Here's the tweet from ESPN's Brett McMurphy:
Big 12 announces league members will provide full-cost of attendance, multi-year scholarships— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) December 1, 2014
So this is pretty big news, especially if you are a student-athlete or prospective student-athlete at a Big 12 school. For a bit of background, full cost of attendance basically means the recognition that due to the time requirements of their sports, many student-athletes are not able to get a job while in school and earn supplemental income. Thus, full cost of attendance scholarships seek to equalize some of the imbalance created by taking that possibility away from them. According to USAToday, that probably means about $2k-5k per year per student, a not insignificant sum of money to a college kid. This is something that has been brought to the forefront by the O'Bannon case and that I think most informed observers probably knew was coming eventually. Now the Big 12 has apparently decided to embrace it as a conference, which could lead to others doing the same or give us at least somewhat of a short-term recruiting advantage.
The other part of this is the multi-year scholarship portion, something other schools have been doing for quite some time. What that means is that instead of a year-to-year renewable scholarship, schools will guarantee the scholarship for four or five years. Gone is the specter of a kid not playing well enough and essentially getting cut. Instead, the student-athlete or prospective-student athlete receives a significant amount more security in a scholarship offer. This is another good change that I've long though inevitable, particularly once other schools started offering them.
Overall, I'm not entirely sure that either of these things will really move the needle in a measurable way for Baylor or any other Big 12 school, but I like the decision, nonetheless. Say what you want about paying players or letting them capitalize on their likenesses, but the fact is that we demand much of them-- probably too much-- in exchange for their scholarships in terms of time and energy, and these were necessary changes to correct some of that imbalance.
UPDATE: The full language:
So there you go.