Big Ten announces changes geared towards helping athletes graduate

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One week after the Big Ten Conference announced that it would send a list of recommendations to the NCAA regarding the scholarships given the student-athletes, the conference took a step towards acting on those very issues itself.

In the release the Big Ten announced that its members will award scholarships that will be honored throughout the course of the student-athlete’s enrollment, provided they remain in good standing within the athletic department, university and community. Another change to be made by the conference is to ensure that an athlete whose education is interrupted for a legitimate reasons, such as leaving school early to turn pro, they would be allowed to return to school on scholarship in order to complete their studies.

And according to the release, those two changes aren’t the only moves the Big Ten and its members are working towards making in the future.

The Big Ten will continue to work toward the implementation of additional student-athlete welfare proposals through individual institutional action, conference-wide action or under the NCAA autonomy governance structure, including full grant-in-aids to meet cost of education and improved medical insurance. The conference has also agreed to address additional issues such as health and safety, time demands and comprehensive academic support.

Steps like these should come as no surprise, with the Big Ten being one of five conferences granted autonomy by the NCAA this summer. The other four conferences, the ACC, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC, have yet to make a move along the lines of the one made by the Big Ten. However that will likely change in the near future, even before the multiple lawsuits in which the NCAA and some of its conferences are defendants in reach their conclusion.