NCAA to Consider Reforms, Increases in Scholarship Money

by

This week, the NCAA is holding its much-anticipated Division I Board of Directors meeting to mull over proposed changes to some of its controversial rules — including some related to amateurism question we investigated this past March and that Taylor Branch recently explored in The Atlantic.

The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that the board will consider several tweaks to the rules, including:

+ Increasing the amount of scholarship aid student-athletes receive by as much as $2,000 (typical scholarships fall about $3,000 short of a student’s essential expenses)

+ Allowing for multiyear scholarships, as opposed to the one-year deals student-athletes have been given since 1973 (between 1956 and ’73, student-athletes were given four-year scholarships)

+ Offering slightly fewer scholarships for big-time football and men’s and women’s basketball

Earlier this week, NCAA President Mark Emmert spoke to the Knight Commission about the upcoming meeting, highlighting his desire for stronger academic requirements for teams competing in football bowl games and the NCAA basketball tournament.

These potential changes, which are likely to be voted on later this week, come at the same time top NCAA men’s basketball and football players are pushing the league to provide financial support above and beyond $2,000. A petition signed by about 300 student-athletes calls for the NCAA to set aside some money from multimillion-dollar TV deals for their living expenses while attending school — and for some extra funds when they graduate. (The NCAA recently sold March Madness broadcast rights to CBS and Turner Broadcasting for $10.8 billion over 14 years.)

While the changes the NCAA is considering are significant, they’re not to the level the petitioners are demanding — and they’re nowhere near the $100,000-plus the National College Players Association says top athletes are worth. But it’s also unlikely Mark Emmert will budge on that issue: He has steadfastly said that he’s open to minor scholarship tweaks, but that he’s “adamantly opposed to the notion of paying student athletes to play their games.”

blog comments powered by Disqus

In order to foster a civil and literate discussion that respects all participants, FRONTLINE has the following guidelines for commentary. By submitting comments here, you are consenting to these rules:

Readers' comments that include profanity, obscenity, personal attacks, harassment, or are defamatory, sexist, racist, violate a third party's right to privacy, or are otherwise inappropriate, will be removed. Entries that are unsigned or are "signed" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. We reserve the right to not post comments that are more than 400 words. We will take steps to block users who repeatedly violate our commenting rules, terms of use, or privacy policies. You are fully responsible for your comments.

SUPPORT PROVIDED BY

FRONTLINE on

ShopPBS
Frontline Journalism Fund

Supporting Investigative Reporting

Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Major funding for FRONTLINE is provided by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Park Foundation, The Ford Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation.
PBSCPBMacArthur FoundationPark FoundationFord Foundationwyncote

FRONTLINE   Watch FRONTLINE   About FRONTLINE   Contact FRONTLINE
Privacy Policy   Journalistic Guidelines   PBS Privacy Policy   PBS Terms of Use   Corporate Sponsorship
FRONTLINE is a registered trademark of WGBH Educational Foundation.
Web Site Copyright ©1995-2014 WGBH Educational Foundation
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.