- Saturday, 22 June 2013 02:00
- Author: Greg Poole
There is a lot of talk about establishing a new division for the power conference school within NCAA or, alternatively, secession and formation of a new regulatory organization by the top-tier conferences. An article in The Chronicle Of Higher Education proposes the following changes for this new division/organization:
- Have athletics scholarships cover the full cost of attendance and not be capped at tuition and fees, room and board, and required books. A stipend, in the neighborhood of $3,000 per student, according to a recent study, would help reduce the growing underground compensation system for elite athletes.
- Embrace the Olympic amateur model by lifting the restriction on college athletes’ commercial opportunities. This shift would offer any student the opportunity to secure endorsement deals or receive payment for the use of his or her name and image.
- Create an education fund that provides continuing financial assistance to college athletes, allowing them to complete their degrees even after their athletics eligibility, and corresponding scholarship, has expired.
- Provide full health insurance for all athletes and cover all deductibles for injuries related to participation in an intercollegiate sport. Offer full disability insurance to elite athletes, protecting them against catastrophic injuries that could derail their professional careers.
- Allow athletes to hire agents to protect their rights, including providing assistance in evaluating scholarship offers from institutions, negotiating commercial opportunities, and navigating the transition from college to professional sports.
By modifying our definition of amateurism, these changes would preserve the pageantry of college athletics, but without the hypocrisy. Paramount to the success of this reform is the requirement that an athletics department must remain accountable to its institution’s mission; this codification of a changing landscape does not remove the requirement that student-athletes participate fully in academic life. Failure to abide by this principle, whether by the individual or the institution, must be met with a swift response, which could include expulsion…