NCAA President Mark Emmert spent Monday in Washington discussing a host of reforms with the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, most notably proposing that teams that can’t meet minimum academic standards should not be allowed to participate in the NCAA tournament or postseason bowl games.
But on Tuesday during his weekly press conference, Virginia Tech Coach Frank Beamer was asked about Emmert’s statement indicating he will ask the NCAA’s Board of Directors to allow multi-year scholarships rather than the current one-year renewable format currently used. Reiterating past comments on the subject, Beamer said he is against such a change in policy, and this time he offered some compelling reasons for his belief.
“Just on the surface, right now we’re responsible for a kid’s academics, how they handle themselves socially downtown. There’s a lot involved,” Beamer said. “To me we have a system that worked very well right now. It’s a one-year renewable scholarship. You’re going to renew the scholarship unless the kid messes up. . . .
“I would think if a kid knew he had a scholarship for four years, some kids wouldn’t care what I was saying: ‘To heck with Coach Beamer.’ And I just think we have a system that works now. We don’t need four-year scholarships. I don’t think you exist in this business by not renewing scholarships unless you had a good reason not to renew a scholarship. So to me the system is working just fine. I don’t think we need to mess with that.”
However, Beamer did say he is in favor of Emmert’s proposal that would allow schools to award student-athletes grants of up to $2,000 in addition to their scholarships to help cover the full cost of tuition.
“Some people have to travel farther to get home, have different ways to get home,” Beamer said. “Back when I was playing, we got $15 a month for laundry money. We thought we died and had gone to heaven. I think they should get something.”
As for Emmert’s proposed new standard for postseason participation, both the football team and men’s basketball teams were well above the NCAA’s minimum Academic Progress Rate of 900. In the most recently released APR figures, the Hokies’ football team had a score of 955 for the academic years between 2007 and 2010, while the men’s basketball team had a score of 985.