Blog Entry

Big Ten looking at "full cost" scholarships

Posted on: May 19, 2011 1:46 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen

It's still a long, long ways away before being put into practice. But if it is, a proposal currently being examined at the Big Ten's spring meetings could have seismic repercussions for major college football.

That proposal, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany told ESPN's Brian Bennett, would increase the conference's full athletic scholarships to cover the "cost of full attendance"--not only tuition and room-and-board, but transportation, clothing, and other expenses. At approximately $3,000 per student-athlete per year, the additional cost for each league school would run into the hundreds of thousands.

But Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith says (and Delany clearly agrees with him) that at the highest level of collegiate athletics, it's feasible all the same:
"The reality is that schools can afford it more than you realize," ... Smith said. "Just look at some of the television contracts that have come out recently" ...

"There are some conferences and some institutions that have higher resources than others," Delany said.
Delany's comments made it clear that while there remains "a long way between the talk and the action" on the proposal, he's not intending to abandon it just because the smaller schools of Division I might not be able to afford it:
"Forty years ago, you had a scholarship plus $15 a month laundry money," Delany said. "Today, you have the same scholarship, but not with the $15 laundry money.

"How do we get back more toward the collegiate model and a regulatory system that is based more on student-athlete welfare than it is on a level playing field, where everything is about a cost issue and whether or not everybody can afford to do everything everybody else can do?"
Delany (who has never exactly been shy about protecting his own conference's interests when they conflict with those of less affluent leagues) and Smith didn't shy away from the fact that the proposal's financial burden would be impossible for most conferences to carry. Assuming the Big Ten and their peers adopted it, the logical end result would be scholarships to BCS-level schools becoming some $15-20,000 more valuable over their four- or five-year duration than their non-BCS counterparts.

Thus the division between the "haves" and "have-nots" would widen even further, potentially to the point of a divisional split between the BCS and non-BCS conferences; revolutionary an idea as that might be, Smith (a former A.D. at Eastern Michigan) called it a "logical thought."

Because of that issues, expect there to be a torrent of angry pushback from smaller leagues if and when the Big Ten decides to follow through on the proposal. But when it aims to provide better living conditions for student-athletes -- and has the support of NCAA president Mark Emmert, as reported -- how much push will the non-BCS leagues really be able to muster? We may find out over the next few years, and the fate of college footbal las we currently know it could hang in the balance.


Since: Jul 29, 2009
Posted on: May 21, 2011 11:45 am

Big Ten looking at "full cost" scholarships

The reality of this whole idea to pay student-athletes by BCS schools is just the prelude to a division of BCS schools that play for a title. The non-BCS leagues will drop down to Division 2 and incorporate their own playoff system while the current Division 2 schools will drop to a 3rd level. The MAC,MWC,WAC,Conference USA, and Sun Belt champs would join 3 at-large schools in a 8 team playoff held in December @ campus sites. The BCS could even invite the winner of this playoff a spot @ one of the BCS Bowls; excluding the championship game. It's a total joke to believe that New Mexico,Idaho, or a East Carolina can aspire for a national title shot when competing against schools who spend 5 times more on the football program and receive 10 times more TV revenue.

Since: Mar 14, 2007
Posted on: May 20, 2011 2:53 pm

Big Ten looking at "full cost" scholarships

GarnetGold:  I do not know when you went to school but you have very little idea of what the current football player (not all but most) invests in their time.  During the the fall through winter most of these kids have ZERO time to do anything but school, studying (if want to stay eligible), practice, film, working out, games, etc.  Do they have time in the Spring, uh no - they have school, studying, practice, more training time than during the season, etc.  Maybe in the Spring during the few weeks they do not have practice, they could find a job.  Who is going to hire kids a few weeks and if they do, how much are they really going to pay them, lest it be a recruiting violation for over-paying them.  How about Summer?  Well they train in the summer too. Plus, if they do not take a full load, then their housing allowance is reduced accordingly so they have school, training, studying, probably film if they are smart, etc.  We now we are back to Fall camp.  Look at my post about having the schools LOAN them the stipend rather than giving to them at interest free or low interest.  The school will eventually get paid back a good portion of this money AND students that do not need it because mom and dad can afford it, will not take it.  This takes out the TAT 5 selling their memorabilia for fear of losing a scholarship.  They do not need the money due to the repayable stipend and MOST would not want to risk their scholarship and eligibility taking this money when they have access to it via a loan. 

