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SBD/July 24, 2014/Colleges
C-USA Schools Prepared To Offer Full Cost-Of-Attendance Scholarships
Published July 24, 2014
VIEW FROM THE MOUNTAINTOP: West Virginia AD Oliver Luck in a special on the school's official athletic website wrote Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, who recently said schools may cut non-revenue sports, has "a unique viewpoint when it comes to Olympic sports on campus since he also serves on" the USOC BOD. It would "not be a stretch to say that if the collegiate rug got pulled out from under the feet of our aspiring Olympic athletes, we would not have the same level of success that we have come to expect." Luck: "Is this just 'crying wolf' or is there a legitimate reason for supporters of the Olympic sports to have some angst about the future?" Many schools have "dropped sports over the past few decades." Because of the move to the Big 12, WVU is "in a better financial position in terms of our ability to compete with the top schools in the nation." WVU officials "do not have any intention to drop Olympic sports." But "no university is completely out of the woods on this issue." Luck: "Rest assured that college sports fans will continue to hear for years to come about the potential of Olympic sports being dropped" (WVUSPORTS.com, 7/22).
ONE STEP AT A TIME: In N.Y., Marc Tracy in a front-page piece writes D-I schools have "begun rolling back some of the most contentious policies regarding amateurism." Indiana Univ. last month announced a bill of rights for athletes, "promising free tuition for life rather than the customary one-year scholarship guarantee." USC said that it would "guarantee four-year scholarships." University presidents in the Big Ten and Pac-12 "wrote public letters advocating guaranteed four-year scholarships, improved medical coverage and more financial support for athletes." But in the "most significant move yet, the NCAA decided last week not to ask athletes to sign a statement authorizing the NCAA and other groups to use their names and likenesses for promotional purposes." These shifts are "happening at a time of growing unrest in college sports over what critics say is exploitation of athletes." The changes "may leave athletes better protected and more empowered -- and the universities less vulnerable to future lawsuits -- no matter how the courts rule on the lawsuits regarding the status of student-athletes" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/24).