Colorado basketball coach Tad Boyle has read and heard a lot about schools or conferneces around the nation recently choosing to offer four-year scholsrhips to recruits instead of one-year scholarships which have been the norm for decades.
Boyle said he's happy more schools are moving to the four-year model but he questions why so much attention is suddenly being paid to something that has been allowed for several years.
The NCAA changed the rules in 2011 allowing schools to offer four-year scholarships and Boyle said his program made that standard practice at that point. Boyle said every scholarship player added to his program over the past two cycles has received a four-year scholarship.
"If I'm a student athlete, would I rather sign a one-year scholarship agreement or a four-year scholarship agreement?" Boyle said. "I think everybody in their right mind would ask for a four-year scholarship agreement.
"Well, the schools that are coming out today or the conferences that are coming out today saying, 'We're going to go to this four-year scholarship agreement.' They could have done it two years ago. In fact, I know our program did start doing it two years ago."
The Big Ten Conference presidents did break some ground this by endorsing four-year, full-cost scholarships, including honoring scholarships when student-athletes are unable to continue to compete 'for whatever reason' and those who leave school early to turn pro.
Indiana athletic director Fred Glass told the Associated Press Friday that his department is implementing four-year scholarships.
Colorado's Pac-12 Conference foe USC also announced this week that it would begin offering four-year scholarships to recruits in men and women's basketball as well as football. Boyle's program gets much of its talent from California and has to fight off schools such as USC, UCLA, Cal and Stanford among others for those players. Seeing a big deal made out of one of those rivals chosing to do something that he has been doing for several years might have bothered Boyle.
USC athletic director Pat Haden said in a statement this week that he hoped the school's decision would 'help lead the effort to refocus on student-athlete welfare.'
Boyle said he doesn't know what is suddenly motivating the changes, but major issues such as the Ed O'Bannon lawsuit against the NCAA, threats of unionization and other issues all likely play a part.. He said regardless of what leads to the change, he's happy to see it and hopes it becomes standard practice for every program.
"I think the general impression is up to this point we've offered one-year scholarships and that's all we've offered and that is not correct," Boyle said. "We've been able to offer four-year scholarships for several years now.
"Now for schools and conferences to come out and say, 'Hey, we're only going to offer four-year scholarships.' I think that's great and it's a move in the right direction but they've been able to do that for the last two years."
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