Interesting topic. Whatever the NCAA decides to do, they need to stick with it so that coaches can tinker with it and find out what works best for them. To change the rules every year puts everyone at risk IMO.
Last off-season, several big changes were voted on and are still being discussed. The most notable proposals were the reduction of total scholarships from 85 to 80, the addition of a four-team playoff, and the proposal of multi-year scholarships for all incoming football players. I could talk about the pros and cons of a playoff system all day, so letís save that for another time. Letís focus on what could potentially change the face of college football: Scholarship reductions and multi-year scholarships.In 1994, the NCAA was hell-bent on expanding the gameís popularity. The goal was to appeal to a wider audience, and to help facilitate this, the NCAA attempted to level the playing field. They wanted the Akrons of the world to have the same number of players on scholarship as the Nebraskas of the world. Parity equals popularity. It was the NCAAís hope that if each team fielded fewer players, talent would be spread more evenly across the board, and every team would have a better chance at a National Championship. So in 1994, the NCAA voted to limit scholarships from 105 to 85.
Fast-forward 19 years. The teams who were dominating the college football landscape in 1994 are the same teams who are winning championships now. Since 1994, Nebraska, Florida, Michigan, Tennessee, Florida State, Oklahoma, Miami, Ohio State, LSU, USC, Texas, Auburn and Alabama have all won national championships. Those were the same teams who were winning in the 50ís, 60ís, 70ís and 80ís. The playing field hasnít been leveled. The only real noticeable change is fewer kids are getting scholarships.
A reduction in scholarships does nothing but hurt the fringe athletes who are counting on their athletic prowess to give them the opportunity to go to college. But as an Alabama fan, Iíve seen first hand that itís much easier for people to say that Nick Saban is taking away a young manís opportunity than it is to admit that forced parity in college athletics does more harm than good.