Talk:Athletic scholarship

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United States[edit]

Overview[edit]

Regulation and Organization[edit]

In addition to the regulations imposed by the NCAA on the educational institution, the rules governing the provision of athletic scholarship and financial aid are also exhaustive. As noted above, NCAA bylaws place a cap on the number of student-athletes that participate in a given sport at a particular school, who are eligible to receive institutional aid. [1] Institutional aid is defined as the financial aid granted to a student-athlete by the institution in which they are enrolled [1] Financial aid provided by a party other than the university will render the athlete ineligible, unless the aid is received from a guardian or dependent, it has been awarded for reasons separate from the individual's athletic ability, or it has been provided by a recognized and continuing program that may or may not distinguish athletic ability as a major criterion (i.e. National Merit Scholarship or as an honorary high school award).[1] There is also a limit to the amount of money that may be awarded through an athletic scholarship. Specifically, the financial support must not exceed the cost of attendance otherwise it is considered "pay", which violates an athlete's amateur status.[1]

Academic Eligibility[edit]

Academic eligibility, in addition to the other requirements mentioned, has been a longstanding issue in the history of college athletics. In order to respond to the lack of national academic standards, the NCAA passed a minimum GPA requirement of 1.600 in 1962 in order for freshmen to receive athletic scholarships.[2] However, this decision received widespread criticism and was eventually abolished in 1973. [2] In its wake, the American Council on Education (ACE) presented Proposition 48 to the NCAA conference in 1983.[2] Instead of a minimum freshman GPA of 1.600, it recommended that for a student to be eligible they must obtain a 2.0 high school GPA, take 11 core high school courses, and score either a 700 on the SAT or a 15 on the ACT.[2] However, just as the 1.600 rule generated controversy, so to did Proposition 48. Joseph B. Johnson, the President of Grambling State University and a representative of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education argued that it "[discriminated] against student-athletes from low-income and minority-group families by introducing arbitrary SAT and ACT cut off scores as academic criteria for eligibility." [2] To address this, the NCAA added a partial qualifier to the suggested guidelines. Under the revision, an athlete who met either the 2.0 high school GPA or 700 SAT/15 ACT score would be eligible to receive a scholarship, but would be unable to practice with or play for the team for one academic year.[2] This partial qualifier was subsequently overturned in 1989 following the passage of Prop 42.[2] However, amendments to Prop 42 restored it after much protest. [2] The newest amendment to Proposition 48, Prop 16, was passed in 1992 and later revised in 2008. Under Prop 16, a sliding scale for standardized test scores was introduced in order to do away with arbitrary SAT/ACT cutoff scores. As a consequence, scholarship candidates who received lower SAT/ACT scores could remain eligible so long as they achieved a higher high school GPA.[2] This sliding scale was extended in 2003 to allow individuals who attained a zero standardized test score to participate in college athletics if they maintained a core high school GPA of 3.550 or above. [3] With the extension of the sliding scale, the number of core high school courses required for eligibility was increased to 14 in 2008 in the hope of improving college graduation rates. [2] Today, prospective student-athletes must have taken and passed 16 core courses to achieve eligibility. [4]

Once a high school senior is deemed eligible to receive an athletic scholarship for their participation on a sports team, they must then follow a number of explicit steps in order to participate at the collegiate level. In particular, the NCAA mandates that they sign a National College Letter of Intent (NLI), which is effectively an agreement that binds the student-athlete to the institution in which they have chosen to enroll.[1] There are specific rules that designate when a prospective student-athlete can sign the NLI. Depending on the sport, there may be both an early signing period and a regular signing period. For example, the signing dates for 2012-2013 enrollment for Basketball are as follows:[5]

  • Basketball (Early Period)- Nov. 9th, 2011-Nov. 16th, 2011
  • Basketball (Regular Period) - April 11th, 2012-May 16th, 2012

History of Athletic Scholarships in the U.S.[edit]

Prior to the late 19th century, college athletics consisted largely informal gatherings orchestrated by students.[1] The first college game ever played took place on November 6th, 1869, when Rutgers defeated Princeton 6-4 in football.[6] Following this monumental game, a movement swept across American colleges that increased the number of schools participating in athletics. As the popularity of sports grew, colleges also began to actively recruit individuals, as well as offer scholarships.[1] As early as the 1870s, both colleges and universities were providing financial support and incentives to athletes.[1] It was not an uncommon practice at this time for non-students to participate in order to increase the success of a team.[1] In fact, one story tells of a farm boy recruited to play football at the University of Kansas in 1895, who had no plans to attend college until he was presented with the financial support.[1] As a result of these practices, numerous concerns were raised, including the desire to regulate college athletics.

