By Michelle Brutlag Hosick
Multiyear scholarship legislation, one of several measures the Division I Board of Directors adopted in the wake of an August 2011 presidential retreat, was upheld in a membership override vote that concluded Friday.
As such, Division I schools will have the option to offer scholarships guaranteed for more than one year.
Of 330 institutions voting, 62.12% percent voted to override the legislation. A 62.5% majority of those voting was required to override legislation. More than 90% of Division I institutions voted.
“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,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said. “As we continue to examine implementation of the rule, we want to work with the membership to address those concerns.”
Middle Tennessee State President Sidney McPhee, who chaired the student-athlete well-being working group that proposed multiyear grants, said his group will continue to work to address concerns identified by the membership through the override.
“Now is the time for us to work together on other measures to benefit student-athletes,” McPhee said. “As the reform effort continues, we will engage more closely with the membership on potential proposals and policy changes.”
To that end, both the rules and enforcement working groups have provided the membership with extensive documentation of their discussions to date and draft proposals for review and comment. Both groups are requesting feedback from the membership as they continue their examination of the Division I manual and enforcement/infractions processes, respectively.
The Board of Directors also is discussing, based on membership feedback, adjustments to the miscellaneous expense allowance. That legislation, also adopted last fall by the Board, would have allowed schools to award up to an additional $2,000 of athletics aid to students already receiving a full scholarship.
The Board of Directors announced in January that it continues to support the concept of a miscellaneous expense allowance, but want to adjust the proposal. The Board will consider new implementation options in April.