The University of Maryland made national headlines last summer by announcing that they would offer “lifetime scholarships” to football players and student-athletes in all sports.
Under NCAA rules, scholarships can be renewed or terminated on a yearly basis. Maryland’s offer appeared to be a big deal because it offered the student-athletes the opportunity to come back and finish their degree, even after their eligibility had expired.
What do other colleges think about Maryland’s highly-publicized offer of lifetime scholarships?
“We’ve been doing that for years — that’s old news,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney told the AJC. “We’ve been doing that forever here at Clemson. We’ve been doing that since way before I came to Clemson. If you’ve come to Clemson and you leave, unless there’s some kind of issue, you come back here and you finish your degree.
“We’ve got a guy named Roscoe Crosby here now that signed with Clemson before I got here. He’s 31 years old now, and he’s back in school. He signed here in 2001. We’ve been doing that for a long time. I remember when that made news, and I just kind of laughed, to be honest with you. That’s going on for a long, long time so I guess people are just now finding out about it. But we have a great university here that does a great job of fulfilling our obligation of graduating our players. It’s not an entitlement. Everybody has to do their part. It is a responsibility.
“My philosophy has always been ‘I don’t care who it is. I don’t care if it’s CJ Spiller, who leaves here and makes all kinds of money.’ Our responsibility is to graduate them, and to pay for that. This university has done that for years and years and years.”
UGA coach Mark Richt was also asked about lifetime scholarships. “We’ve been helping former players to finish their degrees for years. We help them however we can within the rules. We want to see them get their degrees.”