College athletes might not get money, after all
Posted: Friday, December 16, 2011 7:02 pm
By MICHAEL MAROT
AP Sports Writer
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The NCAA’s plan to give athletes a $2,000 stipend may be in trouble.
The legislation, passed in October, now faces an override challenge at January’s annual NCAA convention, a decision that could create an unusual discrepancy between recruits who have already signed national letters-of-intent and those who have not.
David Berst, the Division I vice president of governance, acknowledged Wednesday that about 1,000 players signed with schools in November, and those who did it with the promise of getting an additional $2,000 toward the so-called “full cost of attendance” would still get their extra money. Those who did not, may not.
“I would hope we don’t end up with that, but it could happen,” Berst told The Associated Press.
Berst said 97 schools have signed onto the override measure, more than the 75 needed for the NCAA board to reconsider the stipend.
If that number hits 125 by Dec. 26, the legislation would be suspended.
Either way, the Division I Board of Directors has three options: Rescind the stipend and operate under previous NCAA rules, modify the rule or create a new proposal that would go back to the schools for another 60-day comment period, or allow members to vote on the override. It would take a five-eighths majority of the roughly 350 Division I members to pass.
If the legislation is changed or rescinded, athletes who signed with the expectation of receiving additional money might bring legal action if they did not get it.
That puts the NCAA in the position of perhaps having to impose two competing rules this year.
“We would honor the agreements that have taken place,” Berst said. “So even if you were to rescind the rule as of Dec. 26 and not operate under that rule in the future, we would honor those agreements. I think that causes the board to redouble its efforts at the January meeting.”
NCAA President Mark Emmert has insisted over the past several months that the additional money is not pay-for-play and compares it to stipends non-athletes receive beyond the cost of tuition, room and board, books and fees.
Until 1972, college athletes were permitted to receive a small monthly payment as laundry money.
Some critics contend $2,000 is not nearly enough and cite studies showing the average athlete pays roughly $3,000 to $4,000 out of his or her own pocket in college costs.
Published in The Messenger 12.16.11