The Pac-12 became the second major college conference – following the Big Ten – to adopt four-year scholarships, among other things, at a conference-wide meeting of presidents and chancellors Monday in San Francisco.
In addition to four-year scholarships in all sports, the Pac-12 will now guarantee the following:
- Athletes who leave campus before graduating will have their scholarships waiting for them should they return to school.
- Athletes who sustain injuries over the course of their careers will have their medical expenses covered for four years after their eligibility expires.
- Athletes who transfer between Pac-12 schools will be immediately eligible for scholarships.
- Athletes will be given a seat at the table for conference governance meetings.
“This fulfills a promise we made when we announced our agenda for reform earlier this year,” CEO group chairman and Washington State president Dr. Elson S. Floyd said in a statement. “These reforms assure better support for all our student-athletes, reinforce that academics come first, and address the financial and health needs of our students.”
The conference also reaffirmed its support for providing cost of attendance scholarships, which will go before a vote with the NCAA in January.
“As a former student-athlete myself, I believe these reforms will mean a great deal to student-athletes in the Pac-12,” added commissioner Larry Scott. “These reforms will ensure they enjoy a positive collegiate sports experience, and graduate with a meaningful college degree. This set of reforms also address various health and financial concerns that student-athletes have expressed to me in the many conversations I’ve had with them, while preserving the essence of the collegiate experience that has served so many student-athletes so well. I am very proud of the national leadership position our presidents, chancellors, athletics directors, senior women administrators, faculty athletic representatives, and other administrators have taken.”
Taking these measures only after the NCAA was taken to court this summer falls squarely under the CYA department, but the thousands of athletes benefitting from the new measures will undoubtedly appreciate them, regardless of how they came about.