Posted: 11:47 am Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Maryland offers lifetime scholarships in all sports, including football 

By Michael Carvell

Props to Maryland for offering lifetime scholarships (AP file photo)

Props to Maryland for offering lifetime scholarships (AP file photo)

This is the best thing so far to come out of the new NCAA legislation which allows the power conferences to write their own rules:

Maryland is offering lifetime scholarships to student-athletes of all sports, even if he or she is no longer participating in sports.

The initiative was announced on the school’s website, and has gotten overwhelmingly positive reviews.

And you can bet this will be used heavily in recruiting.

Colleges are only required by the NCAA to offer athletic scholarships that are renewable on a one-year basis while the student-athlete is participating in sports. And they can be canceled for any reason.

Maryland is one of the nation’s first colleges to make this type of outstanding commitment to its athletes.

Here’s the press release:

The University of Maryland has announced it will be one of the first NCAA Division I institutions to offer a lifetime degree guarantee for student-athletes in all sports. In addition, the University is incorporating the promise of exhausted eligibility aid into financial aid agreements.

Beginning in November of 2014-15, ‘The Maryland Way Guarantee’ will provide all incoming student-athletes with a multi-year scholarship guarantee. Pursuant to this program, should a student-athlete exhaust his or her eligibility prior to graduating, Maryland will guarantee his or her aid will continue through graduation. If a student-athlete is injured and unable to compete, Maryland will guarantee his or her aid will continue through graduation.

Additionally, Maryland will provide tuition, books and fees for any student-athlete who leaves the institution in good academic standing and returns to complete his or her degree.

Other institutions have extended this guarantee to “revenue sports” including football and men’s and women’s basketball, but Maryland is one of the first to provide a lifetime degree guarantee for student-athletes in all sports.

“Our vision is to be the best intercollegiate athletic program while producing graduates who are prepared to serve as leaders in the local, state and global communities,” director of athletics Kevin Anderson said. “We are confident ‘The Maryland Way Guarantee’ will further demonstrate our commitment to our student-athletes’ pursuit of a college degree.”

Previously, Maryland student-athletes were offered one-year financial agreements, which were subject to renewal every year. In accordance with NCAA rules, scholarships can be canceled or reduced, for any reason at all, after the one-year agreement expires. Despite NCAA regulations permitting one-year agreements, Maryland is showing a strong commitment to student-athlete success by promising not to cancel or reduce our student-athlete scholarships for on-field or on-court performance.

Thoughts? Please post below.

43 comments
HotDawg
HotDawg

Sounds nice. Although many times athletes that leave to go pro, have school funds built into their pro contracts. Or most have enough money to pay for themselves when they decide to return.

Others that didn't maintain their grades aren't going to be eligible to come back.

What about the athlete that, for example, needs one semester to graduate after his eligibility has just expired. Is he currently not eligible to finish that semester on scholarship?

Unless they're going pro, many kids are finishing up after 4 or 5 years in their programs. Many are grad students in their 5th year, if they've been redshirted.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

In principal I think this is a good idea but there are some potential problems - mostly at the back end.

What if the SA is "dragging out" graduation?  Do you keep them on scholarship if they are "permanent students"?  The Economist had an interesting article a few years ago on how times to graduation had increased in the German states that had abolished fees for university students. Would the same thing happen with SA's at UMd?

TU
TU

If they do not include room and board, it may not be as appealing to out of state prospects.


caneowar
caneowar

All schools should take that stance. I know UGA pretty much has the 4 year thing with its student athletes as long as they keep up their end of the bargain. Alabama and Auburn and few other schools. Not so much. That would put a big dent in Sabans 30 recruits a year bag. The Universities should make what Maryland did, law.

Wrecker
Wrecker

I wonder if this is a stop-gap measure to put off lawsuits over paying players.  Even if so, it is a good move both for PR purposes and to reward players who contribute so much to university coffers.

hpt84
hpt84

As far as I know both CPJ or Richt honor scholarship as a 4 years scholarship. The only time it is not honor is when they are kicked off the team for discipline. 

bridgedawg
bridgedawg

@MichaelCarvell "How much revenue is the typical non-athletic student generating for a college? is it billions like the student-athlete?" 

If it were not for the non-athletic student...the student athlete would not exist...and I'm absolutely positive if you check those donors that keep the athletic association in business, most all of them were "non-athletic" students...

C-Kirk
C-Kirk

I think you will see a lot of Schools, including Georgia match that offer soon. It will be a way to give back to players who make the Schools so much money.

SupersizeThatOrder-mutt
SupersizeThatOrder-mutt

I don't know if it applies to other sports than football, but Dodd never dropped a kid from scholarship, no matter how long it took.  I think Tech still adheres to that practice.

OH-IO
OH-IO

I am SHOCKED that you covered a recruiting story that was not dog or SEC! SEC! related. 


#apocolypse

dcmdawg
dcmdawg

What if an athlete leaves school after is sophomore year and goes to the pros and makes $100 million. He then wants to come back to school to get his degree for free. Is that fair to non-athletic students?

Caius
Caius

On the surface this sounds like a winner for all.  Has anyone checked the fine print?


How will the O'Bannon case be impacted by this move?


BobLeeSwagger
BobLeeSwagger

Good for the Terps.

Is some of that UnderArmour money behind this?

MichaelCarvell
MichaelCarvell moderator

@bridgedawg thanks for your comment. the student-only students earn billions for the college while in college? if you're talking about after college, student-athletes are donors, too

MichaelCarvell
MichaelCarvell moderator


@dcmdawg How much revenue is the typical non-athletic student generating for a college? is it billions like the student-athlete?

Dawg-Gawn
Dawg-Gawn

@gtcaryd

Confucius say... he that win the MNC game get the privilege to pee eternally into a 24K Gold Urinal...

"BELIEVE" in the G

BobLeeSwagger
BobLeeSwagger

@gtcaryd I can see the coach holding it and saying Can we swap it for the Crystal football?


ARdawg
ARdawg

@gtcaryd @ARdawg @OH-IO Prolly so. He's been scurrying for tissues since the news on Braxton Miller broke. He's been hard to catch since

OH-IO
OH-IO

@ARdawg I cried it all out. Next man up. Except for a Miller Heisman, all is still on the table. 

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@ARdawg Man, yall got a Love-in going on Bill King blog. I couldn't read anymore.

ARdawg
ARdawg

@OH-IO @ARdawg attaway rebound Bucky *pats* Nothing some severe counseling won't cure

OH-IO
OH-IO

@gtcaryd  I glanced at the Junkyard and thought I was gonna hurl. Life as a dog is rather limited. Ringing a bell, petting a dog, buying a t-shirt.......no thanks

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@OH-IO Yes you have to be a fan to enjoy that one.