$2,000 Stipend: Is the NCAA on the Verge of Allowing Payments to Players?

Posted by rtmsf on October 24th, 2011

Perhaps the winds of change are in the air after all.  Not a month after Taylor Branch’s opus in The Atlantic excoriated the NCAA for its stubborn adhesion to the twin tenets of amateurism and the “student-athlete,” and not five months after Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney floated an idea to provide a “full cost of attendance” stipend to its players, the NCAA’s president, Mark Emmert, appears to be on board. Emmert told the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics Monday that he feels the time is ripe for addressing such an inequity for the first time in a couple of generations.  What does the NCAA say the gap between the value of tuition, fees, room, board, and books versus the full cost of attendance amounts to?  Try $2,000 per year.

Emmert Appears Willing to Open the Floodgates

This week, I’ll be asking the board to support a proposal to allow conferences — not mandate anyone, but allow conferences, not individual institutions — to increase the value of an athletic grant in aid to more closely approach the full cost of attendance. [...] We are going to create a model that would allow — probably… up to $2,000 in addition to tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies.

Interesting.  A couple of grand may not seem like much considering the astronomical dollar figures that schools make on the backs of these players, but it’s not insignificant either.  A two-semester school year encompasses roughly nine months for an athlete: dividing that figure by 39 weeks results in an allowance of roughly $51 per week. What college student couldn’t use a little shy of ten bucks a day to buy pizza, fill up his gas tank and occasionally join his buddies for an evening out to the movies and some greasy spoon afterward?  It seems a pittance given the figures going into the coffers of the power conference schools, right?  But therein lies the problem.

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Morning Five: 08.24.10 Edition

Posted by rtmsf on August 24th, 2010

  1. College athletic departments are not immune to the economic downturn either, as the NCAA reported that only fourteen of the 120 FCS (I-AA) schools turned a profit in the 2008-09 fiscal year.  Specific names were not released, but some of the usual suspects were confirmed by Transylvania University accounting professor Dan Fulks, who performed the research – Texas, Ohio State, Alabama, Florida and Tennessee.   Slightly more than half of the I-AA schools made money in both football and basketball, but the range between the two was quite a bit larger at the big football powerhouses.  It goes to show just how important these two cash cows are for athletic departments, though, as so few are actually turning a profit due to subsidizing the other sports.
  2. LSU guard Bo Spencer did not meet the school’s academic requirements, so the two-year starter who averaged 15/3/3 APG last season was dismissed from Trent Johnson’s program and will transfer to Nebraska as a walk-on, eligible to play in the 2011-12 campaign.  Yes, you read that correctly — he was unable to make the grade at LSU.   Regardless, Nebraska head coach Doc Sadler said that Spencer is not guaranteed a scholarship even for the year that he plays.  As an interesting side note, Spencer will sit the bench watching his teammates play Big 12 teams next year, but he will be playing Big Ten teams in his senior season after Nebraska changes conference affiliation.
  3. Hey, we enjoy college football as much as the next guy — if you’re a fan of college sports, how can you not?  But this is also the time of year when all the holier-than-thous come out of the woodwork (when every team is 0-0 and therefore still eligible for the national title game, unless your name is Utah, Boise State or TCU…) to tell us about the beauty and sanctity of the CFB regular season.  To that we say: get over yourselves.  If the entire regular season is a ‘playoff,’ then when teams lose one (and most definitely, two) game(s), we don’t want to hear about said team any more this season.  Of course, the hype machine doesn’t work that way (how many Notre Dame games in the last decade have been relevant?  One?), which goes to show that the entire argument is built on a house of cards anyway.
  4. Texas guard Varez Ward is leaving the Longhorn program and his likely destination, according to the Dallas Morning News, is Auburn.  Ward is supposedly moving closer to his Montgomery, Alabama, home to be closer to his mother who suffers from a heart condition.  Ward, as you recall, blew out his knee early last season in a bizarre incident in the layup line at the CBE Classic.  He was expected to have been a significant contributor last year, so even with super-frosh Cory Joseph in the fold, this is a definite blow to Rick Barnes’ backcourt depth, as described in detail over at Burnt Orange Nation.  Ward received a medical redshirt for last season, so he’ll have three years of eligibility left when he joins Tony Barbee’s club next year.
  5. The long national nightmare is over in Minneapolis, as Trevor Mbakwe finally suited up as a Gopher after a year in limbo as a result of his felony assault charge in Miami.  As we mentioned ten days ago, Mbakwe entered a diversionary program that will allow him to work off the charge through community service.  He expects to have that completed prior to Minnesota’s first regular season game in early November.  The Gophers are practicing this week in preparation for a trip to Canada during Labor Day weekend, and Mbakwe’s size and strength inside — he hopes to lead the conference in rebounding — should help Tubby Smith’s team reach its goals for another trip to the NCAA Tournament and a finish in the top half of the Big Ten.  Below is an interview he did yesterday showing how excited he is to finally get to lace them up…

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