The pay-for-play for NCAA sports has been a hot debate over the past few months, but now it is official that the NCAA approved $2,000 to be paid to NCAA athletes (emphasis mine):
The Board also adopted legislation giving student-athletes who receive full athletics scholarships the opportunity to receive additional athletics aid up to the full cost of attendance or $2,000, whichever is less.
The working group that made the recommendation told the board the $2,000 figure is meaningful in addressing the miscellaneous expenses student-athletes now have. Institutions will not be required to offer the benefit, but conferences are encouraged to consider common application within their membership.
This is all well and good, but if not all schools are required to pay this then some will not. Just look at the state of Nevada or Colorado who have had state budget issues with Colorado having issues buying out the Colorado Buffaloes head coach or the Nevada Wolfpack who had serious thoughts about dropping football all together. So, would those schools not offer that $2,000, because I am sure that some players would rather go to a school that offers that money than one that does not.
That amount is not a ton of money, just over $200 a month for nine months of non-summer school students, but say a student has the chance to go to Fresno State or San Diego State and one offer and one does not. Both schools are fairly similar in on the field performance so why not go to the school where one would have a little extra spending money?
I can guarantee all of the BCS leagues will offer the money and a good amount of non-BCS probably will, but will teams like Western Kentucky or New Mexico offer this money and that is the real question. It will create a larger divide but I think it will be between the low end BCS teams like Washington State and upper non-BCS league teams as UNLV. The student in that situation probably would head to Washington State.
The divide may not be much, but after years of this benefit in place (assuming it is) it could affect some non-BCS teams down the rode. The change does not say where the money comes from whether it be from the NCAA, conference revenue or any other source. My assumption that since it is optional it must come from the school in some way and likely some schools will unfortunately up tuition for the entire student body to cover this cost. Television revenue will take care of this for most leagues.
However, Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith estimates that only 60-70 percent of schools could be able to afford to pay the $2,000.
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