The ACC’s New Autonomy Proposals In A Nutshell From Guest Columnist Mark Blackston

This is reprinted here with permission from Mark Blackston, who often focuses on the business of the ACC over at under the name Hokie Mark.

It’s an excellent look at the three proposals before the league. Here, we’ll let Mark explain it to us. Again this is reprinted with the full permission of Mark and his site Enjoy:

ACC Autonomy Proposals
The ACC has released information on three autonomy proposals submitted by the league. Here is a brief synopsis of each as provided by the ACC:

Cost of attendance: This proposal will permit an institution to provide an athletics scholarship to any student-athlete up to their cost of attendance at the institution. The cost of attendance figure shall be determined using federal regulations and in a manner consistent with institutional policies for the establishment of the value for all students. This proposal will be permissive and apply to student-athletes in all sports. The effective date would by August 1, 2015 and agreements may be executed prior to that date to take effect in the 2015-16 academic year.

Loss-of-value insurance: This proposal is intended to permit a student-athlete to borrow against his or her future earnings potential to obtain loss-of-value insurance. The proposal will make the treatment of loss-of-value insurance consistent with that of disability insurance. The effective date would be immediate.

Scholarship renewal: This proposal precludes an institution from not renewing a student-athlete’s athletic scholarship for athletics performance or injury reasons, even after the period of the award. The effective date would be August 1, 2015.


COMMENTS: The first two appear designed to take better care of student athletes and, in the process, to head off some potential lawsuits. That last one does the same, but with one additional side effect – it will tend to level the playing field. Why?

One of the biggest advantages held by teams like Alabama is the number of players they cycle through their system. One reason they are able to do that is players leaving early for the NFL, but another reason is because Alabama has demonstrated a willingness under Coach Nick Saban to pull the scholarship of players who are injured or simply don’t perform well. This allows the team to recruit a replacement; most schools don’t do that, preferring to honor the original scholarship offer.

Of course, this puts a premium on evaluating high school players (and it may increase the number of JuCo transfers), and there will be mistakes – but under this proposal, every team will be forced to live with their recruiting mistakes, rather than allowing some “football factory” teams to take a “shotgun” approach to recruiting.

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