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Red Raider Gridiron: Big 12 Offers New Initiatives; Patrick Mahomes Named Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week

The Big 12 announced they would begin offering the cost of attendance and four year scholarships starting in 2015. Freshman QB Patrick Mahomes was named the Big 12 offensive player of the week. Former Red Raider Jerry Johnson passes away at the age of 80.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Big 12 to Offer Cost of Attendance and Four Year Scholarships. The Big 12 announced yesterday that the members of the Big 12 would offer student-athletes, starting next year in 2015, a full cost of attendance, four year scholarships and former student-athletes would be able to complete their degree:

Athletics aid based on the maximum amount permitted by NCAA bylaws. It is anticipated the maximum amount will increase from Full Grant-in-Aid to Cost of Attendance through the Autonomy legislative process this January. Full Grant-in-Aid consists of tuition and fees, room and board, and required course-related books. Cost of Attendance more broadly reflects the full expense of a college education and includes tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and other expenses reasonably related to attendance at the institution;

Multi-year scholarships for no less than the student-athlete's period of eligibility. This guarantees athletics aid until a student-athlete has exhausted his/her eligibility, provided the student-athlete meet the terms of his/her aid agreement per institutional policy;

Athletics aid to former student-athletes per institutional policy. This permits student-athletes who depart the institution prior to graduating the opportunity to return on athletics aid to complete degree requirements.

Want to sell your program to recruits considering other conferences, sans the Pac-12?  This is a terrific and proactive move by the Big 12 and great for the student-athlete.  This is going to be very interesting because I think what this means is that coaches are going to have to be real careful about who they offer.  Gone are the days of a one-year renewable scholarship.  Oh yes, there are ways to get around that rule, I'm sure, but it's going to make it a little more difficult for those coaches to yank that scholarship for lack of performance if they do all of the "right" things off the field.  This is why an organization to represent a kid that does do the right things might be necessary, to protect those rights.

LAJ's Don Williams reports that this will add approximately $1.3 million to the budget and that Texas Tech has already been offering former athletes the opportunity to complete their degree:

"It seems like every year we have a few that come back and pursue their degree," he said. "My understanding is Felicia Martin and the academic services office, working with Rodney (Allison of the Double-T Varsity Club), have proactively reached out to some of former student-athletes who didn't finish their degree to let them know of this opportunity."

Mahomes Named Big 12 Player of the Week. Congrats to QB Patrick Mahomes for being named the Big 12 player of the week!  Also, he was named by 24/7 Sports as the true freshman of the week.

RIP Jerry Johnson. Condolences to the family of former Texas Tech quarterback Jerry Johnson, who passed away yesterday at the age of 80, per LAJ's Don Williams.  Johnson led the 1954 Red Raiders team and that team averaged 38.6 points a game that year.

LOL. The big news from yesterday is that Baylor hired a public relations firm to help their push to the final four of the college football playoff.  Of course Baylor immediately released the idea that a PR firm wasn't hired to influence the CFP committee, but to just help with the additional information, as if anyone needs any help from Baylor folks or TCU folks for that matter as to who is the best team. Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said yesterday that the Big 12 would not crown a champion, but would leave it to the committee, which actually helps the two Big 12 teams overall from my end.  By naming just one winner, then you've almost guaranteed that the committee will chose just one Big 12 team, at least the Big 12 is leaving the door open for other possibilities.

Miscellaneous. SAEN's Tim Griffin has his Big 12 power rankings . . . Grantland's Matt Hinton with his weekly look at the past week's football results . . . SB Nation's Bill Connelly has this week's numerical, including the stat that Baylor's inability to put up style points against Texas Tech and the fact that the Baylor defense is very much starting to crack quite a bit means that they may be on the outside looking in and hoping for other teams to lose . . .