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Increased value of scholarship idea may be in jeopardy

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The NCAA moves at snail-like paces for just about everything, but when it comes to possibly rescinding legislation that would increase the value of an athletic scholarship to athletes, they’ll move at a blinding pace.

As you’ll recall from late October, the NCAA approved legislation that would allow conferences — and individual programs, really — to grant their athletes upward of $2,000 of extra money on top of the athletic scholarship they already received. There were provisions; head-count and equivalency sports were treated differently in terms of extra grant-in-aid that athletes would receive based on scholarship caps — or, in other words, the total amount of scholarship money for an equivalency sports like, say, baseball or volleyball — and other financial factors such as Pell Grants.

That legislation, however, could face an override during January’s NCAA convention, the Associated Press reports.

According to the NCAA’s Division I vice president of governance, David Berst, some 97 schools have signed an override measure because of four primary objections to the legislation:

  • NCAA’s philosophical change
  • Added expense required to compete with other schools
  • Title IX compliance
  • The immediate hit athletic department budgets would take.

In all, the NCAA would need 125 schools to sign the override measure by Dec. 26 in order for the legislation to be suspended. In any case, the NCAA has three options with legislation: rescind it and operate under previous NCAA rules, modify the rule or create a new proposal that would require another 60-day open comment period, or allow members to vote on the override.

But there’s a problem: there are different signing days for different sports. The NCAA estimates that about 1,000 players signed with schools in the month of November, with many under the agreement that their LOI would come with an increased amount of scholarship money because that individual institution could afford to provide it.

Berst said, though, that those who were promised extra money, would get extra money.

“We would honor the agreements that have taken place,” Berst said. “So even if you were to rescind the rule as of Dec. 26 and not operate under that rule in the future, we would honor those agreements. I think that causes the board to redouble its efforts at the January meeting.”

That makes sense. If a school was able to give an athlete that extra money before, how others vote on the matter is irrelevant.

Still, this was a matter that was signed and done. There was a 60-day comment period for the legislation that was eventually endorsed by the NCAA with the final say to be left to conferences and individual institutions.

An exta $2,000 annually is a compromise on the part of the NCAA for the athlete, plain and simple. It wasn’t as much as it could, but it was a start. Now, the one thing the NCAA’s done right in years has hit a snag.

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5 Responses to “Increased value of scholarship idea may be in jeopardy”
  1. bertenheim says: Dec 15, 2011 10:56 AM

    The bulk of the extra money would be going to football players who are on campus during the summer for practices that are technically voluntary.
    It’s a Title IX issue.

  2. bigdinla says: Dec 15, 2011 11:50 AM

    F title IX it is a stupid piece of legislation.

  3. Deb says: Dec 15, 2011 1:27 PM

    Title IX isn’t a stupid piece of legislation. Women should have the opportunity to participate in college sports programs. What’s stupid is the way the legislation is managed. A portion of school athletic budgets should be earmarked for women’s sports. Period. The notion that you can’t pay a dollar to a male athlete without paying a corresponding dollar to a female athlete is idiotic.

    Football players generate millions–even billions–in revenue for their respective universities. In a capitalist society, they should receive something extra for the revenues they earn. That $2,000 allotment should go to football players, and only football players. It doesn’t have anything to do with female players in other sports or male players in other sports. As with many programs, someone has taken a good idea and applied it with such rigidity that it becomes a ridiculous burden for everyone.

  4. bertenheim says: Dec 15, 2011 8:27 PM

    Good, bad or indifferent, Title IX is the law of the land.

  5. dietrich43 says: Dec 15, 2011 9:35 PM

    First, this won’t stop some student-athletes from accepting ‘impermissible benefits’. Even if they only paid certain teams, some players will think that they’re entitled to more.

    Second, the University’s biggest complaint is that they won’t make as much money.

    Third, most colleges have one team that makes money – football. Some have a second in men’s basketball. At some schools, women’s basketball is actually able to almost break even. I don’t understand what’s the problem with separating revenue generating teams from ones that don’t. It doesn’t matter if it’s men’s lacrosse, cross country, or women’s diving. If it’s not profitable, why should the university be forced to carry it (to provide a certain number of female scholarships) or have to provide extra money to those athletes? Makes no sense.

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