With NCAA legislation pending approval, some schools gave their newest classes of incoming football recruits four-year scholarships on Wednesday.
Among the schools that confirmed on national signing day they would be giving out scholarships that no longer have to be renewed annually were Ohio State, Auburn, Michigan, Michigan State, Florida and Nebraska.
During the NCAA convention last month, 82 schools asked the board to reconsider the rule, but it’s unlikely to go away.
The board voted unanimously to back the original proposal, sending the legislation to the full membership for an up-or-down online vote in February.
Under the pending legislation, athletes would not be in danger of losing their scholarships based solely on athletic performance.
”I felt, if we recruit a young man and we put our trust in him as an individual, that he deserves the opportunity to come here and play for four years,” Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio. ”We’ve never cut anybody off a scholarship here for not playing well enough.”
In the Big Ten, Purdue and Minnesota didn’t offer multiyear scholarships, and Alabama coach Nick Saban wouldn’t confirm whether the Crimson Tide were doing it.
Saban said when he played he received a four-year scholarship, but it led to lawsuits over what violates the terms of the scholarship.
”That was why we went to one-year scholarships,” he said. ”I think this is some people’s cynical approach to think that coaches don’t have the best interest of the young people that they coach in mind. I resent that. I think that every coach that I know has the best interest of his players in mind.”