Pat Haden continues to live up to his reputation of putting the safety and well being of student athletes above all else over the last four years, and USC officially announced on Monday that they will offer four-year scholarships to all student-athletes in football, men's basketball and women's basketball.
The new 4-year commitment replaces the current practice of 1-year renewable scholarships for the revenue sports effective July 1, 2014.— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) June 23, 2014
"In taking this action, USC hopes to help lead the effort to refocus on student-athlete welfare on and off the field," USC athletic director Pat Haden said in a press release.
Offering students four-year scholarships has taken place over the past three years, but the Trojans just made quite the savvy PR move. Several Big Ten schools, most notably Northwestern who've offered them for all 21 sports, started offering four-year scholarships back in 2012; but this stance could propel a massive domino effect.
Giving football and basketball players four-year scholarships will be a significant measure in student welfare. Whether it involved improving APR performance, renovating athletic facilities for the John McKay Center, pioneering efforts to properly feed walk-on and scholarship athletes or even creating the nationally renowned USC Community Outreach Program, USC's Athletic Department certainly has taken noteworthy steps to enhance the student-athlete experience.
The recruiting efforts from Steve Sarkisian, Andy Enfield and Cynthia Cooper-Dyke have been fantastic over the past calendar year, and those endeavors will be increasingly supported by the four-year scholarship offer.
Against previous operating procedures where schools would renew their scholarships on a year-to-year basis, USC will hold to original offers over the entire four years starting July 1st. The policy is certainly not new, as the NCAA cleared the procedure starting back in 2011, but making the news public for recruits and parents alike has massive benefits.
For an immediate example, one of USC's top football recruits, five-star CB Iman "Biggie" Marshall from Long Beach Poly High School, took right to Social Media to express his excitement about the four-year scholarship proposal.
USC is now offering four year scholarships to all student athletes in lieu of one year renewable scholarships, #GAMECHANGER!— Biggie (@iman_marshall8) June 23, 2014
THE HISTORY OF FOUR-YEAR SCHOLARSHIPS
It's pretty great. Before the 1970s, schools were free to offer 4-year scholarships. Many did.— Patrick Hruby (@patrick_hruby) June 23, 2014
Then the pro-education NCAA actually changed the rule and forbid schools from offering four-year scholarships.— Patrick Hruby (@patrick_hruby) June 23, 2014
Basically, schools didn't just want more control over athletes - they wanted control over athletes who were speaking out on various causes— Patrick Hruby (@patrick_hruby) June 23, 2014
Re: USC and four-year schollies, it's funny how things work when collusive restrictions are lifted, isn't it?— Patrick Hruby (@patrick_hruby) June 23, 2014