It's just not guaranteed. And it's not well publicized that it can be guaranteed. Thus, the dirty little secret.
Understand that athletes used to be given four-year athletic scholarships back from 1957 on until limits were placed in 1973. When the NCAA rule was passed giving options in 2011, it was not overwhelmingly enacted. In fact, the Big 12, WVU's league, formally supported overriding the vote.
It's easy to understand why. If you're a football coach making $2 million a year and your team starts losing games, one-year scholarships give you recourse. Changes can be made.
"I've told [Mountaineer coaches] if they feel compelled [to offer multi-year deals] then do it," Luck said. "I also said to realize the downside."
The downside is there are recruiting busts. The downside is there are players that simply don't fit. The downside is there's so much money involved the coaches and athletic directors have to look out for themselves and their departments, respectively, first.
Should a kid lose a scholarship because he or she develops a golf slice? That's a debate for another time.
What I'm saying today is WVU's coaches, among others, have an opportunity to one-up other schools in recruiting by offering multi-year deals.
Now, will a kid pick the Mountaineers over Alabama or Florida State if such a deal is offered? Probably not. Most four- and five-star players have huge egos. The possibility of failure doesn't cross their minds. They'll believe they'll be where they pick until hitting the NFL.
Yet if Dana Holgorsen is fighting, say, Pitt for a kid he really likes, he can offer a multi-year deal. It's a chip.
The option is there.
It has been since 2011.
And smart players with leverage should demand that chip.
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvin...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.