On Monday morning, a group of chancellors and presidents from the Pac-12 member universities passed reforms aimed at assisting the student-athletes in the Pac-12.
The school representatives voted to pass five main reforms that followed what they had outlined previously in May.
"This fulfills a promise we made when we announced our agenda for reform earlier this year," said chairman of the Conference’s CEO Group, Dr. Elson S. Floyd, who is president of Washington State University. "These reforms assure better support for all our student-athletes, reinforce that academics come first, and address the financial and health needs of our students."
The new Pac-12 rules that will apply across the board for all sports represented at the varsity level:
- Athletic scholarships will be guaranteed for four years for student-athletes in all sports.
- Student-athletes who leave school before graduating will be able to use the remainder of their educational expenses later to earn their degrees.
- Medical expenses for student-athletes who are injured during their college athletic careers will be covered for up to four years after a student-athlete leave the institution.
- Student-athletes who transfer between Pac-12 institutions will be able to receive athletic scholarships immediately.
- Student-athletes will be represented in the Conference governance structure.
Naturally, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott loved the reforms:
Conference Commissioner Larry Scott hailed the reform package: "As a former student-athlete myself, I believe these reforms will mean a great deal to student-athletes in the Pac-12. These reforms will ensure they enjoy a positive collegiate sports experience, and graduate with a meaningful college degree. This set of reforms also addresses various health and financial concerns that student-athletes have expressed to me in the many conversations I’ve had with them, while preserving the essence of the collegiate experience that has served so many student-athletes so well. I am very proud of the national leadership position our presidents, chancellors, athletics directors, senior women administrators, faculty athletic representatives, and other administrators have taken." -- Pac-12
USC had already begun reforms, leading the way by previously offering four-year scholarships. It's great that student-athletes that leave school early will have a chance to finish up later and that medical expenses will be taken care of for up to four years after a player leaves.
The most intriguing rule is the transfer rule. It sounds as if coaches will no longer be able to put stipulations on where a player can transfer to and instead players will be able to receive scholarships immediately if transferring within the Pac-12.
So will we start to see former players end up playing for rivals? Could you imagine if someone like Cody Kessler transferred to UCLA after finishing his degree in three years and playing his final year in Bruins gear?