Big Ten recommends enhanced benefits to student-athletes

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, the Big Ten announced it has recommended “enhanced benefits for student-athletes” in good standing with their schools as part of the NCAA’s new autonomy structure.

The Big Ten’s proposal includes coverage of cost of attendance, multi-year/guaranteed scholarships, lifetime scholarships opportunities and expanded healthcare. It follows the ACC’s recommendations to the NCAA on Tuesday.

From the release:

  • Cost of Education: Redefine full grant-in-aid to meet a student-athlete’s cost of education, as determined by the federal government.
  • Multi-Year Scholarships: Guarantee all scholarships. If a student-athlete is no longer able to compete, for whatever reason, there should be no impact on institutions’ commitment to deliver an undergraduate education.
  • Lifetime Educational Commitment: Ensure that scholarships are available for life. If a student-athlete leaves a university for a professional career before graduating, whether the career materializes, and regardless of its length, the scholarship will be honored after his or her playing days are complete.
  • Medical Insurance: Provide improved, consistent medical insurance for student-athletes.

Indiana already covers all four of those points and more under its Student-Athlete Bill of Rights, which was announced in June.

You can find the full press release after the jump.

ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference announced today that it has notified the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) of initial recommendations designed to provide enhanced benefits for student-athletes that are members in good standing with their individual universities as part of the NCAA’s new autonomy governance structure.

For the past two years, the conference has publicly stated its desire to continue providing student-athletes with an unmatched educational and athletic experience, including comments made by Commissioner James E. Delany at the July 2013 Big Ten Football Media Days (attached as PDF), at the Collegiate Commissioners Association meeting on September 25, 2013 (PDF), at the July 2014 Big Ten Football Media Days (PDF), and in statements issued by the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors on June 1, 2014 (PDF) and June 24, 2014 (PDF).

The Big Ten will work to implement the following proposals through individual institutional action, conference-wide action or under the NCAA autonomy governance structure:
Cost of Education: Redefine full grant-in-aid to meet a student-athlete’s cost of education, as determined by the federal government.
Multi-Year Scholarships: Guarantee all scholarships. If a student-athlete is no longer able to compete, for whatever reason, there should be no impact on institutions’ commitment to deliver an undergraduate education.
Lifetime Educational Commitment: Ensure that scholarships are available for life. If a student-athlete leaves a university for a professional career before graduating, whether the career materializes, and regardless of its length, the scholarship will be honored after his or her playing days are complete.
Medical Insurance: Provide improved, consistent medical insurance for student-athletes.

The Big Ten has also agreed to address additional student-athlete welfare issues including, but not limited to, health and safety, time demands and comprehensive academic support by way of a “Resolution” that creates a specific pathway and timeline for implementation.

The Big Ten Conference is an association of 14 world-class universities committed to the pursuit and attainment of athletic and academic excellence. Big Ten institutions feature broad-based athletic programs which provide nearly $200 million in direct financial aid to almost 9,500 student-athletes on 350 teams in 42 different sports.

We look forward to working with the ACC, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC through the NCAA autonomy governance structure toward adoption and implementation of these proposals.