On Thursday, the Division I Board of Directors approved a package of reforms that gives conferences the option of adding more money to scholarship offers, schools the opportunity to award scholarships for multiple years, imposes tougher academic standards on recruits and changes the summer basketball recruiting model.
Increasing scholarship money
Gave each conference the option of adding $2,000 per scholarship toward the full cost of attendance, or money beyond that supplied to cover tuition, room and board, books and fees. Schools that agree to expand scholarship costs will have to provide an equal amount of the extra money to women’s athletes because of Title IX rules.
Awarding multiyear scholarships
Gave individual schools the choice of awarding scholarships on a multiyear basis instead of annually. Scholarships could not be revoked based on athletic performance. Multiyear scholarships would cover athletes for the maximum amount of time they have remaining eligibility (incoming freshmen would have four or five years, transfers would have shorter lengths).
Linking academics, postseason
Tied academic performance to postseason play. Beginning in 2012-13, teams must hit 900 on the Academic Progress Rate over four years or have an average of 930 over the two most recent years to be eligible for postseason play. In 2014-15, teams must have a four-year score of 930 or a 940 average in the two most recent years. In 2015-16, everybody has to hit 930, no exceptions. There will be waivers and appeals, although they will be kept to a minimum. The board also agreed to include the APR cutline in bowl licensing agreements, making it enforceable in football, too. Schools that miss the APR cutline could face reductions in practice time, game reductions, coaching suspensions, scholarship reductions and restricted NCAA membership.
Imposing tougher GPA standards
Imposed tougher academic standards for incoming freshmen and junior college transfers. Beginning in August 2012, high school seniors will need a 2.3 GPA in 16 core courses, instead of the current 2.0 GPA, and must complete 10 of those classes before their senior year. Junior college transfers would need a 2.5 GPA and can only count two physical education credits toward eligibility. Students that meet the current standards but not the new ones will be given an “academic redshirt” year in which they will be on scholarship and can practice with the team but cannot travel or participate in games.
Installing new summer recruiting
Instituted a new summer basketball recruiting model. Instead of having 20 evaluation days in July and none in April, coaches will have four evaluation days in April and 12 in July. In addition, coaches will be allowed more contact with their players during the summer, with details to be worked out. The change also means coaches can make unlimited calls or send unlimited text messages to prep recruits after June 15 at the end of their sophomore year.