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Friday, May 07, 2010
Justice Department Scrutinizing One-Year Renewable Scholarships

Libby Sander of the Chronicle of Higher Education writes today about the Justice Department's interest in NCAA scholarship rules, particularly the one-year renewable rule for scholarships. Here's an excerpt:

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Lawyers from the department's antitrust division recently met with officials from the National Collegiate Athletic Association to discuss the association's rules governing athletics scholarships, according to an e-mail message from the NCAA obtained by The Chronicle. The department appears to be looking at the limitations the NCAA places on scholarships. Currently, an institution is allowed to give an athletics scholarship for only one year at a time—a rule that has been on the books since 1973­—and the scholarship may be renewed for no more than five years in all.

The message from Elsa Cole, the NCAA's general counsel, was sent this week to Division I athletic directors and conference commissioners, among others. Lawyers from the Justice Department, Ms. Cole said in the message, are now beginning to contact the general counsels of Division I colleges, as well as conference commissioners, to discuss "the purpose and effect of those rules."

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The debate over whether financial aid for athletes should be renewable annually or represent a four-year commitment has never fully abated in the 37 years that the one-year rule has existed. Some athletes say the annual renewal leaves them vulnerable in cases of injury or misunderstandings with a coach, while many athletic directors and coaches say it is a necessary and logical practice.
To read the rest, click here.


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