Nikki HIltz, who transferred to Arkansas after scoring in the mile at NCAA as a redshirt frosh, says she had her scholarship reduced for redshirt freshman year as she was hurt during her first year at Oregon. Ken Goe tells the rest.
"So then I asked them, 'In order to get that money back or to get more money, what can I do?'" Hiltz said. "Coach Johnson told me, '''All you have to do is make it to a NCAA final. You don't have to score for me, but you just have make the final outdoors.'
"He said he wasn't expecting anything in cross country, nothing indoors. But he said, 'If you make it there outdoors, I promise to increase your scholarship.'"
Hiltz exceeded the terms of what she perceived was their agreement.
She made the NCAA indoor final and placed eighth, scoring a team point for the Ducks.
She also made the NCAA outdoor final, although she didn't score.
When it came time to meet with Johnson and UO women's distance coach Maurica Powell after the 2015 outdoor season, Hiltz found her scholarship offer again reduced.
"I was like, 'I can't afford this,'" Hiltz said. "I need to find other options.'"
This story reminded me of a friend of mine's experience in college. She asked the coach going into her junior year what she needed to do to get more money. She more than exceeded it by running 15:50. She went into his office before the summer to sign her deal and saw she was getting less, not more. She was llike "What's going on?" He said, "I did better than expected in recruiting. When I graduated form college, I had debt. It's an investment in your future." She was like, "I run 5:05 per mile for 5k, they do it for one."
She was so upset by feeling deceived (even though she could afford it). she graduated and got a bigger offer for a 5th year at Colorado.
Anyway, since I coached in the Ivies, I"ve always been fascinated by the money aspect of the sport. It's something bio one talks about but even in the Ivies it's what drives recruiting.
But how common are the stories above?
And are scholarships still only good for one year? That seems absurd. But I do get it to some extent. I mean academic scholarships do come with GPA requirements.
Has there ever been a legal case where an athlete tried to sue? Lawyer, are verbal agreements binding at all? Does it vary by state?
I would think the whole money aspect of it would kill the enjoyment of so many athletes and coaches. You bring a guy in on 20%, he runs great and is all-american. You know he deserves a full ride but he's quiet and doesn't ask for it so you give it to a frosh?
Let's hear your scholarship stories - both good and bad.