NCAA reform makes sense

The NCAA has made multiple-year scholarships available to students.

On Friday, members of the National Collegiate Athletic Association nearly voted to override a reform that would allow students to receive multiple-year scholarships. Since 1973, student-athletes have only been able to receive scholarships one year at a time. Thankfully, the multiple-year scholarship reform survived, though only by two votes — in fact, the majority of NCAA institutions voted against the reform, not enough to officially override it.

Having the option to award student-athletes scholarships for multiple years is a sensible reform, especially in the greed-driven worlds of football and men’s basketball. Right now, each sport functions like a professional league in which a typical player’s “contract” is for one year and $0. With this reform, the typical “contract” length will expand and at least give players more security. It’s a small step forward but a step nonetheless.

Right now, when a university changes coaches or when a player suffers a serious injury, the university is free to drop that student from the ranks of their scholarship players. If a student has a scholarship guaranteed for multiple years, he gets a little more security and control over his fate in a world where college athletes are routinely exploited and manipulated for the benefit of their university while receiving no compensation.

The NCAA is riddled with scores of problems, and big-time college athletics is a corrupt system that takes advantage of young and often poor athletes. Its many problems and exploitative nature probably will not end until there is an alternative professional avenue for young athletes to partake in where they can receive compensation. In the meantime, putting a little more of the power in the hands of student-athletes is fair and sensible.