There is good news on the horizon for student-athletes at NCAA Division I schools. It is expected that the NCAA Division I board of directors will act upon a proposal to increase the value of individual scholarships by $2000 in the top-tier schools in Division I, moving them closer to covering an athletes' full cost of attending school. The $2000 would be at the top of the scale. This action is in response to complaints from players, parents, coaches, and administrators calling for more funding to student-athletes because of the lucrative television deals that the NCAA and several athletic conferences have negotiated.
Analysis by USA TODAY found that, in 2009-2010, median college costs at public universities exceeded an athlete's scholarship coverage by about $4000. The range at individual schools varied from $177 to more than $9,600. The gap entailed such incidental costs of attendance as travel and laundry.
Another topic expected to pass at the Board of Directors meeting in Indianapolis on October 26 and 27 is the move to change scholarships from single-year status to multi-year status. Multi-year scholarships are seen as an athlete-welfare issue. Also under discussion will be increasing eligibility requirements for incoming freshmen athletes from 2.0 to 2.5 in core high school classes - English, math, science, and social studies. Finally, there is planned reform in rules enforcement - most notably devoting more attention and resources to major violations and backing off such pickier and harder-to-enforce regulations as phone call and texting limits
I applaud the board of directors when they finally formally pass all the legislation surrounding the costs of attending school. These actions are long overdo. For many years, as the NCAA and college athletic conferences have been getting richer because of negotiated television contracts, additional financial aid to student-athletes didn't materialize. I also applaud extending scholarships from single-year renewal to multi-year renewal. This action should give student-athletes a feeling of more security.
With all of this major activity taking place on the Division I level, there is no word on how Division II schools will benefit from this legislation. Will Division II student-athletes also see an increase in scholarship monies? To be fair, you would hope so, wouldn't you? There is plenty of money to go around.
Serious discussions regarding NCAA rules have been taking place for months now. NCAA President Emmert has been espousing change since the minute he took office. Let's hope that October 26-27 are goods days for college athletics.
Steve Brennan, a former educator and college basketball coach, has Masters degrees in Educational Administration and Sport Psychology, and a Doctorate in Performance and Health Psychology. He is the author of several books, including Six Psychological Factors for Success and The Recruiters Bible (3rd Edition). He is President of Peak Performance Consultants, and the President and CEO of the Center for Performance Enhancement Research and Education (CPERE). Steve is the developer of the Success Factors Scales, both Corporate and Athletics Editions. http://www.peakperformanceconsult.com and http://thebestcollegerecruiter.com/