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This hasn't received much attention or much discussion, yet it is a major change in recruiting...
For those football players who sign National Letters of Intent with Big Ten schools Wednesday, that signature will afford them a lot more scholarship security than their predecessors ever had.
According to Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, most of the Big Ten schools as well as some other schools across the collegiate landscape are signing the members of their Class of 2012 — football only — to four-year scholarships instead of the previous standard of one-year renewable deals.
The move comes a few months after the NCAA approved the use of the multi-year scholarship initiative, although it’s not yet a requirement. A full vote of the NCAA membership will take place later this month before the legislation is put into place across the board.
As the Plain Dealer writes, however, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany “encouraged” his membership to offer its football recruits the multi-year scholarships. ”Most — if not all — Big Ten schools” have taken Delany’s “encouragement” to heart.
“Some may look at it and say it’s symbolic,” Chad Hawley, the Big Ten’s associate commissioner for compliance, told Lesmerises. “In the vast majority of cases with a one-year grant, if student-athletes came in and did what they needed to do, it was renewed. But at the same time, I think there’s a peace of mind that goes beyond symbolism.”
The four-year scholarship is not an ironclad guarantee that recruits will have a scholarship during that time period regardless, though; Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith noted that the scholarships can be pulled due to academic or off-field issues.
While the Big Ten is going all in on the four-year renewables, their conference heavyweight counterpart is taking a wait-and-see approach. “We took the less regulatory approach to see how this is implemented across the country,” SEC associate commissioner for compliance Greg Sankey said, adding that commissioner Mike Slive continues to support the multi-year initiative.
For this signing period, however, it will be up to the individual SEC schools to determine the scholarship course it will take. While Slive favors the multi-year scholarship approach, don’t look for any SEC school to voluntarily implement that approach.
South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier was the most vocal of the conference coaches who are against anything beyond the current one-year renewable model, and the schools in that league are expected to sign off on that tack for this signing class. Of course, most view the multi-year scholarship model as a direct response to oversigning, specifically as that issue relates to the SEC.
Smith, the OSU AD, wants to make sure that people realize this is not a Big Ten issue, that “other places” in “need of a cultural change” need to take the same step his conference is taking.
“For those places that really need the cultural change, this is big,” Smith said. “There were some schools that ran players off because of their athletic ability, and so this helps. Now, those schools may not offer multi-year scholarships. But you would hope they would. And you would hope there’s pressure that would cause them to do it, because this isn’t how we should treat kids.
“But this is not a Big Ten issue, frankly. It’s in other places.”
The irony of Smith talking about institutions really needing a cultural change is too rich for me this early in the morning…
Of the two major additions in NCAA legislation to be put forward over the past year -- the offering of multiyear scholarships and up to an additional $2,000 to the value of an athletic scholarship -- the latter still faces an uphill battle to be passed.
...It ain't what they call you, it's what you answer to.
W. C. Fields
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the official burial shroud of the Big 10. Terrible decision if it is not being enforced in all conferences.
I agree, rule. If the B1G goes all in for this and the SEC does not, you might as well allow the SEC to become a farm team conference for the NFL...it's getting closer all the time with their ability to cheat at will at this time.
No kidding, what a joke.
The Big Ten seems to care more about complaining about the SEC than beating them. With the absurd college baseball recruiting rules and now this they just keep digging a deeper hole.
In memory of Tusks.
I agree....if this is not a rule inforced across the entire NCAA; then the Big Ten just became the new Ivy League. Maybe not that extreme, but you get the picture. IF this is a rule that will be inforced across the NCAA though; it will go a long way in fighting oversigning that the SEC has mastered and used to become dominant.
This post was edited by Kevin Ryan 2 years ago
Order I wish you were correct but I think this 4 year scholarship is just window dressing. In the end it really is not much different than the one year renewable. Nick Satan and Les Miles and other coaches can continue to use the same methods and justification for moving players out of their programs to make room for another crop of potential stars.
The real fix would be to limit the number of letter of intent to 3 above the number of departing seniors like the current rule in the B1G. The SEC's "new" limit is 3 above the total annual available (meaning 28) which, as an example, allowed Satan to sign 26 player in a year when he, like Nebraska, only had about 14 Seniors finishing their eligibility. This allows him to oversign by about 10 in February.
Nick then lets the kids go through spring practice and get through the spring semester. This is critical because having the player finishing the semester in good standing minimizes the damage on the schools APR. Then in the summer when people are distracted with other pursuits he will walk players out the back door so that by the August deadline the team will be back under the 85 limit. This is quite complicated and makes it easy to justify / disguise and hard to build the case against them. The pattern is already there and it is not officially against the rules. The 4 year Scholarship does not change this.
The B1G needs to push for their rules which truly limits the number of scholarships to be offered. Many of the B1G programs are regularly a few scholarships below 85 due to natural attrition that this rule strives to minimize. It creates an environment where a school gets a little built in punishment if it selects too many bad apples that do not turn out OK. The other option is to go back to 95 or 105 Scholarships and eliminate the depth issues that currently plague many teams in the BCS conferences.
I'm glad the Big 10 is doing this. One thing everyone needs to remember is that these kids are 'student' athletes. This isn't professional football. The most important thing is seeing these young men succeed, on and off the football field. If this does anything, it will bring to light how hypocritical the NCAA is if other conferences don't have to follow suit.
Your team. All the time.
Wow....thats so crooked.....thank you for the illustration. If any NCAA president would be bold enough to challenge this though; i think Mark Emmert would. He doesn't seem to be quite the pushover past NCAA presidents have. I'll keep an eye on the tea leaves hoping something gets done....but i won't hold my breath.
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