Tag:full cost scholarships
Posted on: July 6, 2011 12:21 pm
Edited on: July 6, 2011 12:45 pm
 

Delany doesn't rule out NCAA split

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Let's be fair to Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany: When Delany speaks in this USA Today article on the problems plaguing major college athletics and the potential "fundamental changes" (to use Delany's Big 12 counterpart Dan Beebe's term) that might result, he's clearly not expecting the NCAA's power conferences to secede from the current model:
"Don't blame structure," Delany says, "until you have a group of core presidents, athletic directors, commissioners and coaches who are willing to embrace real change" and are shot down.
That's a lot of people to all wrangle onto the same page. But if that "group" is "shot down"?
"At that juncture," he says, "then I think it's fair to look at how else you get it."
Delany's not spelling it out, but he doesn't have to. "How else you get it" means one thing and one thing only: taking the Big Ten's (and the SEC's and Pac-12's and I guess the Big 12's and ACC's) ball and going home to a post-NCAA college athletics superleague.

And if that first quote indicates that (as the USA Today writes) that kind of split isn't yet "on the agenda," it's not that difficult to see that kind of consortium coming together over Delany's full-cost scholarship proposal. Those kinds of athlete stipends already have wide-ranging support (including, critically, from the SEC's Mike Slive) and are seen by many as one possible antidote to the improper benefits scandals that have given college football the black eye it's sported the last several months.

If Delany and his "group" champion those scholarships as a way to help clean up the sport, only for the non-AQ schools of Division I (which outnumber the AQ schools more than four-to-one and may vote to protect their men's basketball interests) to veto it in the name of competitive balance, then what? It seems as if this would be the exact excuse Delany would be looking for to "look at how else" college athletics might be managed.

Of course, these kinds of discussions are still off in the relatively distant future, and a NCAA split remains the nuclear option even Delany and Slive will likely take great pains to avoid deploying. But that Delany is already using that threat as a kind of posturing -- potentially to suggest to the rest of the NCAA membership that it should fall in line -- suggests that whatever deliberations and debates will surround full-cost scholarships and other sweeping reform measures, don't expect them to progress smoothly.

Posted on: May 31, 2011 3:44 pm
Edited on: May 31, 2011 4:04 pm
 

NCAA President Emmert on 'full cost scholarships'

Posted by Chip Patterson

NCAA President Mark Emmert has only been on the job officially since November, but as many have pointed out - there has never been a more tumultuous time in college sports. From player and coach scandals to the ongoing criticism of the Bowl Championship Series (and scandal within the BCS), it seems that many of the pillars of the NCAA have come under more scrutiny in the last year than ever before.

One particular hot-button topic recently endorsed by Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and SEC commissioner Mike Slive is the idea of discussing "full cost scholarships" for student-athletes. Many people believe that the amount of money given to student athletes in their scholarships does not cover the full "cost of living" during their time at the college or university. Emmert was a guest on Mayhem in the AM on 790 the Zone in Atlanta on Friday, and weighed in on student athletes being paid.

"I’m as adamant as I’ve ever been about having student athletes be students. We do in fact provide it to many of our universities - full cost of attendance scholarships and financial aid. It’s really consistent with everything that goes on inside of universities and it wasn’t widely covered in the media. This was something I’ve been talking about again for six months. The notion of converting student athletes to employees and providing them with a salary and changing their status from one student athlete to ‘quasi-professional’ that’s where I draw the line and I draw it sharply.”

What Emmert believes is not "covered well by the media" includes non-athletic scholarships offered by universities. Many "full cost of attendance" scholarships include stipends for extra living expenses. The argument, of course is that providing such stipends for student-athletes would jeopardize their amateur status. Not to mention, current requirements under Title IX legislations would require for thousands upon thousands to be poured into the program by universities to ensure balance is maintained among the different athletic teams.

