” Big Ten officials discussed a proposal that would pay athletes to help cover living expenses on top of their scholarships.”

May 18th, 2011

In other words, Big Ten considers paying its athletes who happen to go to class, sometimes.

From ESPN:

The idea, which is backed by current NCAA president Mark Emmert and was favored by late NCAA president Myles Brand, is to bridge the gap between what athletic scholarships pay and other expenses like transportation and clothing. That difference has been estimated at between $2,000 to $5,000 per player.

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said league athletic directors and officials have seriously discussed whether they should use some of their growing TV revenue to pay athletes more.

You mean let the employees of the Big Ten partake in some of the fees they earn on the grid iron? Unimaginable.

One of the arguments against paying salaries is that big universities, like Ohio State, could afford to pay its athletes more than a smaller school. The same argument applies with paying the athlete-employes a “stipend.”

Delany stressed that the Big Ten was merely at the discussion stage, but he added the league is interested in talking to other conferences to see if they also favor such a plan. He acknowledged many schools and conferences across the country couldn’t afford to cover those additional expenses, which could run about $300,000 a year just for football and men’s basketball players alone.

But some Big Ten officials say if they can help out their athletes, then the concept of using the same rules for all teams should be abandoned. Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said the stakes are simply higher for schools like his than for those in the MAC or Sun Belt.

For more on paying student-athletes, see here and here.