Major college athletics may be moving closer to the day when student athletes will be compensated beyond college scholarships.
NCAA president Mark Emmert is backing a proposal that would allow conferences to increase grants to student athletes by $2,000 in order to cover the full cost of attending college.
During testimony before the NCAA's Knight Commission on Monday, he also backed a proposal to give college athletes multiyear scholarships as opposed to the year-to-year renewable scholarships they currently receive. The goal of the commission is to "ensure that intercollegiate athletics programs operate within the educational mission of their colleges and universities."
"We are going to create a model that would allow — probably ... up to $2,000 in addition to tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies,” he said.
While this move will likely be supported by the six BCS conferences like the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, ACC and Big East, there could be plenty of opposition from the smaller Division I leagues that don’t enjoy the same revenue stream.
Boise State president Robert Kustra certainly has his concerns. His school currently competes in the Mountain West, which is not a BCS conference.
"You just heard President Emmert say that some conferences will, some conferences won't. Well gee, I wonder who will, and I wonder who won't," Kustra said. "I think I know the answer to that. The haves will, and the have-nots will try — I'll try — but many will not be able to. And so what you're doing, then, is fueling a little bit more of this BCS/anti-BCS debate."
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