NCAA allowing multiyear grant

NCAA membership has upheld legislation that allows schools the option of giving student-athletes multiyear scholarships.

The legislation was adopted following a presidential retreat last August, and it was upheld in an override vote that concluded late Friday. Some coaches have spoken out for the benefits of multiyear scholarships and others have vehemently opposed the concept, but now each school can operate concurrent with its preference.

Or, in some cases, how they have operated all along.

"When we sign a young man, we expect him to see through to graduation," Georgia football coach Mark Richt said. "I know contractually it is one year at a time, but from what's in my heart and from what's in the heart of the University of Georgia is for these guys to make it all the way through to graduation. It means a whole lot to us.

"I don't think it will change the way we view taking care of these guys."

South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier believes it's a "terrible idea" to offer multiyear scholarships.

"What if a young man decides he doesn't want to give much effort or go weightlifting or go to workouts?" Spurrier said. "How do you get rid of him? Everybody has to earn his or her way in life."

According to the NCAA, 62.12 percent of the 330 participating institutions voted to override the legislation. A 62.5 percent majority was required for the override.

Objecting schools expressed concerns that coaches will use multiyear grants as a recruiting lure. Many institutions didn't have problems with the legislation but rather the manner in which it was introduced.

"I am pleased that the student-athletes will continue to benefit from the ability of institutions to offer athletics aid for more than one year," NCAA president Mark Emmert said, "but it's clear that there are significant portions of the membership with legitimate concerns. As we continue to examine implementation of the rule, we want to work with the membership to address those concerns."