Thursday, February 2, 2012

Brian Poole makes history with 4 year scholarship deal

Brian Poole made history in more ways than one when he signed a letter-of-intent to play football for the University of Florida.

The Southeast High defensive back received a four year scholarship and is believed to be the first athlete from Manatee County to sign a four year athletic scholarship.

NCAA athletic scholarships have always been for one year subject to renewal each year. Last October the NCAA passed a rule that allows four year athletic scholarships, leaving up to each conference and each individual school to offer four year scholarship packages.

The Southeastern Conference agreed and Florida offered all its 2012 football recruits four year scholarships. Southeast High head football coach and athletic director Paul Maechtle confirmed that Poole’s scholarship is for four years.

In his signing day press conference, Florida head coach Will Muschamp confirmed that all 23 players he signed for his top five recruiting class were given four year scholarships.

Muschamp was philosophical above the four year deal noting most college football programs renew scholarships anyway. But it has become an issue with some schools saying they prefer the one year renewals.

Ramogi Human, president of the National College Players Association, says every year he gets numerous complaints from athletes whose scholarships were not renewed, He says many thought their scholarships were for four years.

It was reported that Ohio State offered its football recruits four year deals as did most schools in the Big 10 and the SEC. Not all coaches support the four year deal. South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier has publicly said he doesn’t like it because he believes players should have to earn their scholarship each year through the renewal process.

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