When you listen to the interview (you can stream the MP3 from 790 The Zone here), Emmert goes on to defend the swag from bowl games with the "tradition of college football." The issues at hand are present because they were not considered when the rules were established in the "tradition of college football." Now we are dealing with the intersection of the "tradition of college football" and the "business of college football."
Posted on: May 24, 2011 2:19 pm
 

Eye on CFB Roundtable: Full cost scholarships

By Eye on College Football Bloggers

Each week, the Eye on CFB team convenes Voltron- style to answer a pressing question regarding the wild, wide world of college football. This week's topic:

Both Jim Delany and Mike Slive have come out in favor of "full cost of attendance" athletic scholarships that will include stipends for transportation, clothing, etc., in addition to covering tuition. But it's believed that not all conferences will be able to afford such stipends. Is this a plan college football fans should support?

Tom Fornelli: This is an interesting debate. Because my first inclination is that any extra money that the players can get, they should get. It's not that I think it'll keep players from breaking NCAA rules and taking money elsewhere or anything, it's just that I've always felt that the players should be getting a bigger piece of that billion dollar pie they bake to begin with.

That being said, I do worry about what this can lead to. It will affect recruiting. Let's say one conference is offering more than another. If I'm an 18-year old kid without a job, with an equal opportunity of playing at two different schools, but one is offering me $5,000 a year while the other $3,000? That $2,000 is going to make a big difference in my life. Plus, what if all the BCS conferences agree to a flat rate throughout to even that up? Well, that will just about kill the Mountain West's, WAC's and all the other non-BCS conferences' recruiting. The BCS already has an advantage over them, and now if they're offering even more, that gap only widens.

Adam Jacobi: You know what, though, Tom? I don't think the current recruiting rules did the little guys much good to begin with.

By that I mean, pretty much the only thing a school is allowed to use to entice a particular recruit is the relationship with the coach (playing time, off-field support) and the football program itself (game day, training facilities). Education also plays a role, but a rather weak one--the amount of young men who either A) enroll in the SEC or B) transfer from a quality school to some rinky-dink lower-division school whose diplomas mean about as much as a McDonald's placemat would indicate that the quality of education is not nearly as important as playing time or on-field prestige.

And sure, limiting recruiting pitches to football and education sounds good, but it basically means that a have-not type of school--your typical Sun Belt or MAC program, say--can't do a damn thing to entice an upper-level recruit to come there instead of to a BCS school.

Jerry Hinnen: Right. There's no question that the proposal would end any kind of recruiting "battles" between BCS and non-BCS teams (assuming the latter, as widely believed, couldn't come up with the scratch to put it into practice). Playing time and shots at championships only matter so much compared to (over four years) $8,000-$12,000.

But how many of those battles are going on in the first place? A handful in the West between Boise State and San Diego State and various Pac-12 schools ... maybe a few between bottom-rung BCS schools looking for sleepers in Texas and Florida and local C-USA teams like UCF, Houston and SMU ... perhaps a local metro recruit could be persuaded to stay in the MAC at Temple or, now, UMass, rather than going to ride the bench at a Big East cellar dweller.

AJ: Remember how funny it was that Cyrus Kouandjio kept leaving New Mexico in his Top 5? It's probably irritating to non-power schools that it was so funny.

At the same time, though, the last thing we need is a redux of the cash-crazy SWC days. That was unseemly and it ended badly. We don't need to encourage that type of behavior. And that's why I think what Tom's suggesting, that one school might be able to offer a flat sum of money more than the other, won't come to pass. There's going to be some strict regulation on what constitutes the full cost of attendance, and that seems fair. What I'd be interested in is how this extra money is disbursed. Surely they don't plan to award the money in a flat sum at the beginning of each semester, right? Because if you put $2,000 in a college kid's bank account and tell him it's got to last for four months, how long do you think that money's really going to last? And how much of that money is going to be spent conspicuously (i.e. cars, bling, alcohol), potentially embarrassing a school that fought hard for the athletes to get that extra money? JH: That could be a problem. But the fallout I'm worried about from this plan isn't what happens if it passes; it's what happens if the NCAA's mid-major rank-and-file (which may not have a dog in the FBS fight but will no doubt do whatever they can to protect their D-I men's hoops interests) find a way to keep it from passing. It's possible that that's the point at which the BCS schools take their ball and go home to their own, NCAA-free college football Premier League ... and as someone who enjoys seeing Boise State try to break through the glass ceiling and the C-USA champ take on the SEC in the Liberty Bowl and even, say, Temple take on Penn State in mid-September, I think college football would be dramatically poorer for it.

