Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Giving College Athletes More Money

The debate over whether to provide college athletes with more money than their scholarships will never end. I don’t say that in a negative tone but because it is such a hot button issue.

The issue is in the news again because last week the NCAA made a recommendation that would allow conferences to provide $2000 more to scholarship athletes. I’m somewhat confused on what constitutes the $2000 in value, but I take it the amount wouldn’t be all cash.

Full-ride scholarships presently don’t cover all the expenses/fees the student-athlete occurs. This would help offset those costs. The real costs would come to the particularly university or college. Each school would need to fund student-athletes equally. For example, the softball player couldn’t receive less than the football player or the volleyball player couldn’t receive less than the basketball player.

My concern isn’t equality between sport teams but between conferences. The BCS (or big) schools would probably have no difficulty with the additional expenses. They would just make bigger pitches to the alumni and other supporters of the athletic program. But the small schools in small conferences already struggle to keep pace with the big boys in terms of financial resources. This would place the smaller schools at a greater disadvantage. The big boys already have the pick of the crop in recruiting and this measure would probably continue to provide that deep advantage. Student-athletes considering a school will look hard at the financial package like others pondering a job offer.

So although this recommendation looks good on the outside, it has sticky potential on the inside.

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