisville coach Charlie Strong said he will make it a priority in improving the team's APR rate. The school said 21 of the Cardinals' 23 seniors, which will be included in next year's APR report, have already graduated or are expected to graduate. Also, the team's GPA has increased in the last three semesters.  
The schools has taken several measures to improve its APR scores, including include adding academic support staff, which will provide better monitoring and support. Also more frequent progress reports will be addressed with the coaching staff and additional consequences have been established for failure to meet academic requirements.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com