Cost of Attendance Stipends: The Next Recruiting Battle

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Cost of Attendance Stipends: The Next Recruiting Battle

[su_spacer size=”10″] Power Five conferences, exercising their newly minted autonomy, gave themselves the power to hand out stipends (cash payments) to student athletes beginning with the 2015-2016 school year. No problem, right?

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A recent article by David Jones ( details the differences in calculated cost of attendance between Big Ten schools:

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Based on cost of attendance figures cited by for the 2014-15 academic calendar, Penn State ranks at the top of the Big Ten with a miscellaneous expenses figure of $4,788. If it stays the same next school year, that means $4,788 of walking-around money during the nine-month period for athletes who receive full grants in aid.

In contrast, Ohio State ranks a mere 8th in the Big Ten, currently designating a mere $2,454 of tuition cost to incidental expenses – barely half of PSU’s amount. You would expect Urban Meyer, Thad Matta and their messenger, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, to have a say in doubling that number or more by July when schools must designate any changes. Same with Jim Harbaugh and John Beilein at Michigan whose incidental expenses amount is currently designated as a relative pittance – $2,054, 12thin the conference.

In fact, the 2014-15 disparity ranges all the way down to $1,872, the amount designated for incidental expenses by Michigan State – nearly $3,000 less than Penn State. Again, we would assume Mark Dantonio and Tom Izzo might have already had a word with the MSU trustees and president about this.

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Do we really want a recruiting war based on the dollar amount that universities report as their cost of attendance?

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Greg is closing in on 15 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.