The Indiana University athletic department has taken bold measures to ensure its student-athletes will be fully taken care of throughout their entire athletic stay in Bloomington. IU vice president and director of athletics Fred Glass unveiled the IU Student-Athlete Bill of Rights on Friday, claiming it to be the first of its kind in the world of college athletics.
"We developed the Bill of Rights to identify not only what we were currently doing for our student-athletes but what we should be doing," said Glass, who has been in his current role since 2009. "We have committed to this extensive set of benefits and set it out transparently in writing, so that we can be held accountable for them by our student-athletes and other stakeholders such as our faculty and trustees."
The 10-point document details numerous accommodations that IU will supply to every student-athlete. In an initiative to have the athletic department be a family-oriented environment, Glass established the "Hoosiers for Life" program, highlighted by the "Lifetime Degree Guarantee." IU will pay the tuition (plus books and fees) for an IU undergraduate degree for any scholarship student-athlete who left school early to tend to a family emergency, pursue a professional athletics career, or for any other reason. This program is open to any former student-athlete who was eligible for at least two seasons, left IU in good standing, did not transfer, and is readmitted under university rules.
Similar to what the University of Southern California and AD Pat Haden announced last week, IU will also offer a four-year scholarship commitment it student-athletes. However, unlike USC's plan, IU's commitment applies to all student-athletes, not just those in revenue-generating sports. The idea of offering a four year scholarship commitment has been in effect since 2011, but many D-1 schools still offer one-year renewable scholarships.
As AB outlined in this story last week, many Big Ten schools, and a few others, have offered four-year scholarships for several years. Michigan, Penn State, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois and Northwestern all confirmed to ESPN.com they awarded recruits with a four-year grant during the 2011-12 recruiting cycle.
Other perks of Indiana's Student-Athlete Bill of Rights include complete academic counseling and tutoring, nutritional guidance, and leadership and life skills development. Finally, IU says it will provide an additional allowance within the scholarship "to cover the full cost of college attendance... once doing so is authorized by the NCAA."