The Chronicle of Higher Education revealed today the schools that voted for and against overriding a recent proposal to allow schools to offer mutli-year athletic scholarships.
The override railed, and UW was among the schools voting not to override the proposal, meaning it was voting for mutli-year scholarships.
That might not be a surprise given that the multi-year scholarship is something that has the support of NCAA president Mark Emmert, who was president at UW before taking on his new role with the NCAA.
CBSSports.com breaks down which major schools voted against the proposal (all four Northwest Pac-12 schools were for it) and also details what some schools regard as pros and cons. ESPN.com also had this overview of the topic last week.
As the stories note, scholarships now are technically one-year renewable and athletes can technically have them revoked at any time, which has led to some controversies through the years (though the one most notable at UW, the 2006 “Suddenly Senior” deal, wouldn’t really be impacted by this since that revolved around giving players a fifth year not taking it away in years 1-4).
UW coach Steve Sarkisian was asked about this on letter-of-intent day and downplayed the significance of the proposal, saying most players now get four years regardless unless there are some extenuating circumstances.
“It’s been another topic that’s been on the table for discussion,” he said. “In my opinion, the way it is structured now it essentially is (a four-year scholarship). The only reason a kid’s scholarship isn’t honored is if he doesn’t hold up his end of the deal from a social or academic standpoint — if a kid is getting in trouble with the law, or a kid isn’t getting it done in the classroom. It doesn’t have any bearing on his athletic ability. If a kid can’t play, that’s our responsibility, not the kid’s responsibility. So if that makes people feel better (to make it a rule), that’s fine, I’m all for it.”
As the last part of Sarkisian’s comment states, he feels it’s his responsibility if UW signs a player who simply doesn’t pan out on the field and they will give that player four years unless there’s some off-field or academic factor that gets in the way.
As some stories such as this one note, the promise of a multi-year scholarship could be used as a lure in recruiting.
My hunch is that it wouldn’t be a factor for any significant football recruits since it’s hard to imagine any school wouldn’t promise every single Joey Five-Star he can stay as long as he wants. But it’ll be interesting to see a few years down the road if there’s any real tangible impact of this.