“I hope I’m on scholarship for four years.”

Hey, here’s a real shocker for you (h/t Players).

In the summer of 2011, the NCAA changed this rule. It passed legislation giving Division I universities the option to offer multiyear scholarships, guaranteeing an education as long as the athlete stays out of legal trouble, doesn’t violate school or NCAA rules, keeps playing the sport and maintains academic eligibility. The athlete is also free to leave, under the same transfer rules as always.

But nearly two years after that legislation, multiyear scholarships are rare, not publicized by universities and largely unknown by the athletes. According to data of 82 universities at the Division I-A level obtained by the Post-Gazette through open records requests, only 16 have offered more than 10 multiyear scholarships. Thirty-two of the universities have offered between one and 10, and thirty-four have not offered any.

You can read the whole thing, but it all boils down to this:

  1. Coaches don’t like losing control.
  2. The NCAA was covering its ass in its usual less than coherent way.  (“The great majority of athletic scholarships are still good for just one year, renewable on a coach’s decision, a procedure that flaunts the education-first narrative pitched by the NCAA and member schools, especially at a time when promising an education until graduation is possible.”)
  3. Student-athletes don’t have a clue what they’re being offered.

Same old, same old, in other words…

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25 Comments

Filed under Recruiting, The NCAA

25 responses to ““I hope I’m on scholarship for four years.”

  1. Well, at some point the parents/guardians of the student athletes need to do some research. Find out if multi-year schollies are available. Ask for them even if they aren’t. If something is available, but only on request, then request for it. Don’t get mad at the car dealer after you pay the asking price only to find out you could have paid less for the car if you had only offered less.

    • First, you have to know the possibility exists before you can investigate. The problem is a lot of folks already assume scholarships are multi-year deals when they’re not.

      • Well, you know what they say about assumptions.

        • I think the Senator strikes on something a lot of us here don’t really grasp when discussing this. When discussing kid looking to get out of his LOI from FSU last week I made a comment about these athletes don’t get any sort of legal counsel before signing the LOI. Another commenter replied to me with a comment to the effect of “that’s something my six year old could do with a computer and internet access”.

          I didn’t want to start a pissing match, but I think we tend to forget that a lot of top-tier athletes don’t necessarily come from a background that promotes that same sort of self-resourcefulness like a lot of us (i.e. UGA alums/fans commenting on this blog) get from our upbringing. The athletes and their families need somebody there to tell them what their rights are because the coaches sure as hell aren’t going to do anything that might sacrifice the leverage they hold in the situation. I think of it almost as a Miranda rights situation for the prospective student-athlete. It’s hard to take advantage of your rights when nobody tells you what they are.

          • Dog in Fla

            “a lot of top-tier athletes don’t necessarily come from a background that promotes that same sort of self-resourcefulness” which makes a target-rich environment for professional salesmen.

          • The Lone Stranger

            A hale & hearty +1

          • By Georgia We Did It

            That was me auditdawg and I stand by the comment. Recruits may not have the interent at home, but I’m pretty sure their HS football coach has a computer in his office AND has some knowledge of how the scholarship deal goes down. All he has to do is print out a few artticles, hand them to the student-athlete and/or his parent(s), and have a conversation with them about the process.

            • Assuming he doesn’t have an agenda of his own, that is. Or that he’s smart enough to understand the legalese and provide the kid and his family with a coherent explanation. Other than that, your suggestion makes perfect sense.

              I’m amazed at the resistance to letting a kid seek out legal representation regarding what’s likely to be the biggest decision of his life.

  2. Though having said that, some school (SoCar, for example) could make some serious headway by promoting the fact that they give out 4-year deals. I’d scream from the mountain tops if I were a school on the B-level trying to get to the A-level.

    • I agree with you on the general principle, but S. Carolina isn’t a good example to use. No way Spurdog wants to hand out multi-year deals.

