The NCAA Board of Directors approved a proposal to allow schools to distribute up to $2,000 a year or the full cost of attendance, whichever is less, to student-athletes in "head count" sports, i.e. men's and women's basketball, football, and those in " equivalency sports" who reach the full value of a scholarship. Amazingly, the NCAA Board, which is composed of member university presidents actually followed through on a pledge to reform its policies in student-athlete friendly ways,
While the full cost of attendance change is likely to garner most of the headlines, the Board passed what potentially could be a more impactfull change, finally authorizing multiyear scholarships up to the full term of eligibility. This should help stop the oversigning problem which plague the SEC., and the disgraceful practice of wholesale running off of players that seem to accompany every coaching change.
Additionally, the presidents voted to allow institutions to provide aid to any athletes who came back to school to complete their degrees following exhaustion of of their eligibility. They also raised the Academic Progress Rate required for postseason eligibility.
Taken as a whole, this was probably the single most student athlete friendly day ever at NCAA headquarters. The presidents made good on a number of commitments they had made over the years and NCAA President Mark Emmert made a significant down payment on his credibility as a student athlete friendly reformer. Much is left to do, but we must always stop and recognize progress when it occurs. I've bashed the NCAA on many occasions for ignoring the welfare of the students in favor of the sports administration complex (similar to the military industrial complex.). These steps don't end the arms race, don't begin to reign the outrageous salaries being paid to coaches, or the sale of the programs to corporate sponsors, but they took significant steps toward making the student athletes lives better, both while at school and, importantly, after they have left without a degree. For that, they deserve our praise.