Following up on implications made by NCAA president Mark Emmert earlier this week, the NCAA, as expected, has approved the “legislation that addresses the miscellaneous costs of attending college.”
The subject of paying athletes more than the current value of their athletic scholarship has been much-debated, but last month in Texas, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick formulated an official plan to the NCAA that would increase the value of an athletic scholarship by as much as $2,000.
Emmert said earlier this week that he supported the idea, and that he expected the NCAA to endorse it as well.
The increase in aid comes in the form of either $2,000 annually or the full cost of attendance, whichever is less. It can only be applied to full scholarships in football and basketball, and to those athletes who receive full scholarships in other sports. In other words, a baseball player who receives only a partial scholarship is not eligible to receive the additional aid.
Pell Grants will be exempted from the calculation, so athletes can still get additional aid on top of whatever amount is given out by the school. Going back to the baseball example (because it’s considered an equivalency sport), if an athlete is on a full ride for baseball, the Pell Grant money will not count toward the team limits. The choice to increase the value of the athletic scholarship will be up to the institution, but it’s recommended conferences develop a “common application” for distributing such aid.
The NCAA and the schools won’t say it, but the additional aid is a huge recruiting tool, no matter how much or how little it may be.
“We understand the situation of our student-athletes. This isn’t about paying student-athletes, but it is about being fair and recognizing that in Division I it ought to be important to meet this need,” Penn State president Graham Spanier said. “We all have lots of different choices to make, but we felt that these proposals are right for our student-athletes.”
Additionally, the NCAA approved the following legislation:
- Multi-year grants up to the full term of eligibility, though one-year grants will remain the minimum. Basically a school can determine the length of a scholarship.
- Institutions can provide financial aid to former student-athletes who remain at or return to the institution to complete their degrees after they have completed their playing eligibility.
- Teams must achieve a minimum level of academic standards to participate in post-season play. From the NCAA:
For access to post-season competition in 2012-13 and 2013-14, teams must achieve a 900 multi-year APR or a 930 average over the most recent two years to be eligible.
In 2014-15, teams that don’t achieve the 930 benchmark for their four-year APR or at least a 940 average for the most recent two years will be ineligible for post-season competition.