Birth of the NCAA[edit]

In 1905, the NCAA was created with the intention of "the regulation and supervision of college athletics throughout the United States, in order that the athletic activities in colleges and universities of the United States may be maintained on an ethical plan in keeping with the dignity and high purpose of education."[1] Right from the start, the NCAA expressed a commitment to preserving both education and amateurism within college athletics. Toward this goal, the NCAA was forced to address student funding, specifically alumni sponsorship. Thus, in 1939 the NCAA delivered a statement which emphasized the amateur status of student-athletes and stated that financial awards would be need based and independent of the individual's continued athletic participation.[1] Then, in 1950, under the governance of the NCAA, colleges developed the athletic scholarship, as a way to pay prospective student-athletes. As a consequence, prospective students would be awarded financially on the basis of athletic ability. [1] For the next twenty years, there were no limits, as set by the NCAA, on the number of scholarships that an educational institution could award players, as well as no limit on the length of the scholarship term.[1] Moreover, if an athlete withdrew participation from their sport, their scholarship could not be revoked. [1] However, this all changed at the NCAA's annual convention in 1973.

NCAA Bylaws Governing Division I Athletic-Scholarships[edit]

On January 13th, 1973 the NCAA revised the scholarship system, and voted to institute a one-year scholarship as opposed to the four-year scholarship already in place.[1] [2] Today, Article 15 of the NCAA Manual Bylaws governs the regulations regarding financial aid grants and athletic scholarships for student athletes.[1] As of 2010, Bylaw 15.3.3.1. for Division I athletic programs differs little from the one-year rule invoked in 1973, as it reads, "If a student's athletics ability is considered in any degree in awarding financial aid, such aid shall neither be awarded for a period in excess of one academic year nor for a period less than one academic year."[7]

In addition to the "One-Year Period", the Bylaws also address recommendations made to extend the one-year term, as well as the policies surrounding injury or illness. Specifically, Bylaw 15.3.3.1.3, which details the injury or illness policy, states that "It is not permissible for an institution to assure the prospective student-athlete that it automatically will continue a grant-in-aid past the one-year period if the recipient sustains an injury that prevents him or her from competing in intercollegiate athletics, but an institutional representative may inform the prospective student-athlete of the regular institutional policy related to renewal or continuation of aid past the one-year period for recipients who become ill or injured during their participation." [7] In simpler terms, the educational institution cannot guarantee a prospective student-athlete that his/her scholarship will be renewed if they sustain an injury or become sick. But, a prospective student-athlete can inquire about the specific policies of the institution regarding illness/injury before coming to a decision about whether or not to enroll.

Moreover, Bylaw 15.3.4 addresses the instances in which an award may be reduced or canceled during the period of the award. According to the NCAA, if a student-athlete becomes ineligible to compete, engages in fraudulent behavior (i.e. provides false information on their application, letter of intent, or financial aid agreement), engages in misconduct that results in disciplinary action, or voluntarily ends participation in the sport then their athletic scholarship may be revoked.[7] However, the NCAA asserts that the student-athlete must be awarded a hearing before the reduction or cancellation occurs. [7] In addition to the circumstances in which reduction or cancellation of an award is permissible, there are circumstances in which such action cannot be taken during the term period. Specifically, financial aid cannot be withdrawn or reduced based on athletic ability, performance, or contribution to success. [7] This is also true in the event of injury, illness, or the result of a physical or mental condition. [7]

Criticism and Reforms[edit]

