Wasting No Time After Autonomy Vote, Maryland Institutes Lifetime Scholarships
The Univ. of Maryland "continued to remodel its athletic future Tuesday, announcing it will guarantee lifetime scholarships for athletes in revenue and non-revenue sports," according to Roman Stubbs of the WASHINGTON POST. UM athletes "were previously offered one-year financial agreements subject to renewal each year." Athletes on full and partial scholarships "will be covered by the new financial umbrella, which is fully retroactive." UM AD Kevin Anderson said that school is currently graduating about 86% of its athletes, and the program "will attempt to increase that number." Stubbs reports the move "will take effect in November, in time for the NCAA’s early signing period, and is expected to have broad implications for how the athletic department conducts business in the coming years." The initiative, "touted by the school as the 'Maryland Way Guarantee,' also calls for aid to be guaranteed through graduation for athletes who exhaust their eligibility before graduating, as well as those who are unable to compete because of injury." The program "will also provide tuition, books and fees for athletes who leave the university in good academic standing and return to finish their degrees." Anderson said that the program "won’t cost 'in the millions of dollars,' adding that the school will raise additional funds through an endowment, the Terrapin Club Scholarship Fund, and is seeking additional revenue-generating opportunities, including multimedia rights and ticket sales." The school this year paid more than $10.6M worth of student-athlete scholarships (WASHINGTON POST, 8/20). In Baltimore, Don Markus notes UM is among the first D-I schools "in the country to give what Anderson called a 'lifetime' scholarship to its athletes." Anderson said that the school "still has some leeway to help former athletes who have returned the past few years in order to graduate, as well as current athletes who will not have the benefit of being officially in the scholarship program" (Baltimore SUN, 8/20).