Maryland to provide lifetime degree guarantee

Football and basketball players and all student-athletes at Maryland will be offered a lifetime degree guarantee, the university announced Tuesday.

The program, called “The Maryland Way Guarantee,” starts in November and is one of the first of its kind for all athletes and not just those in revenue-producing sports. Other schools in power conferences are expected to follow suit.

“Our vision is to be the best intercollegiate athletic program while producing graduates who are prepared to serve as leaders in the local, state and global communities,” athletic director Kevin Anderson said in a statement. “We are confident ‘The Maryland Way Guarantee’ will further demonstrate our commitment to our student-athletes’ pursuit of a college degree.”

According to the school, the program works like this:

“Beginning in November of 2014-15, ‘The Maryland Way Guarantee’ will provide all incoming student-athletes with a multiyear scholarship guarantee. Pursuant to this program, should a student-athlete exhaust his or her eligibility prior to graduating, Maryland will guarantee his or her aid will continue through graduation. If a student-athlete is injured and unable to compete, we will guarantee his or her aid will continue through graduation.

“Additionally, Maryland will provide tuition, books and fees for any student-athlete who leaves the institution in good academic standing and returns to complete his or her degree.

“Again, student-athletes will be permitted, at no cost to them, to return to the university and obtain their degree at any point in their life. Previously, and as is the case all across the country in every sport, Maryland student-athletes were offered one-year scholarships, which were subject to renewal every year.”

Current NCAA regulations allow schools to renew, rescind or reduce scholarships on an annual basis.