Looks like I need to make a couple of comments about that article from our website that 2019DAD included the link for, (and will need to update the article).
First of all, I hope folks understand that the article was intended as an overview of the new scholarship rules as they were understood at that time, but was not meant to address the many different situations of how scholarship offers are written when it comes to equivalency sports like baseball, softball, track, wrestling, etc.
If a recruit to a Power 5 school signs just a one-year scholarship as a freshman for 50% (for example), that Power 5 school CANNOT reduce that scholarship in future years for any athletic reason (such as non-performance, didn't improve as the coaches expected) or for a medical reason. They would have to use one of the other reasons that were noted in the article, because they did not indicate at the outset in a multi-year agreement that following years would be at a lower amount.
However, if a recruit signs a multi-year scholarship and the years are for different amounts, then things become more complicated. Here's two examples:
If a multi-year scholarship is written as 50% PER YEAR for five years, then the scholarship can't be lowered in future years unless the athlete goes ineligible, violates team rules, or has a misconduct issue that must be handled by the school's student conduct board. The scholarship could be increased however, but we know that doesn't happen very often.
If a multi-year scholarship is written to indicate that it will provide an AVERAGE of 50% over five years, then adjusting the scholarship from year to year would be permissible. However, as was mentioned earlier, if the scholarship is reduced and the athlete receives little to no playing time, they are likely to end up transferring (which is probably what the coach is counting on).