NCAA President, Mark Emmert addressing the National Convention in Grapevine, Texas.
“Founded more than one hundred years ago as a way to protect student-athletes, the NCAA continues to implement that principle with increased emphasis on both athletics and academic excellence.” That’s the way the National Collegiate Athletic Association describes itself on its national web site.
And supposedly in that spirit, the governing body for intercollegiate athletics has just made two major rule changes that directly affect student-athletes.
The first affects recruiting by allowing coaches to communicate with recruits through all forms of communication. There will now be no limit on phone calls per week. In addition, private social media messaging and instant text messaging will not only be allowed but will be unlimited.
So the already stressed coaching staffs will have to spend more time recruiting and keeping up with high school recruits during the season while they are charged with coaching and preparing their players to play the next game. Can someone tell me how this rule change “protects the student-athlete” … either the ones in college or the ones being recruited?
The other major change finally addresses a controversial subject that has been kicked around the past decade with the explosion of TV money pouring into schools. The controversial subject? … Should schools be allowed to pay student athletes?
While some league commissioners (like the SEC’s Mike Slive) have been proponents of passing along some of the wealth in the form of “Full Cost of Attendance Scholarships”, others have been opponents of any revenue sharing with student -athletes. It appears with this new rule the opponents to change are both losers and winners.
They lost on this one because the NCAA decided to allow schools to give students money for actual and necessary expenses, provided the funds come from permissible sources.
But at the same time they won on this one because the new rule states the athletes will be limited to receiving only about $8.33 per week extra or “$300 more for the actual and necessary expenses” they may need.
I’m sure the athletes can use the extra money, no matter how small. But come on, when football and basketball generate close to 6 billion dollars a year and can only afford to give the athletes $300.00 more per year for “actual and necessary expenses,” something just doesn’t past the smell test.
Checking the NCAA web site, the most recent year for which audited numbers are available (2010-2011) reveals that NCAA revenue was nearly one billion dollars “($845.9 million), most of which came from the rights agreement with Turner/CBS Sports.”
And the 118 football Subdivision football programs generate nearly five billion dollars a year according to a 2009 study published in the Orlando Sentinel.
I know, I know, some one is thinking the athletes ‘are’ paid. Unlike the average student, they receive a tuition free education. Yes, but the average student doesn’t have to spend hours and hours in the weight room and on practice fields to stay in college. And the average student has time for part time and or summer jobs to make extra cash.
Call me crazy but I just think it would not be so terrible to give student-athletes a significant amount more for necessary expenses than $300.00 a year.
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