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NCAA Football: A Brief History of NCAA Football Scholarships

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There was a point in time where football scholarships were unlimited and based on a school's ability to cover the cost.

Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) was established in 1906 as the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States. The name was changed to its current name in 1910. There was no control over scholarships for any sport, but there was a requirement that a school's athletes had to be enrolled in the school they played for. Football schools could offer as many scholarships as they could afford and many had 150 players or more.

1973 brought about the first limitations on football scholarships in order to free up money for women's sports after Title IX was passed by Congress in 1972 as part of the Equal Opportunity in Education Act. This caused the NCAA schools' presidents and athletic directors to push through a limit of 105 football scholarships. Additional reductions were made in 1978 (95) and again in 1992 which brought the limit to its present number of 85 and 63 for Division I-AA.

The reason I am writing this is because I've been trying to research the Kentucky rosters from 1950 forward. The unfortunate thing is that my resources only point to around thirty-five players for each year. The end results are a lot of names that will never get credit for play football for the University of Kentucky. The Athletic Department only publishes letter winners in their media guides. I have been unable to obtain assistance from the University's library staff. They don't pay much attention to alumni requests. I am sending a request to the Athletic Department for copies of the football rosters from 1950 forward. We'll see how that works. Kentucky football needs its own Jon Scott and football version of BigBlueHistory.net.

What we do know is that 88 players enrolled and went to Fall Practice in 1962. So, we could assume that the roster size was approximately the same during the Bryant and Collier years. Again, it is unfortunate that the only players I can talk about in my up-coming articles about our coaching history will be lettermen.

Athletic Scholarships are given on a year to year basis. The proper name is Grant in Aid and they apply only to Division I (FBS) and Division I-AA (FCS) schools. The five announced transfers from last week have not been offered their grants in aid for the 2013-2014 school year.

That's how it works, in case you're wondering.

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History of Sports Scholarships