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Slive Willing To Talk About Paying Athletes More; The Rich About To Get Richer?

Following up on comments made by Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany earlier this week, SEC commish Mike Slive told CBSSports.com yesterday that he too would be willing to discuss the idea of increasing the value of athletic scholarships to cover “the full cost of attendance.”

Delany’s comments at the Big Ten’s annual meetings in Chicago — that his league had discussed paying student-athletes more than the scholarship money they now receive — have brought reactions from all across the college landscape, in fact.

Slive responded by saying, “I have long thought that we should revisit the limitations on the current scholarship model and perhaps expand it to cover the full cost of attendance” and not just room, board, books and tuition.  “I look forward to that discussion.”

Fellow BCS commissioners Larry Scott and Dan Beebe have also chimed in on the topic.  “I fully support studying the impact of increasing the grant-in-aid package for student-athletes,” the Pac-12′s Scott told CBSSports’ Dennis Dodd.  “We have not had any discussion on earmarking funds for this purpose.”

“This is a topic that BCS commissioners discussed at recent meetings and one that we agreed to review with our respective member institutions at spring conference meetings, which I intend to do at the upcoming annual Big 12 meetings,” Beebe said.

In other words, the Big Ten isn’t necessarily taking the lead on this issue as Delany seemed to suggest by removing the lid from this topic.

Also, while many fans and pundits are saying “It’s about time,” and “This is a good thing for college sports,” in reality this could be a case of the rich simply attempting to get richer.

Certainly, the commissioners of America’s largest conferences would like to help their student-athletes.  We at MrSEC.com aren’t questioning that fact.  But who outside the wealthy BCS conferences can afford to pay athletes more money — especially if more money is to go to all the athletes on a campus?

If the NCAA did go along with a plan from one or more conferences to pay their athletes — and the NCAA would have to sign off on such a plan before any extra cash started changing hands — then those leagues that can’t pay more money would be at a clear disadvantage on the recruiting trail.

Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson has said: “Whether or not it is fiscally feasible might differ from institution to institution.  Air Force could not legally do it and the same might be true of others.  Paying athletes raises drastic tax questions, not to mention the whole amateurism concepts under which we currently operate.”

And there are still more financial and legal considerations to take into account, as ACC commissioner John Swofford pointed out to ESPN.com’s Joe Schad. 

“Could it be limited to only revenue-producing sports?  I’m not sure we would want to do it.  And from a legal standpoint, how does it mesh with Title IX?  I think we’re a ways from getting there,” Swofford said.

Yes, we are.  But Delany and the Big Ten appear to have gotten some positive press out of pitching the idea.  The SEC and other major leagues are saying they are open minded, too.

But everyone might want to hold off on popping the champagne just yet.  For even if something does eventually come to pass, it could be that the haves will only be putting greater distance between themselves and the have-nots.

 


2 comments
Cal
Cal

weekly, sorry. Got a little excited.

CAL
CAL

For God sakes, all student athletes get a weekley stipend to cover food expenses etc. Hell, the athletes are better off financially than over half of the average joe students. What the hell do they need more money for? A new piece, more diamond earings, more tats, new rims for the Escalade? It's ridiculous to think that "student" athletes need more than they are currently getting. I went to a major SEC school and the athletes all lived in the nicest apartments (much nicer than mine), shopped in the nicest malls, and all drove a nicer car than I did. It's not like they are struggling. Do the powers that be that are talking about giving athletes more money ever walk around a major college campus and notice these things? I'm guessing no. People that have no idea what they are talking about when they say poor athlete have no idea.

P.S. I love college sports, but giving the athletes another fat check is ridiculous.

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