THIS, THAT AND THE OTHER
The NCAA is presently involved in a two-year study to change or deregulate Bylaw 15. This bylaw deals with financial aid to the student athlete. The NCAA wants to attempt to provide every student-athlete with (1) the opportunity to receive funding to cover his or her cost of college attendance (2) the opportunity to receive maximum benefits afforded by a grant-in-aid scholarship irregardless of the sport that the athlete participates in and (3) the opportunity to receive non-athletic financial aid in addition to aid granted to the athlete for athletic ability without impacting the students athletic financial aid limitation.
So what do I think this may mean? Based on my interpretation and that of someone else I spoke with on the subject I think it means that you will see two things happening in the future (1) more students will be granted athletic scholarships (2) there will be fewer full ride scholarships for athletics.
I believe that there will be more grant-in aid scholarships afforded to student-athletes to partially make up for the reduction in the full ride athletic scholarship. The money that is freed up will then be used for athletes in non-revenue sports. I think the size of the pie will remain the same but the slice will get smaller. In other words, athletic budgets for scholarship would not continue to soar but would stabilize with additional scholarship funding coming either from other sources at the colleges, big business or from the federal level. You will also see athletes who are also academic standouts become more sought after because academic scholarships may somehow fit into this equation.
Will the more readily recruited athletes then become a group with either outstanding academic credentials or someone with financial need based aid? Athletes from either of these groups could be easily slotted for academic or need based funds. There may well be the creation of a group of athletes who really don't fall into either category.
My next question would be that if for example a basketball team is allowed 13 full rides would the changes allow the schools to bring in 20 or 25 partial athletic scholarship students? This side of the coin would for all intensive purposes work against the mid and small conference schools in the NCAA. The numbers game in recruiting would for all intensive purposes be abolished. Coaches would once more have a free reign to work around the new bylaw. Stock piling of student-athletes would again become the norm at your traditional powerhouses
If the intent is to keep the number of major scholarship athletes constant by redistribution and supplementation of funding to non-revenue sports, the bylaw in my estimation may work. If the intent were to allow for more student athletes primarily in major revenue producing sports, then this bylaw would be flawed and should be rethought.
Mike and The Big Dog LLC.