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New Mexico plans to pay athletes $2,700 stipend

New Mexico announced a plan on Thursday that it plans on paying athletes on scholarship an additional $2,700 to cover the full cost of attendance.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

When it comes to college athletic the biggest argument has always been whether players should be paid or is a scholarship for a free education is a fair exchange for the money the revenue sports. What is never considered is that because of Title IX most schools athletic departments do not profit because the money from major sports like basketball and football is put back in to other non-revenue sports. That money allows to keep those programs up and running or at least this is the case for the non-power five conferences.

New Mexico is no different as every year for the last few years the university has been dealing with budget short falls because of low football attendance. The last thing Lobo fans expected was for Paul Krebs to add an additional expense of $900,000 to a $1 million a year to cover the full cost of attendance at $2,700 per year per student-athlete.

"We're putting plans in place," Krebs told the Albuquerque Journal. "There are a lot of moving parts; nothing is definitive yet. We will be asking all of our great Lobo fans who support us through our annual scholarship program to consider increasing their Lobo Club donation to help pay for this. As we do with any particular need, we'll look at trying to find other revenue streams, but these are challenging financial times for us."

Krebs initial plan is to hopefully start with men's and women's basketball scholarship players for the upcoming season, but football may not begin receiving a stipend until the 2016 season. Volleyball is a sport that also is expected to be in the mix early on for this stipend.

In the past the NCAA has ruled with an iron fist and has been dead set against players receiving additional benefits above a scholarship but in the past couple of years the power conferences have been pushing for the ability to give their players money to cover expenses such as cost-of-living expenses like course fees, academic supplies and other necessities like food.

The issue of food came into the national spotlight last year when Connecticut guard Shabazz Naiper said that he goes to be hungry because of NCAA rules on when the players can be fed and inability to hold a job because of school and athletic commitments. Earlier this year the NCAA decided to allow schools the ability to pay up to $4,000 to cover the additional cost of attending school.

While additional money is not required in order for UNM to keep paces with the bigger schools it was a essential for the Lobos to offer it. The sports that would have suffered from the lack of additional money would have been men's basketball and Football. There has been no specific timetable for the payments but Krebs did mention that the school would have to raise the additional money and with would start with the Lobo club.

For those who are not familiar with full cost of attendance, Krebs explains in this video.