AAC commissioner Aresco: League would offer full-cost stipends

Mike Aresco says his conference has the resources to pay a full cost of attendance stipend. (USATSI)

Mike Aresco says his conference has the resources to pay a full cost of attendance stipend. (USATSI)

The rift in the NCAA's Division I over proposed full cost of attendance scholarships might not be generating as many headlines now as it did when it was controversially voted down, but the issue is far, far from settled. And American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco said this weekend that when it is, his league will be on the side of college athletics' power conferences.

Aresco spoke at the Memphis-UConn basketball game Saturday, and per the New Haven Register, promised that even though in the American "we don't have the resources" of an SEC or Big Ten, they have the resources to provide the same full-cost scholarships.

"As a conference, we've already committed to provide a full cost of attendance stipend, if that's passed," Aresco said. "It's unclear yet what that's going to be. ... But whether it's a fixed amount [or not], we've committed as a conference that we're going to do it.

"And we're probably going to do other things that they plan to do ... we have every intention of being a conference just like those other [power] five, which we've always been as a BCS conference."

The AAC isn't a BCS league any more, but clearly it's not exactly comfortable being lumped in with the Mountain West, Conference USA, MAC and Sun Belt -- the other schools in the "Group of Five." The good news: If the full cost of attendance stipends do finally become reality -- and the rest of the Group of Five can't afford them -- it will be a neat, easy dividing line between the American and their new peers.

The bad news is that if the FBS splits and the power five don't take the AAC with them, that line may not mean much. Aresco still has to work to do.

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