Chip Patterson: Further separation from the BCS and Non-BCS schools is the scariest aspect to me in this whole situation.  The threat/idea of a BCS breakaway from the NCAA (as Jerry mentioned) seems to be a doomsday scenario that everyone knows exists, but no one wants to talk about.  It would bring up new definitions and standards for college athletes, as well as amateurism in general.  Full cost scholarships are going to be a nightmare to try and define and establish across college football, and I fear the results of the conversation would only raise more problems than it would solve.  

Around many college campuses, the football team is on a bigger celebrity status than city officials.  You give 18-22 year olds a new stream of cash to go along with their larger-than-life status, there are going to be some consequences.  You could argue that there would be no more of a threat of off-field misconduct than already exists, but I find it difficult to imagine it won't play a factor in misconduct reports in the future.

Bryan Fischer: The one thing to keep in mind about these full-cost scholarship proposals is that they're going to be adjusted based on federal calculations to cover the gap between what the college scholarship covers now and what it actually costs to attend a school.

As Jim Delany has been quoted, players used to receive $15 for laundry every month and they still get the same $15 now. In essence, the Big Ten and SEC want to adjust scholarships for inflation. I think it's admirable and the right thing to do. If you're a parent spending thousands on private tutors and coaches and travel teams, I would think you'd be in favor of this too.

What remains to be seen is how you work out the nitty gritty details. There's Title IX considerations, partial scholarships for some sports to navigate around and a myriad of other issues. I don't think it will provide the recruiting advantage many think, since it's tied to cost of living. You go to USC or UCLA and you're going to get more money because gas is a tad more expensive than it is at Auburn or Alabama.

This idea has some traction with the membership, but the key will be nailing down the details and figuring out where the money is coming from. If the funding comes from student fees (in essence, students paying for student-athletes) then I can see a few roadblocks. There's a long way to go on this issue, and it will be interesting to see where those details take us.


Posted on: May 23, 2011 10:57 am
 

Slive joins 'full cost' scholarship bandwagon

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

In his Friday column, our CBS Sports colleague Tony Barnhart reported that SEC commissioner Mike Slive had told him the "full cost of attendance" scholarship plan recently championed by the Big Ten's Jim Delany was "something he would like to discuss."

But speaking to the Birmingham News's Jon Solomon over the weekend, Slive made it clear he'd like to do a lot more with those scholarships than just discuss them:
"I think we're to a point now in intercollegiate athletics where we have been very fortunate to have developed significant revenue streams," Slive said Friday. "A lot of our student-athletes have significant needs and it's one of those issues whose time has come" ...

"Often times when I think of the foundation and basis of a lot of NCAA legislation, a lot of it tries to ensure a level playing field," Slive said. "It's an unattainable concept, but that's often the foundation. If you say the foundation ought to be student-athlete welfare, it's a different place for which to start thinking about full cost of attendance. Using that as the starting point, I think it's time for the national conversation to begin in a very serious way about the full cost of attendance."
Those statements about the NCAA and their legislative emphasis on a "level playing field" echo those already made by Delany--statements not-so-subtly intended as a shot across the bow to small-school opponents who would block their plans to aid BCS conference athletes in the name of competitive equality.

Delany and Slive clearly understand that full cost scholarships (an item far too expensive for most non-BCS leagues) would drive the finanical wedge even further between D-I athletics' haves and have-nots ... and they just as clearly do not care where their conferences' "student-athlete welfare" (and, surely, the attendant competitive advantage) is concerned.

There are still major impediments to the Delany plan; Title IX may legally guarantee the same scholarship funds for all varsity athletes, not just those in revenue sports, and such a plan would have to be approved by a vote of the entire NCAA membership. (That Mark Emmert supports full cost scholarships would seem to be a big help in clearing the second hurdle.) But with such powerful backers as Delany, Slive, and the NCAA president, there seems little question this issue (and the potential FBS-shattering fallout) is going to get the "discussion" Slive wants sooner rather than later.
 
 
 
 
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