Since: Mar 14, 2007
Posted on: May 20, 2011 2:02 pm

Big Ten looking at "full cost" scholarships

I believe the stipend should be considered but also think that the level of time that is required to get the scholarship should be considered as well.  Think about the college football player versus the average student or even the academic scholarship student.  The football player can not make ends meet by working.  How on earth are you supposed to do that when all of your time for the majority of the year is taken up by A) Classes, B) Studying and C) Football practice, film, training, etc., etc.  These players do have a full-time, pretty much year-round job as football players plus they go to school.  Sure they get a full-ride scholarship but it does not cover nearly everything.  As stated in the article, on average about a $3,000 shortfall that they cannot make up by working because they do not have the extra time to do that.  In addition, some of these kids do not have parents that can afford to give them the money.  The kids would likely not have gotten an education without.  Do other sports have the same yearly demand on the student-athlete as football, maybe or maybe not.  Rather than just giving all student athletes the stipend, why not give them the money as an interest free or very low interest loan that they have to pay back to the school during a set period of time after they leave??  That way, only the kids that really need the money because they do not have parents that can give them the money, would take it.  And all schools could pretty much afford to do it for the athletes as you may not get all of it repaid but a good chance you get most of it.  You think these "poor" kids would decide to take a low interest loan rather than commit NCAA violations, especially if you put teeth in the rules that would result in a potential loss of a scholarship??  Does this seem like it is too logical?

Since: Oct 8, 2009
Posted on: May 20, 2011 12:33 pm

Big Ten looking at "full cost" scholarships


Good post, but I have a question for you to consider...

The orchestra member that receives scholarship monies to meet their needs...Are they allowed to work a job, or participate in the cities' orchestra and receive payment for services?

Seems hypocritical to allow other scholarship recipients to have their academic needs met AND recieve a paycheck from an outside source.

Since: Dec 4, 2010
Posted on: May 20, 2011 11:40 am

Big Ten looking at "full cost" scholarships

P.S.   IF the Big 10/11/12 wants to pay their FB athletes $3,000 per annum......let's make sure that the Big 10/11/12 plays a true schedule.  No more Youngstown St, E. Michigan, App St (ha ha ha UM) or S.E. State Barber College!  An eleven game...all ALL Big 10/11/12 team schedule! I want to see OSU play Nebraska EVERY year.  AND with an unbalanced schedule (nine games or eleven-  who gets the extra HOME game each season?  Michigan or Northwestern?  PSU or Indiana?  I want to hear about THAT plan.

Since: Dec 4, 2010
Posted on: May 20, 2011 10:47 am

Big Ten looking at "full cost" scholarships

What exactly are the "other expenses" that the $3,000 per annum stipend is intended to cover (to afford the "cost of full attendance)? Tattoos? Kegs of Bud Light? Giorgio Brutini boots? Iphones? Big screen TVs?  Escalade payments?  Will the stipend increase annually to cover the cost of inflation?  What about Title IX?  Is paying Mom and Dad next?  It seems to me that the  BCS schools who consider this proposal are simply trying to eliminate the number one cause of NCAA investigations/punishment......ille

gal payments (benefits) to athletes.  Do you honestly think that an athlete will say...NO THANKS, I will pay for that ink cause now I have a $3,000 per year stipend!   But, I could be wrong.        
;     &nbs

Since: Jan 11, 2007
Posted on: May 20, 2011 9:09 am

Big Ten looking at "full cost" scholarships

"Forty years ago, you had a scholarship plus $15 a month laundry money," Delany said. "Today, you have the same scholarship, but not with the $15 laundry money.

40 years ago you would have kids killing each other for the OPPORTUNITY  to get a solid education at a good university;  kids who weren't concerned about partying and having money to live like BMOC because they appreciated the opportunity to get ahead in life when their other choices were so limited.  Might be a poor comparison, but I liken it to the immigrants (long ago, and to this day) who came here with literally nothing but the clothes on their backs, and took the initiative to "make it happen".  You see it in public schools to this day; the immigrants coming from destitute countries revel in the opportunity of "free public school" and make the very most of it, while a lot of our youth have gotten the malaise of the "entitlement generation" and can't get through school at all, not because they're stupid, they just don't want to apply themselves if someone is just going to spoon feed them through life.  Remember when it was about education?  You are there to learn, not to worry about someone giving you the money to go drinkng Friday night.

Since: Dec 1, 2010
Posted on: May 20, 2011 9:05 am

Big Ten looking at "full cost" scholarships

It's past time for this to happen,  the "majors" have been carrying the rest of the NCAA for too long.  We've had 3 schools here in Alabama(Samford, So Ala and Troy)  leave the FCS div.  just so they'd get more money playing BCS schools.  You guys need to face facts,  the BCS conferences are gonna break away from the NCAA and take the TV money and merchandising money with them.  If Boise and Utah State wanna compete,  join a real conference and play an entire season against the "Big Boys"

Since: Oct 12, 2010
Posted on: May 20, 2011 8:26 am

Big Ten looking at "full cost" scholarships

This would be how the BCS system finally kills the smaller conferences.  It would be a disaster for some of the athletes as well, "Yeah, I'd like to transfer to a school where I could play, but Ohio State just pays so well."  Wait isn't that the definition of a semi-professional athlete is?

Since: Nov 12, 2006
Posted on: May 20, 2011 7:49 am

Big Ten looking at "full cost" scholarships

Do a little research before you start popping off about these kids getting jobs. Scholarship athletes, by NCAA rule, are not allowed to have jobs.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or