      • You mean his whole pay the players comment isn’t part of a bigger plan for the well being of the athletes? Shocking. Maybe a school like Nebraska or Northwestern. Now that I think about it, N’Western might be the perfect choice as a 4-year deal to go to that school would be awfully enticing.

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          Possibly, but to me it makes even more sense for an Arkansas State, ULaLa or La Tech. Pry away some of the players that would be sharing time at LSU or such who would be an absolute star starter instead there.

    • Joe Schmoe

      Why not UGA? It seems we have de facto 4-year schollies anyway so I hope we are using that fact to full advantage in recruiting. Why not make other programs put their money where their mouths are by giving 4-year schollies?

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Damn, Joe. You sure hit the nail on the head there.

        • Joe Schmoe

          Seems like we lose nothing by doing it given our current policies and could put significant pressure on others who use more aggressive roster management tactics and potentially decrease the advantage they are gaining over us.

  3. Skeptic Dawg

    While I have issues with the NCAA’s transfer policy, I completely support 1 yr scholarships. Why should an athlete be given a roster spot if he fails to meet expectations regarding performance. Their education and potential professional career (whatever the sport) should not be handed to them at a 4 year clip. As for not understanding the ground rules, that falls on the kid, his parents and the HS coach. The parents and player are only hearig what they want to hear. Yes, the NCAA and coaches should do a better job of outlining the players options, but a some point it becomes the responsibility of those signing or the parents. This is a lot to do over nothing. Do what’s asked of you, keep your nose clean and continue to develop and all should be fine. Unless the player decides to transfer. Then your are screwed by the whole system.

  4. Always Someone Else's Fault

    I still don’t see why they can’t guarantee the 4 years of education, separate from 4 years guaranteed on the roster. They can’t exactly claim poverty. If a kid doesn’t work out as an athlete, let him have the option of converting his athletic scholarship to an academic one – removing him permanently as an eligible athlete at that university but still going to school for free. How hard is that?

    • Cojones

      Not hard at all. Certainly medical hardships also qualify. Cases like Jacobs’ also come to mind. Use’em while educating them should be the watchword, not educate while using’em. The subtle difference in words is a gulf on the sensitivity scale.

      One of the things I’ve admired most in Richt is his seemingly naive statements of “family” toward these guys/their families (most coaches use the expression sometime during recruiting) ; whereas, in the modern recruiting world, hypocrisy pressures on such statements render them moot; – not so Richt’s words.

      While we look at this hypocrically as a recruitment advantage, I’ll venture to say that Richt doesn’t. He is the source of great pride for our school in his naive, but meaningful words and relationships. He is a very rare find in this era of people-aggressive D-1 coaches. He personifies the spirit of this great university. All alums and fans should embrace him openly as the special CFB face of UGA that projects us favorably to the world.

  5. Macallanlover

    Why aren’t HS coaches, whose expertise in this area is part of their job responsibilities, advising student athletes? Most of them are quick to tout the players they develop, or take trips to many area colleges, why not do a little research? They don’t have to show preference to any school but having that information available wouldn’t take a great deal of effort. In fact, what is the GHSAA’s role in this?

    I think the student and their parent (s)/guardians should be responsible for their own decisions but having a print-out of the basic rules, complete woth schools that offer multi-year schollies isn’t that much work for the collective group.

    • Cojones

      Unfortunately, there are too many HS coaches who can’t remain neutral. And that would be the next foldero in CFB.

      • Cojones

        Sorry. Addendum: It’s a good idea and perhaps , if enough HS coaches participate, it could carry the day.

    • You are staying up too late. You feeling all right?

      • That was meant for Mac Cojones.

        • Cojones

          Might have well been me since the “l” was left off “folderol”. (usually spelled “falderal” in my usage, but didn’t want to twist English usage underwear). Game spoiled.

        • Macallanlover

          I am a night owl, rarely asleep before 1-2 AM,during CFB that is about 4 AM on Sunday morning. Can’t wait to see if I still am in shape this fall to keep that pace.