A slumber party where everyone eats energy bars and watches television for almost a week and a half.
That's what happened for seven Hawaii Football players when clerical errors of the processing Scholarship money for athletes living off-campus and taking summer classes was delayed for nine days. Over 60 athletes' scholarships were delayed while they were all waiting for checks totaling up to $92,000, due to delayed processing from the Athletics Department and the University's Financial Aid Department.
Each stipend an athlete receives has to be carefully processed so that he/she doesn't receive the wrong amount. "When it comes down to it, we need to plan better," Hawaii Athletic Director Ben Jay told the Associated Press, "This should never happen again. We have a responsibility for these kids to make sure they are taken care of."
NCAA rules kept the Athletic Department from offering any assistance to the players at the risk of picking up an NCAA Violation, similar to how their Mountain West counterpart Boise State self-reported secondary violations in 2011, where the Football team offered assistance to incoming student-athletes. The Broncos allegedly spent $4,934 on housing, transportation, or meals, where an incoming athlete was offered a place to sleep, a car ride, or had meal bought by a current student-athlete.
However, the Warriors could have avoided any trouble with the NCAA and the athletes would have received the help they needed if they had received a waiver from NCAA. This waiver might have allowed the school to pay for temporary housing and meals for the athletes while the funds were delayed.
A waiver may not have been necessary under the NCAA's new Interpretation Philosophy. Say the proposed action is to advance the athletes money to pay their rent and deposit and for groceries. There is essentially no benefit to the athletes; they are actually just getting what they should have gotten but for the NCAA's error. Not having a place to live and having to eat energy bars instead of real food is a Health and Safety issue. This seems well within the "Green" Category under the new Interpretation Philosophy and Hawaii should have been able to help these athletes even without involving the NCAA.
So who's at fault here? Is it Hawaii for not planning ahead and letting the delay occur that led to these players sleeping in the locker room? Or the NCAA's rules that kept Hawaii from helping in fear of having NCAA Violations handed down to them?
Either way, the safety of the athlete should always be the first concern for both the school and the NCAA, and those seven football players shouldn't have had to spend one night in their locker room.