NCAA to Allow Multi-Year Scholarships

The new NCAA rule allowing colleges and universities to offer multi-year scholarships to student-athletes survived an override effort by schools which opposed the rule change. 

Steve Wieberg of USA Today reports that an override of the legislation was passed by the narrowest of margins:

Opponents needed 207 of 330 votes by schools and conferences - a five-eighths majority - to overturn the measure approved by the association’s Division I board of directors last October. They got 205.

Mark Emmert, NCAA President stated as follows:

“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…As we continue to examine implementation of the rule, we want to work with the membership to address those concerns.”

Since 1973, scholarships were limited to one year by the NCAA, and had to be renewed for the following year.  This rule changed in October, as the NCAA Division I Board of Directors voted to allow multi-year scholarships up to the full term of eligibility, leading to the override attempt.

Although Emmert has endured significant criticism since taking over as President of the NCAA, the multi-year scholarship is a positive measure for student-athletes.  The new rule isn’t as strong as it could be - schools are allowed, but not required, to offer multi-year scholarships.  Nevertheless, Emmert deserves credit for instituting this change.

Practically speaking, this rule will only be effective if schools choose to take advantage of it.  Alicia Jessop of the Business of College Sports blog, has a breakdown of which schools and conferences supported the measure.  UConn supporters will be pleased to learn that the university and the Big East Conference support multi-year scholarships.


  1. […] In his testimony, Sack pointed out that the NCAA prohibited scholarships in excess of one year.  Last fall, the NCAA changed its rules to allow for multi-year scholarships at the option of the school.  The rule change survived a strong challenge mounted by NCAA member schools.  […]

  2. […] high-profile institutions; and other issues that have been covered in-depth on this blog, such as multiyear scholarships, NCAA transfer rules, O’Bannon v. NCAA and the National Letter of Intent.  The compilation […]

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