Originally posted on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 2/7/12

Dennis Dodd over at CBS Sports reported yesterday that not only is the four-year scholarship back on the table for division one schools but NCAA President Mark Emmert is pushing for the support of the venture. The measure was voted down in 2011 as 82 schools contested the push for the four-year scholarship and the $2,000 stipend. Perhaps you remember that best for some of the lame excuses schools given that didn't even pretend to mask the self interest in keeping costs down and retaining the ability to cut players.

Through this recruiting season some schools have chosen to honor the measure as the Big Ten lead the way with their member institutions offering four year scholarships to their 2012 enrollees. The SEC also had two schools, Auburn and Florida, follow suit by awarding the total package to their signees. We'll see going forward what sort of an advantage this gives those schools willing to commit more than just a season to kids as athletes look for the best place for them going forward.

Now, back to the push itself, a movement spearheaded by players' rights advocates and championed by the bulk of the BCS schools when it was introduced as an option up for a vote. Overall if the schools band together and push this through that is a plus. Players will have the security of four paid years of schooling at the university with which they sign.

But, what does this really mean?

The thing about this that has really got my wheels turning is, in looking at roster turnover, attrition and roster management there are very few, read no, players cut purely for performance. Yeah, sure we know that the fourth string safety who didn't pan out or the left tackle who just can't get on the field are cut because the coach isn't getting what he wants out of them; but that's never the actual reason they leave the program.

These players transfer to another school because of failed drug tests, grades or the "violation of team rules" clause that is oh so nebulous. These players take the medical harship offered to them to stay at the school, for free but not counting towards the 85 scholarships, when they don't want to transfer like other cast offs.

So the question remains with the four year scholarship; what exactly will they actually mean for players entering these situations. Contributing players are not the issue here, those players get all the rope they need to hang themselves when it comes to chances. The issue here is the other guys; players who don't pan out, who don't see the field, who aren't as good as advertised or have a tough time adjusting to the system.

Will those players not get dismissed from the team and school for a drug related offense; clearing up space and keeping the system moving? Will the ones who struggle in school be cast aside or told to transfer? Will there still be medical hardships kicked out to guys who can't get out of the training room and help the team?

Those are the big questions here because ultimately the four year scholarship is a great move in theory. But if players who aren't living up to expectations continue to be dismissed for the same thing their high achieving counterparts are merely chastised for then it reall could just be more of the same.

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