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Michael CarvellMichael Carvell

Maryland offers lifetime scholarships in all sports, including football

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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.

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