NCAA President Proposes Giving “Student Athletes” Additional $2,000 in Grant Money

October 24th, 2011

It’s nowhere near their market value, but I suppose it’s a start.

This funding would be in addition to tuition, room, board, books and other expenses that are already covered by athletic scholarships. The increase is not considered payment for participation. Rather, Emmert said, it would help cover costs that student-athletes are unable to offset, because most do not have time to work part-time jobs.

“I’ve heard a lot of people say, ‘Well, you want to do this $2,000 cost-of-attendance thing to reduce the probability of students breaking rules,’ and that’s nonsense,” Emmert told the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics during a three-hour meeting at the Ritz-Carlton. “People break rules because they break rules.”

But not everyone–read poorer athletic programs–is happy:

But universities that operate outside the lucrative Bowl Championship Series conferences could struggle to fund this change, and the financial gap between teams in the major conferences and those outside could become even larger.

“President Emmert said some conferences will do this and some won’t, and it’s pretty clear to me who will and who won’t,” Boise State’s president, Robert Kustra, said. “There’s already a great divide between larger conferences and the smaller conferences, and this is just going to exacerbate the gap between the haves and have-nots.”

Thomas Ross, the president of the University of North Carolina system, acknowledged Kustra’s fears. “It does create an edge for the big guys,” he said.

And would all athletes get this stipend, or just the athletes in lucrative sports like football or baseball? And if only those sports get the stipend, how would the NCAA justify it? If not, is there really a problem with the fencing team singing with agents and accepting gifts from boosters?