Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues,

I write to apprise you that in a meeting today the Patriot League Presidents’ Council by consensus has decided to permit league members and associate members to offer athletic merit-aid scholarships in football. As I indicated in my email two weeks ago, this decision follows more than 18 months of deliberations among the presidents.

The Presidents’ Council decided that this change will go into effect in fall 2013, with a four-year ramping up for institutions that choose to accept this permission to reach the allowance of scholarship equivalencies. The Council of Presidents also decided that Patriot League members and football associate members (Fordham and Georgetown) will be limited to the equivalent of 60 full scholarships in football based on financial need and athletic merit. The council has chosen to set this limit even though NCAA policies allow Football Championship Subdivision schools, such as those in the Patriot League, to award the equivalent of 63 full scholarships. Bucknell currently supports approximately 56 equivalencies, all based on need.  As with student-athletes in all Patriot League programs, all scholarship recipients in football will only be admitted if they meet the Patriot League Academic Index, the most stringent admissions standards in Division I athletics.

I wanted to share this news with you promptly, but will be sharing with you in the coming days a fuller reflection on the meaning of this decision for Bucknell.