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How Much Do New NCAA Rule Changes Benefit the Student-Athlete?

By on January 22nd, 2013 in Football, News 15 Comments »

  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.


  1. spanky says:

    Any money given would have to be even across the board with all schools. Anything but that would just end up with the kids going to school with the most money.

    • DothanTiger DothanTiger says:

      A prorated formula could be put into the rules based on how much time required in each sport for training, practice, weight room work outs, playing etc. I can’t imagine the smaller sports demanding as much time as football.

      • Tiger on the mountain Tiger on the mountain says:

        Smaller schools do demand a significant time in football…I haven’t run the numbers to see if they are exactly the same, but I know there’s not a whole lot of free time after mandatory workouts, etc…..At the smaller schools, you are dealing with a different level of athlete, but the time for workouts, game prep, etc are all the same.

        • DothanTiger DothanTiger says:

          Agree about the smaller schools. But I was referring to the smaller sports. Maybe I should have said the non revenue sports. I can’t imagine the time for golf, volleyball, tennis etc are as time demanding as football.

  2. Tigerstripe Tigerstripe says:

    I think the additional contact is stupid. This isn’t in the best interest of the hs player. It will only feed their egos and stretch the coaching staff thinner in order to keep the fish on the line…

    It is a shame that athletes are just money making cogs in the system but if nothing was changed, they would still beat the doors down to play for the universities. There is still tangible value for a degree and their room/board (probably around $180K for 4 years???) and they don’t have school loans to pay off like the rest of the lazy, talentless, clumsy, students laying on the lawn drinking fraps. I would like to see some type of savings account set aside that the athletes can cash out upon graduation or roll it over into a 401k retirement plan. The schools would set aside money that earns interest while they are in school so they don’t lose their amateur status. Those who couldn’t play at the professional level could use this money to buy their first house, move in order to start their career, brain injury therapy, etc…

    • Pine Mt Tiger Pine Mt Tiger says:

      Agree unlimited contact is not in the best interest of the recruits and will “stretch the coaching staff thinner in order to keep the fish on the line.”

      Why can you and I see that but they can’t?

  3. wde1988 wde1988 says:

    Hmmm. Sounds to me like the contact issue is a Sabanizm. I mean the man works 20+ hours a day anyway. He can handle the additional work. I have heard he expects his assistants to do the same thing. It’s hard working for the man but it’s hard to argue his success. Honestly – I don’t know what the fuss is about. This has been happening all along I think regardless of what the rules say.

    Perhaps I don’t understand this as well as others… but until someone uses crayons and explains it in a manner that makes more sense… my question is how much are we paying these coach’s again?

    Suck it up buttercup! And WIN BABY!

    And about the pay for play… it’s an old arguement that is NEVER going away. Apparently. I know I am antiquated here… but the way I look at it… College is for learning. That should always be the FIRST rule about going there. If you can do something else while your there – that is good. Great even. But you should ALWAYS be able to walk away with your degree. That applied to my own situation… I see no reason it should be any different to today’s college football players.

    I know I am in the minority. Hell, we already have an entitlement society… and likewise these players ALREADY are showing up in school thinking that THEY generate “billions” thanks to numbers being thrown around… and that is before the first pad is put on or the first sweat is broken in summer two a days.

    I am not sure what thought is destroying the sport more to be honest…

    Can’t we just play the damn sport because we love to play? Or is that too niave?

    But I will play along since it is in the gist of the article. Ultimately – even using the logic that everyone gets paid… you will ultimately have to determine who is the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’. In the end, just like in our society… someone is going to do an inordinate amount of work… the situation will never be equal across the board. Much like with our nation, I don’t see it ending well for the sport… but that is just me.


  4. sullivan013 sullivan013 says:

    The problem I have is not the idea that students should be paid a stipend for the risks they take and the additional costs of higher learning. They certainly work hard enough for the amounts being suggested, and in all collegiate sports, not just football. The problem I have is the difficulty in controlling such a plan, and ensuring a fair and equitable system with proper oversight against abuse.

    The NCAA has difficulty enough enforcing a zero pay system. The likelihood that this would spin out of control is too great for me to be in favor of such a step.

  5. MyAuburn myauburn says:

    Here is a can of worms, go ahead open it, it will be OK. The abuses to come on this are mind boggling. The high dollar programs (of which we are one of) will use this to sway recruits into thinking they will get paid well to come play for your school. Whether it is really paid or they break rules, don’t make grades, get injured, get grey shirted or whatever, the smart big boys will use it and it will be resinded in no time.

  6. Third Generation Tiger Third Generation Tiger says:

    You did a great job of photo shopping Saban out of the picture with Emmert!! We can still see how Saban was standing in Emmert’s loving embrace!! Excellent work!!


  7. Mike jimithing78 says:

    I still want to know what this “Full Cost Scholarship” is. The cost of school is tuition, fees, books, housing and food. What else is there? Personal expenses aren’t part of the cost of school. Call it a stipend as Sullivan013 did above, but don’t hide it as a cost of school. Non-athletes don’t get those personal expenses as part of their university scholarships.

    • AubTigerman AubTigerman says:

      The “Full Cost Scholarship” is an idea that most major conference commissioners support. It recognizes that scholarship rules don’t allow schools to cover the full cost of attendance. Things like miscellaneous meals, trips home, clothes etc

      Regular students can work part time jobs to take care of those things. But the student-athlete doesn’t have any time to work a part time job. Typically, a football player gets up about 6 a.m., lifts weights, goes to class, then after class goes to the football complex to watch film and get ready for practice. When they get through with practice, most have got to go to study hall. When study hall is over, it’s time to go to bed. Then they get up and do it all over again. It’s really like a full-time job.

      All of them have bills and expenses, just like every other student. While they are at practice, weight room, and film room, other students have a job. They’re able to pay their bills, buy food, etc. while the athlete struggles.

      I understand why some do not support Full Cost of Attendance Scholarships, but this is basically the thinking behind those that do support implementing them.

      • Mike jimithing78 says:

        Those aren’t “costs of attendance.” It doesn’t cost a trip home to go to school. It doesn’t cost a new pair of schools to go to school. That’d be a stipend. Yes, it’s just different wording, but it’s different. I’m not necessarily against a stipend, but call it that.