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Schools object to NCAA’s multiyear scholarship plan

COLUMBIA, Mo. – For the second time in less than two weeks, schools are objecting to a reform measure sought by university presidents.

More than 75 schools are asking to override a plan approved in October to allow multiyear athletic scholarships rather than the one-year renewable awards schools currently provide. That’s the minimum number of dissenters needed for reconsideration by the Division I Board of Directors when it meets next month in Indianapolis at the annual NCAA convention.

On Dec. 15, the NCAA suspended plans to give athletes a $2,000 stipend for living costs not covered by scholarships after at least 125 schools objected.

The Division I Board of Directors now faces three options: scrap the two reform measures and operate under previous NCAA rules; modify the rule or create a new proposal that would go back to the schools for another 60-day comment period; or allow members to vote on the override, which needs a five-eighths majority of the roughly 350 Division I members to pass.

David Berst, the NCAA’s vice president of governance for Division I, said that most schools support the concept of multiyear scholarships but have concerns about how to enact such a change.

Boise State, which objected to the move, called it a “recruiting disaster” that would encourage a “culture of brokering” and pit wealthy schools with larger recruiting budgets against their less well-heeled brethren, while also obligating schools to long-term commitments that may not make competitive sense.