Blog Entry

NCAA approves $2,000 for full cost of attendance

Posted on: October 27, 2011 3:15 pm

Posted by Adam Jacobi

For the last few years, a growing drumbeat has sounded about the gap in scholarship money and the "full cost of attendance," which would cover the everyday college expenses that fall outside the purview of what's covered by a full scholarship. Athlete advocates have called such a gap unfair, especially with how many restrictions exist on how athletes may earn extra money. Now, it appears the NCAA has not only listened, it has agreed -- and will do something about it.

On Thursday, the NCAA approved a financial package to distribute up to $2,000 a year or enough to cover full cost of attendance (whichever is less) to "student-athletes in head-count sports (football and basketball) and those in equivalency sports who reach the value of a full scholarship." These extra funds will not be affected by Pell Grants, which is further good news for student-athletes who come from households that struggle financially.

One curious aspect of the reform is that the NCAA agreed not to revisit the $2,000 limit for three years, which could be construed as an arbitrary and excessive amount of time to evaluate whether the figure is sufficient for covering attendance costs. What would the NCAA hope to learn in the third year that it wouldn't after two?

Also of special note is a large increase in the Academic Progress Rate (APR) for postseason eligibility, which you can read about from Tom Fornelli here

Here's the rest of what the NCAA approved, compiled by Eye on College Basketball's Jeff Goodman:

- The Board also adopted the concept that coaches will be able to work with prospective and enrolled student-athletes in the summer - although the leadership council will consider alternate models in January, one that could be tied into summer school attendance.

- Junior college transfers will now need a 2.5 GPA instead of a 2.0 GPA and will also have increased core-course requirements.

- The sliding academic scale has also increased.

- Multi-year grants have been approved up to the full term of eligibility - with one-year remaining the minimum.

- Presidents also voted to allow institutions to provide financial aid to former players who remain or return to complete their degrees after exhausting their eligibility.  

Altogether, this is quite possibly the biggest piece of reform the NCAA has put forward in decades, and is certainly one of the most beneficial reforms it has offered to the players ever. Between the extra money, multi-year scholarships, and continuing aid once a student-athlete becomes just a student, the NCAA has firmly come down in favor of the players -- and against the worst abuses of big-time college sports, like oversigning.

Is this all a perfect fix? No. Can student-athletes get rich in college off of this? Of course not. But is the situation for student-athletes incrementally better than it was before this reform? Yes, substantially so, and if student-athlete welfare is high on your list of priorities, this is a welcome development.


Since: Sep 28, 2010
Posted on: October 27, 2011 7:36 pm

NCAA approves $2,000 for full cost of attendance


I assume you are aware that college athletics is not a requirement for graduation, right?  It is strictly voluntary, so why should anyone feel financially sorry about the athlete who chooses to participate in a sport and then has to stay in shape to do it?  Yes, it takes time and dedication to excel in your respective sport, but those requirements also exist in other academic programs as well, albeit in different forms.  Who is going to pay the the science major's parking or steak dinner.  This is a very selfish play by the NCAA and the flood gates will now open for every university to justify tuition increases across the board to compensate for this payment in order to remain competitive in recruiting.

Don't get me wrong, IF an athletic scholarship is not financially equal to an academic scholarship, then it should be adjusted.  But, this is not what's being done.  This is nothing more than an attempt to curtail the scandals by throwing money at a problem that is rooted too deep to fix with money.  It is a societal problem at its core and the NCAA cannot fix it by itself.

Lastly, why do we always hear about how much money the athletic department makes for the school?  In addition to TV and a potentially broad fanbase, who do you think helps support those programs...the other students and their parents.  Yet, I don't know of any athletic department that has dispersed its funds throughout the rest of the university to help offset costs for everyone else.

