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Indiana to distribute multi-year scholarships, other benefits to student-athletes

Jun 27, 2014, 4:19 PM EST

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Friday marks the final day of testimony in the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit, and it’s been said on many occasions that the verdict will impact the way schools do business moving forward. One area that could be impacted is what student-athletes receive when given a scholarship, as changes could require them to go well beyond the standard allowances per NCAA rules.

With this being the case some schools have chosen to be proactive, with Indiana being the latest athletic department to make changes with the student-athlete in mind. According to Zach Osterman of the Indianapolis Star, Indiana AD Fred Glass has plans for a ten-point student-athlete bill or rights that will enhance the value of the full scholarship.

Some of those benefits include multiyear scholarships as opposed to the standard one-year renewable scholarship for athletes on full rides, improved health benefits and financial help for those who wish to return to IU in order to complete their bachelor’s degree. And should the NCAA allow its members to meet the full cost of attendance, Glass will be prepared to do that as well.

Glass added that, should cost of attendance scholarships gain NCAA approval, Indiana’s scholarships would increase to that level of financial support.

“The cost of attendance piece, we’re not permitted to do that under NCAA rules,” Glass said. “But it’s something that, when it happens — and I’m confident it will happen — it’s just something we should do.”

A few days ago USC announced that it would award four-year scholarships in football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball, a development that more schools could decide to follow in the near future. And it should be noted that the Big Ten announced its support for such measures, so Indiana will likely have company within its own conference.

The measures taken by USC and Indiana could very well happen at other schools within the “Power Five” leagues, given the revenues those conferences are already bringing in. But how much pushback will there be from NCAA members without the monetary resources needed to follow suit? That answer will have as much impact as the coming verdict in the O’Bannon lawsuit.