In recent years, there has been a great deal of discussion surrounding athletic scholarship, particularly, the one-year term. It is not just the athletes who are speaking out, though basketball icon, Oscar Robertson was recently critical, arguing that "Student-athletes are treated like gladiators – revered by fans and coveted by member institutions for their ability to produce revenue, but ultimately viewed as disposable commodities. They are given no ability to negotiate the contents of their scholarships, often punished severely for even the smallest NCAA violations, and discarded in the event they suffer any major injuries."[8] Despite the rules surrounding cancellation and reduction of aid, it has been argued that the one-year term allows for the potential abuse and exploitation of student-athletes. The most prevalent argument asserts that the one-year term enables coaches to manipulate players by threatening to not renew players' scholarships unless their athletic performance improves. Certainly, these types of pressures are overwhelming to student-athletes, who must also fulfill the academic expectations of their educational institution. In his piece, “Athletic Scholarships: An Imbalance of Power Between the University and the Student-Athlete” for the Ohio State Law Journal in 1992, Daniel Nestel provides a background for the way in which student-athletes are vulnerable to the bargaining power of universities in negotiating athletic scholarship agreements. In particular, he claims, “a one-year term potentially allows more pressure, both subtle and overt, to be exerted on student-athletes to improve athletic, rather than academic, performance to ensure renewal of scholarship benefits” and that “the one-year scholarship agreement is also subject to abuse by coaches, who might threaten nonrenewal of scholarship benefits if a student-athlete’s athletic performance does not improve“ [9] Moreover, a number of high-profile cases in which athletic scholarships have been either revoked or not renewed has placed scholarship rules under scrutiny. One case, in particular, that of Joseph Agnew, drew national attention. Agnew, a member of the football team at Rice University in Houston, was cut from the team after his sophomore season following a number of misfortunes, including injuries and the arrival of a new head coach. Just a year later, Agnew also learned that his scholarship would be revoked as well. [6] [10] After having led his high school football team to consecutive state titles in 2004 and 2005, Agnew had been under the assumption that he would be on scholarship for all four years at Rice. [10] As a consequence, Agnew filed a class-action antitrust suit in October 2010, in which he asked the federal court to abandon the one-year rule.[6] As this case gained national prominence, the Justice Department, under President Obama, announced its investigation into NCAA scholarship rules. [6]

Current State of Athletic Scholarship[edit]

As a consequence of the complaints voiced and involvement by the Justice Department, in August 2011 the Division I Board of Directors adopted multiyear scholarship legislation to allow Division I schools to provide scholarships for a period greater than one year [11] This legislation was one of many steps the Board of Directors took after the NCAA President Mark Emmert organized a meeting to discuss issues with the operation of Division I athletics.[12] Voting to override Proposal No 2011-97 (as it was named) was open until Friday, February 17th 2012. [12] By a very narrow margin, the multiyear scholarship legislation was upheld. Of the 330 Division I schools, 62.1% voted in favor of the override, which was just .4% short of the 62.5% majority required to overturn the proposal. [13] Following the outcome, President Mark Emmert was quoted saying, "I am pleased that student-athletes will continue to benefit from the ability of institutions to offer athletics aid for more than one year, but it's clear that there are significant portions of the membership with legitimate concerns. As we continue to examine implementation of the rule, we want to work with the membership to address those concerns." [13]

Some opponents worry that multiyear scholarships award wealthy schools an advantage in the recruiting process.[13] As the President of the University of Idaho voiced, "This takes away from the current equity that exists for scholarships." [14] In their override request, officials from Boise State argued that, "When you combine 2001-97 with 2001-96 [the stipend proposal] it creates a culture of brokering. For a prospective student-athlete, the decision as to where to attend college and participate in athletics is most likely the biggest decision they will make at that point in their lives. That tough decision becomes more complicated when the student and his/her family have to factor in what school 'offers the best deal...'"[15] Still, other schools contend that coaches will be forced to keep players that are not a good fit for their program. [13] This was apparent in Indiana State's override request in which they claimed "...the new coach may have a completely different style of offense/defense that the student athlete no longer fits into. Yet, the institution is 'locked in' to a [five] year contract potentially with someone that is of no 'athletic' usefulness to the program." [15] It is important to note, however, that member institutions opposed to the decision will not be forced to offer student-athletes multiyear scholarships. Rather, the decision provides coaches and universities with the option to extend the scholarship term if they so choose. [13] So far, a number of sports programs have already declared their intent to offer multiyear scholarships including Ohio State, Auburn, Michigan, Michigan State, Florida, and Nebraska. [13]

AfD Result[edit]

This article was the subject of a November, 2005 AfD debate. The result was a strong consensus keep for the rewrite, with the nomination withdrawn. Xoloz 04:25, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

Sports Scholarships are available in the UK[edit]

I believe that the remarks about the illegality of sports scholarships in the United Kingdom are mistaken. Bath University offers a sports scholarship and claims on its website to have done so for the last 25 years. http://www.bath.ac.uk/health/undergraduate/sportsf.html

Loughborough University also offers sport scholarships. http://www.lboro.ac.uk/admin/ar/funding/university/sports_scholarships/index.htm

