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Big Ten outlines guidelines for four-year scholarships

Jim Delany

With a vote on autonomy coming up, conferences that could benefit from the extra benefits have been making it a point to plan ahead and prepare for wat will be done with those extra powers once they become available. The Big Ten, a conference with some of the deepest pockets in the country, is ready to take full advantage and is getting a jump-start on the situation by endorsing the use of four-year scholarships as well as other benefits for student-athletes.

The Big Ten’s presidents and chancellors (including the leaders at Rutgers and Maryland) released a statement Tuesday addressing the Ed O’Bannon vs. NCAA antitrust trial, which saw commissioner Jim Delany take the witness stand on Friday. In the statement the leaders of the Big Ten’s membership outlined ways the conference intends to work with the NCAA to provide greater benefits to student-athletes. The highlight was the support for four-year scholarships, which the Pac-12’s USC announced would be made available starting July 1.

This, from the Big Ten statement;

  • We must guarantee the four-year scholarships that we offer. If a student-athlete is no longer able to compete, for whatever reason, there should be zero impact on our commitment as universities to deliver an undergraduate education. We want our students to graduate.
  • If a student-athlete leaves for a pro career before graduating, the guarantee of a scholarship remains firm. Whether a professional career materializes, and regardless of its length, we will honor a student’s scholarship when his or her playing days are over. Again, we want students to graduate.
  • We must review our rules and provide improved, consistent medical insurance for student-athletes. We have an obligation to protect their health and well-being in return for the physical demands placed upon them.
  • We must do whatever it takes to ensure that student-athlete scholarships cover the full cost of a college education, as defined by the federal government. That definition is intended to cover what it actually costs to attend college.

Few conferences have the resources the Big Ten has, even among the power conferences. The Big Ten has been splitting some of the top revenues among conferences since adding the Big Ten Network, and with the additions of Maryland and Rutgers the network revenue could be projected to increase in the coming years as well.

The Big Ten is not the first conference to come out and support full cost scholarships, but the Big Ten is one of the few that should be able to make it a reality for all sooner rather than later.

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10 Responses to “Big Ten outlines guidelines for four-year scholarships”
  1. cfballfan1 says: Jun 24, 2014 8:20 PM

    I’m no fan of unionization of college athletes, but if nothing else the effort is resulting in some long – overdue measures like those outlined in the story. Give a kid a scholarship – really give it for the full ride, regardless, as long as they don’t blow it by trouble with the law, etc.

  2. norvturnersneck says: Jun 24, 2014 10:20 PM

    Finally doing something right. These are all good changes. I think the athletes have deserved this for years. With the amount of money made, there is no reason these athletes can’t get these accommodations.

    Also, make sure the kids keep their grades up. They’re offered tutors and academic assistance more than regular students are; therefore, I think it’s necessary for them to have acceptable 2.0 GPAs.

  3. thraiderskin says: Jun 24, 2014 10:49 PM

    I’m a fan of conferences taking this step… I’m against unionization, I can’t be more clear about that, but the schools needed some updating and things needed to change. I hope the B1G fully embraces this and others follow suite. Its not about who is first, its about everyone doing what is right.

  4. manik56 says: Jun 24, 2014 11:05 PM

    Delany has been asking for this for about a year now. This is nothing new. His speech at B1G Media day last year outlined this and many other great things for the student athletes. It has nothing to do with Northwestern’s Union.

  5. jeffreyperria says: Jun 24, 2014 11:24 PM

    This is just like the government bs. They will promise the moon, say they are 100% in on something. But when it come to put the signature on the dotted line. We get a shell of what the thing was originally. This is a bunch crap and nothing will come of it worth anything. Screw these money hungry bastards, they don’t care one lick about a student. They are only concerned with revenue, revenue and revenue. Ok well mix in their reputation.

  6. marooncat79 says: Jun 25, 2014 7:05 AM

    All 50 yrs. too late.

    The cat is out of the bag now

  7. corvusrex96 says: Jun 25, 2014 10:47 AM

    Noble idea should have been done 30 + years ago . With the money being thrown around at coaches and ADs this still looks like crumbs

  8. imaduffer says: Jun 25, 2014 11:25 AM

    So after a 4 year period you could have over 300 players with scholarships. I can think of a couple of coaches that would love this.

  9. slobberknockers says: Jun 25, 2014 2:57 PM

    This should help stop the SEC from “releasing” players that haven’t panned out and over signing in the spring.

  10. dietrich43 says: Jul 3, 2014 2:01 PM

    The SEC is implementing a similar program. Each incoming freshman is guaranteed to receive at least one new coloring book every fall!

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