Since: Jan 2, 2010
Posted on: October 27, 2011 6:05 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Oct 20, 2011
Posted on: October 27, 2011 5:31 pm

NCAA approves $2,000 for full cost of attendance

I'd like to learn more about who is and who is not eligible for this additional grant. What is an "equivalency sport"? Overall, I see this as a step in the right direction, however it seems there will be some kinks that need to be worked out. I saw on another source earlier today that the NCAA is cracking down on grades, stating that teams will not be eligible for post season play if the players don't meet academic requirements. I applaud the NCAA for this, after all, the great majority of players will not be playing past college and will need some sort of degree.

Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: October 27, 2011 4:15 pm

NCAA approves $2,000 for full cost of attendance


You ask why they give them extra money and then you state the obvious that the sports of basketball and football pay all the bills for the universities so that they can have a women's swim team or men's volleyball team.  Those sports surely aren't going to pay for themselves.  So they give the football players a little money for expenses.  Do you have any idea of the time they expect those athletes to devote to their sport?  Spring drills, weightlifting, playbook learning and lots of road trips keep football players from taking part time jobs.  I doubt if a swim team member has to learn a playbook.  I doubt if a volleyball player is under a microscope where if someone gives him $50 every sportswriter in America would have a field day reporting it.  Nobody would know.  Nobody would care.  I wonder how many girls cross country team members get torn acl's, concussions and other injuries that would prevent them from taking a second job.  All things aren't equal.

Since: Aug 4, 2008
Posted on: October 27, 2011 4:09 pm

NCAA approves $2,000 for full cost of attendance

These so called student athletes have a full scholarship that include books, dorms, lab fees, educational expense.

Now they would also be eligible for an additional $2000.00. What would this grant be for? What are the requirements? How could these funds be used by the strident athlete? How do the student have to make an account of the use of these funds?

Are they able to spend the money on burgers at Burger King or chicken at KFC? Would they be able to put gas in their cars, make a down payment on a big screen. Just what are the funds to be used for and how will the accountability be conducted as for the use of these funds.

How long before a quarterback will say, I am worth more, therefore I would want a $4000 grant. A running back would want $3500. This is going down the slippery slope to a place that is best not started.

It is left up to the school that would want to implement this plan. Now a student athlete that was offered a scholarship to a school, the first thing he is gonna want to know is does this school offer the additional $2000 grant. If not then he will be headed to a program that does.

I am now convinced that the NCAA and presidents of these conferences did not think this proposal through.

Next here come the lawsuits. Title 9 would indicate that if the boys get it the girls would have to get it also. The programs have to be equal. I am not an attorney , but this appears to the spirit of Title 9.

Then this would be followed by the guys on the swim team, water polo team and all the teams that are generated at any one school
I can not calculate the cost this could cause a school to be obligated to pay their student athletes.

The small schools would once again be unable to compete because under no circumstance would they be able to pay this $2000. Now there is a further distance from the haves and have nots.

This plan submitted by the NCAA commissioner and voted on and approved by the school presidents is not a well thought out plan and borders on stupidity.

Since: Oct 20, 2007
Posted on: October 27, 2011 4:07 pm

NCAA approves $2,000 for full cost of attendance

The qustion is what is an "equivalency sport" ?  The way it sounds to me is that a female playing on a softball scholarship would be entitled to the same compensation.  I can't believe these educated people wouldn't have had an eye on screams of discrimination and lawsuits.  They do have lawyers.

My view on the not looking at it again for 3 years is to get the talking heads to focus on something other than inequities for college athletes.    &n

Since: Jul 27, 2010
Posted on: October 27, 2011 3:53 pm

NCAA approves $2,000 for full cost of attendance

Football and Basketball eh? So all those student athletes in other sports, or women for that matter, don't need the same assistance? Only football and Bball players have trouble meeting the finanicial requirements of attending college? If I was a student athlete of a different sport I would SCREAMING favoritism and pulling together a group ready to sue on Title IX grounds...

This is NOT a good move forward, it's simply a step that proves NCAA cares nothing about the overall quality of education and student life, just the kids that make them billions each year...truly disappointing. 

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