The U.S. military is discussing a proposal to fund scholarships for college athletes in return for their military service, Sportico reported.
Conceived by a defense contractor, the initiative proposes that the Department of Defense replace college-funded athletic scholarships for every sport except football and basketball. Athletes who receive scholarships would be required to serve for a yet-to-be-determined period of time after they graduate.
The plan promises to be mutually beneficial to both the armed forces and college sports. It would ensure the military a steady stream of fit recruits while helping college athletic departments compensate for funding cuts to nonmarquee sports.
Key leaders at the Defense Department have been briefed on the measure, but the NCAA only learned of the plan through Sportico; a spokeswoman declined to comment. It’s unclear how willing high school athletic recruits would be to commit time to the military four or five years down the road.
University of Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said he wouldn’t summarily rule out such an arrangement.
“I have about 101 questions, but would I listen?” he told Sportico. “Sure.”