Big 12 Board of Directors Announces Student-Athlete Initiatives

The following is a press release courtesy of the Big 12 Conference. 

Irving, Texas – The Big 12 Conference Board of Directors has announced a series of progressive measures to further ensure the success of its student-athletes on the field, in the classroom, and in life. Enacted to address the modern day challenges of being a student-athlete, these reforms signify the ongoing commitment of the Big 12 and its member institutions to enhancing the student-athlete experience on its campuses.  These benefits include full cost of attendance, multi-year grants, and continuing education.

“The progressive measures undertaken by our Board of Directors, Faculty Athletics Representatives, Athletic Directors, Senior Woman’s Administrators, and Compliance Directors will enhance the lives of our student-athletes,” said Big 12 Board of Directors chairman, and Oklahoma State University president Burns Hargis.  “Each group has put forth tremendous time and effort to ensure that student-athlete welfare continues to be a priority in the Big 12.  To underscore the importance of these steps, they are being adopted as Conference bylaws.” 

These actions were unanimously adopted as Conference bylaws, requiring member institution adherence, and go into effect August 1, 2015. As such, Big 12 members are committed to provide: 

Ø     Athletics aid based on the maximum amount permitted by NCAA bylaws. It is anticipated the maximum amount will increase from Full Grant-in-Aid to Cost of Attendance through the Autonomy legislative process this January. Full Grant-in-Aid consists of tuition and fees, room and board, and required course-related books. Cost of Attendance more broadly reflects the full expense of a college education and includes tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and other expenses reasonably related to attendance at the institution;

Ø     Multi-year scholarships for no less than the student-athlete’s period of eligibility.  This guarantees athletics aid until a student-athlete has exhausted his/her eligibility, provided the student-athlete meet the terms of his/her aid agreement per institutional policy;

Ø     Athletics aid to former student-athletes per institutional policy. This permits student-athletes who depart the institution prior to graduating the opportunity to return on athletics aid to complete degree requirements. 

“Today, the Big 12 Conference continued its leadership in college athletics by adopting these student-athlete enhancements,” commented commissioner Bob Bowlsby. “Enacting these measures is an important step in the process of implementing a twenty-first century model that is responsive to the needs of our student-athletes. The Big 12 Conference will continue to be at the forefront of being a change agent in college athletics, and I am proud we have moved forward with these actions.” 

“To know that I am part of a Conference that cares equally about our academic and athletic success, and our personal well-being is rewarding,” said Kyven Gadson, Iowa State University wrestler and Big 12 Student-Athlete Advisory Committee chair.  “On top of the changes made in the last year, these measures will have a profound impact on thousands of student-athletes.”

About Big 12 Conference:

The Big 12 Conference is comprised of 10 Universities – Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech, and West Virginia. The Big 12 is an NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletics conference that encompasses five states with over 38 million people within its geographic footprint. Entering its 19th year, the Conference has produced 585 Academic All-America selections and claimed national championship team titles in 17 of its 23 sponsored sports. Its student-athletes and teams have combined for 552 individual NCAA titles and 53 team national championships. Nearly 5,000 student-athletes from across the United States and around the World compete annually under the Big 12 banner. 

Big 12 Conference Handbook Applicable Bylaws:    Minimum Amount. Member institutions shall award institutional athletically related financial aid based on the maximum amount permitted by NCAA bylaws.    Period of Award. Member institutions shall award institutional athletically related financial aid for no less than the student-athlete’s period of eligibility.   Former Student Athletes. Member institutions shall award institutional athletically related financial aid to former student-athletes per institutional policy.


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