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Big Ten issues statement on O'Bannon v. NCAA

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The Big Ten's presidents and chancellors on Tuesday issued a statement on the O'Bannon v. NCAA case being heard over the past three weeks in Oakland, pledging a commitment to guaranteed four-year scholarships that are binding even if an athlete leaves school early to begin a professional career.

The statement also included a reiteration of the conference's support for cost-of-attendance scholarships and "improved, consistent medical insurance for student-athletes."

"The best solutions rest not with the courts, but with us - presidents of the very universities that promote and respect the values of intercollegiate competition," the statement read. "Writing on behalf of all presidents of the Big Ten Conference, we must address the conflicts that have led us to a moment where the conversation about college sports is about compensation rather than academics."

Read more: http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2014/06/big_ten_issues_statement_on_ob.html

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Those Big Ten presidents and chancellors are just the most wonderfully giving and thoughtfully considerate people. I feel privileged just to know that I am so incredibly blessed to be living on the same planet.

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The Big Ten was Amateurism Central for a lot of years, opposing any and all threats to the traditional collegiate model. Now the league wants to place itself at the front of a (guarded) reform movement that stops well short of where the O'Bannon plaintiffs want it to go.

Aside from simply trying to reposition in the face of a shifting landscape, there is another problem with this nationwide surge of Administrators Who Care: they carved up the college sports map just a few years ago with zero regard for student-athlete welfare. If the stress placed upon academic performance by realignment were a real concern, the Big 12 wouldn't send teams from Lubbock, Texas, to Morgantown, W.Va., on a weeknight for a conference game. The Southeastern Conference wouldn't have put Missouri and Florida in the same league, with more than 1,000 miles in between them. And the Big Ten wouldn't be on the cusp of shipping teams from Lincoln, Neb., to Piscataway, N.J., in the quest for greater television market share.

All those things are happening, whether or not it's good for the players. And in the meantime, the trial that could shape the future of college sports continues on, without a single student-athlete voice being heard on the NCAA's behalf.

Read more: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/o-bannon-trial--ncaa-once-again-ignores-voice-of-student-athletes-193258325.html

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