Dec 3, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans athletic director Pat Haden speaks at a press conference to announce Steve Sarkisian as Southern California Trojans football coach at John McKay Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

USC To Offer Four-Year Scholarships for Football and Basketball

USC athletic director Pat Haden announced Monday that the Trojans will shift to multi-year athletic scholarships for players in the revenue sports.

Beginning July 1st, student-athletes in the football and men’s and women’s basketball programs will earn four-year scholarships instead of the renewable single-year scholarships favored by most programs in the NCAA.

The NCAA began allowing multi-year scholarships to be offered back in 2011, but they have been slow to catch on nationwide. While many universities offer four-year scholarships, they are usually limited to revenue sports and thus make up a small percentage of the total athletic scholarships awarded.

The move centers on student-athlete welfare according to Haden. Locking in scholarships for four years helps prevent coaches and others from running players out of their scholarships for performance reasons. Instead, so long as a player is in good academic and behavioral standing, he or she will retain their place in school through graduation.

During the Pac-12 summer meetings, which convened in early June, Dr. Elson S. Floyd, President of Washington State University and Chair of the Pac-12 CEO Group, made a point of singling out scholarships as areas for improvement.

“Our peers are in agreement on the need to expand scholarships to take into account to full cost of attendance, address student-athlete health, protect against unfair loss of scholarships before graduation, reduce the time demands that athletics make on our student-athletes, and incorporate current student-athletes into our governance groups,” Floyd said in his post-meeting’s statement.

Still, USC’s decision to incorporate four-year scholarships only goes so far. Student-athletes in non-revenue sports will still remain under one-year deals.

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