The MPSF will look towards its five charter conferences for direction before discussing any common practices among its members on providing full-ride scholarship athletes an additional $2,000.
MPSF commissioner Al Beaird informed Off the Block via email Thursday that the federated conference will discuss the new NCAA scholarship policy at its Administrative Committee meeting on Jan. 24, 2012.
The NCAA Division I Board of Directors voted earlier Thursday to allow schools to give full-scholarship student athletes up to an additional $2,000 for cost-of-living expenses. The NCAA will not require schools to add the benefit, but it did inform conferences to consider common application of this new rule within their membership.
Beaird stated that as a federated conference the MPSF schools are likely to receive guidance from their primary conference. The MPSF five charter conferences include the Big West, Mountain West, Pac-12, Western Athletic and West Coast Conference.
Of the 12 MPSF men’s volleyball teams six schools — Cal State Northridge, Hawai’i, Long Beach State, Pacific, UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara – are Big West members and three schools — USC, UCLA and Stanford – are Pac-12 members. In addition, Pepperdine is a member of the West Coast Conference and BYU is a Division I independent, while UC San Diego is a member of the Division II California Collegiate Athletic Association.
One of the MPSF’s founding principles was to provide cost-contained competition in sports that not every West Coast school offered. Along with men’s volleyball, the MPSF 10 other sports ranging from women’s water polo to men’s gymnastics.
Beaird stated he was unsure how the new NCAA scholarship changes could play out with teams in the MPSF.
Along with the scholarship fund change, the NCAA also approved individual schools having the option of awarding scholarships on a multiple-year basis. However, institutions still can keep the current model, which is done year by year.
Men’s volleyball is an equivalency sport, which allows the NCAA to place limits on the total financial aid that a school offer in the sport. A men’s volleyball team is limited to 4.5 scholarships.
The MPSF has been the most dominate men’s volleyball conference in NCAA history. A team currently in the MPSF has won all but five of the NCAA men’s volleyball championships since 1970, and at the end of the 2011 season 11 MPSF schools were ranked in the top 15 coaches poll.