When high school stars sign a letter of intent to play the sport that they love on the collegiate level, many assume that the scholarship will cover the years that they are eligible to play, but that is not the case. As is stands today, college athletes are offered a one year scholarship that university has the option to renew or not renew on an annual basis. This sometimes puts students, who for one reason or another can no longer play at the collegiate level, in a situation where they could lose their scholarship. Usually, we are reminded of this rule when a player, who due to injury can no longer participate in sports, finds out that their scholarship has not been renewed by the institution and they will need to find funding elsewhere or drop out.
The University of Southern California is looking to lead the charge in changing this tradition by offering student athletes in revenue generating sports (football and men’s/women’s basketball) four-year guaranteed scholarships.
USC will offer four-year athletic scholarships to all scholarship student-athletes in the revenue sports of football and men’s and women’s basketball in lieu of the current practice of offering one-year renewable scholarships, USC Athletic Director Pat Haden announced today.
Haden said this policy will be effective July 1, 2014, for all current and future scholarship student-athletes in those sports.
“In taking this action, USC hopes to help lead the effort to refocus on student-athlete welfare on and off the field,” Haden said.
Haden also reaffirmed the university’s commitment to assist those scholarship student-athletes in good academic standing that have exhausted their intercollegiate eligibility to obtain their undergraduate degrees. USC has assisted more than 250 former student-athletes with undergraduate degree academic support over the last decade.
This is definitely a step in the right direction and I assume other schools will follow suit since this could potentially give the Trojans a recruiting edge.