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Date Posted: 20:14:49 10/14/18 Sun
The Patriot League established a cap of 60 full scholarships for football (the NCAA allows 63 for FCS schools). No more than 85 players on the roster can receive financial aid; i.e., schools cannot award 60 merit-based full scholarships, and supplement that with need-based aid for players not receiving merit aid. The football roster is capped at 90; before re-introducing merit aid, schools would often roster 100+ players.
Georgetown remains the only Patriot League school that did not go the merit route, but continues to award need-based aid to players.
Some of the constraints on total aid stem from Title IX considerations, with the need to offer merit scholarships for female athletes as an offset for those awarded to male athletes. (Title IX basically precludes Boston University from resurrecting football, as it already maxes out on merit aid for female athletes; a consequence of the undergraduate population being less than 40 percent male.)
The Patriot League AI floor is 168. Georgetown has the highest school-wide AI, followed by Colgate. Georgetown's use of the AI only applies to its football team. (Georgetown also has potential Title IX issues if it were to award merit scholarships for football, but not on the order of BU.)
Before the Patriot League returned to merit scholarships for football, it awarded need-based scholarships. It appears from old Title IX reports, that the amount of need-based aid awarded was the equivalent of 50-60+ full merit scholarships, depending on the school.
From the perspective of the Patriot League, Ivy schools, particularly those that are the most generous in offering need-based aid, could field a football roster with 60, 70, perhaps even 80 scholarship equivalencies. As an example, if 80 players on a Ivy League roster of 120 were receiving need-based aid, and the average need-based aid represented 80 percent of the cost of attendance, that amounts to 64 scholarship equivalencies. That could be higher if the football coach heavily targets recruits with family incomes of less than $125,000.
Where the Patriot League (and most other FCS conferences) get squeezed is that to create roster depth, a school might award 11-12 full scholarships annually, and 6-8 partial scholarships. A roster could be comprised of 43 players on full scholarship and 40 players on partial scholarships, and a few full pays. It is said that Lehigh overweighted the full scholarships in recent years, a strategic direction that could result in little team depth.
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