INDIANAPOLIS, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- The NCAA Board of Directors agreed Thursday to allow the dispersal of as much as $2,000 a year to help pay living expenses for athletes on scholarship.
In addition to that landmark decision, the NCAA decided schools must have a graduation rate among football players of approximately 50 percent to qualify for bowl games.
"These changes demonstrate a remarkable resolve by presidents," said NCAA President Mark Emmert. "They represent a return to and a focus on values that are at the core of what intercollegiate athletics are all about. They also represent a clear signal to the world about what we care about and what we stand for."
The financial bylaw approved Thursday allows schools to provide additional aid of $2,000 or the full cost of an athlete's living expenses -- whichever is less. A scholarship athlete already has his or her tuition paid in full along with room and board.
The extra money also does not affect the government-sponsored Pell grants
"We commend the NCAA for taking meaningful steps toward college sports reform today," said R. Gerald Turner, co-chairman of the Knight Commission on college athletics and president of Southern Methodist University. "We are pleased to see proposals the commission has championed for many years be embraced as policies to realign college sports with its values."
The bowl eligibility bylaw involves what the NCAA calls its academic progress rate (APR). That rate is expressed in a number and the NCAA agreed to raise the number from 900 to 930.
A 930 score translates to roughly a 50 percent graduation rate, and beginning in the 2014-15 school year a university must have a four-year average score of 930 within its football team to compete in a bowl game.