Where did the idea that sports scholarships are illegal in the UK come from? Voraciousreader 08:39, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

I agree. Scotland is the same Stirling Uni, amongst others offers sports scholarships. http://www.quality.stir.ac.uk/ac-policy/Sport.php


in the netherlands athletes can get extra time to finish their study in all of the mayor universities. special scholarships are rather uncommon in the netherlands because the government traditionally pays a large chunk of the costs of tertiary eduction (costs of tuition and living-expenses) for everybody who performed well enough in highschool to be allowed into a university-program. but thanks to a changing political climate (less power for young people) and the current economical crisis that 'large chunk' is becoming smaller and smaller.

athletes from ill-paying sports (fencing, table-tennis, gymnastics, etc) are often supported through a military contract: they become soldiers, but are allowed to skip all the usual soldier-stuff and spend their days training for their sport http://www.defensie.nl/english/subjects/international_military_sports Selena1981 (talk) 23:15, 11 June 2012 (UTC)

Process of Awarding Athletic Scholarships[edit]

I think that more can be said about how scholarships are awarded and the processes through which students, coaches and schools operate in order to receive or give scholarships. More information about the recruiting process and how coaches, students and schools interact while determining how large a scholarship should be, who receives them and why, may help one develop a clearer understanding of athletic scholarships. TstreetG (talk) 04:42, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

I think that this article could go into detail about how and why some schools receive more money than others. Not only universities as a whole, but why some sports at a school receive more scholarship funding than others.I agree with TstreetG that there should also be more emphasis on how students receive scholarships, and the qualities that are looked for during the recruitment process. This article does a good job at explaining the broader picture of scholarships, however it should also discuss the affects it has on individuals and families. It would also be interesting to add statistics about the drop-out rates of those who do have scholarships and those who don't. Jeterfan252 (talk) 06:40, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

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  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Hakim, Louis (2000). "The Student-Athlete vs. The Athlete Student: Has The Time Arrived For An Extended-Term Scholarship Contract". Va. J. Sports & Law. 2:1.  Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help); Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Hakim" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Hakim" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Hakim" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Hakim" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Hakim" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Hakim" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Hakim" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Hakim" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Hakim" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Hakim" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Hakim" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Hakim" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Hakim" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Hakim" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Hakim" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Hakim" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Smith, Ronald A. (2011). Pay for Play: A History of Big-Time College Athletic Reform. Chicago, IL: University of Illinois Press.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Smith" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Smith" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Smith" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Smith" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Smith" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Smith" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Smith" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Smith" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Smith" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Smith" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  3. ^ Manual: 2009-2010 Division I Manual. The National Collegiate Athletic Association. July 2009. 
  4. ^ [NCAA.org "History of Academic Reform"] Check |url= value (help). NCAA. 
  5. ^ "National Letter of Intent". Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c d Branch, Taylor (October 2011). "The Shame of College Sports". The Atlantic.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Branch" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Branch" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Branch" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  7. ^ a b c d e f "NCAA Divisions I and II Period of Award Legislation". The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). September 1, 2010.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "NCAA" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "NCAA" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "NCAA" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "NCAA" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "NCAA" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  8. ^ Robertson, Oscar (December 16, 2011). "Don't Treat Players Like Gladiators". Chronicle of Higher Education. 
  9. ^ Nestel, Daniel (1992). "Athletic Scholarships: An Imbalance of Power Between the University and the Student-Athlete". Ohio State Law Journal. 53: 1401–1420. 
  10. ^ a b Mahler, Jonathan (9 August 2011). [NYTimes.com "Student-Athlete Equation Could Be a Win-Win"] Check |url= value (help). New York Times. Retrieved 27 March 2012.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Mahler" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  11. ^ Hosick, Michelle. "Multiyear scholarship rule narrowly upheld". Retrieved 20 February 2012. 
  12. ^ a b [NCAA.org "Division I opens override voting on multiyear scholarships"] Check |url= value (help). Retrieved 17 February 2012.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Division_I" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  13. ^ a b c d e f "Multiyear scholarships plan moves on". Associated Press. Retrieved 27 March 2012.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Associated_Press" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Associated_Press" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Associated_Press" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Associated_Press" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page). Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Associated_Press" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  14. ^ Staples, Andy. "Full-cost-of-attendance scholarship debate could break up the FBS". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  15. ^ a b Staples, Andy. "Boise State among NCAA schools out to block scholarship change". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 12 April 2012.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Staples_2" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).