The Big Ten announced a set of initial recommendations for the NCAA on Wednesday 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." The announcement came just a day after the ACC made a similar statement and on the same day the Pac-12 announced it too had notified the NCAA of forthcoming proposals.
October 1st marked the first day the NCAA established for the five major conferences to propose independent rules and changes to how student-athletes are supported in Division I athletics.
The statements released by all three conferences are essentially the same. They are pushing for many of the things that have been discussed ad nauseum in recent years: providing the full cost of attendance for student-athletes, multi-year scholarships, medical insurance and nutritional and educational benefits. Some schools, like Indiana, have already begun to promise these things.
“Student-athletes make tremendous contributions to their schools on and off the field and we want to boost the assistance they receive,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott.
Here is the meat of the Big Ten's statement:
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 Pac-12 says "implementation of any rule changes would occur with the start of the 2015-2016 academic year."
The five major conferences are hoping to work together on these issues. You can read the ACC's statement in its entirety here. And the Pac-12's "sweeping changes" here. If you still can't get enough, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby also discussed his thoughts on autonomy in this video interview.