Now that the “Power 5” conferences – Big 10, Big 12, ACC, SEC and Pac-12 – have been granted autonomy from the NCAA, which allows them to pass rules without of the larger collegiate association’s approval, they are making changes to a college sports system that many believe is antiquated. Their first major piece of legislation which will allow their schools to cover full cost of tuition expenses for athletes was passed today.
The power players in collegiate athletics enacted historic change Saturday at the NCAA convention, passing the first package of autonomous legislation, headlined by a full cost-of-attendance measure that will supplement student-athletes’ scholarships with unprecedented dollars.
“It’s a big day for student-athletes,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said. “The benefits now available to student-athletes are more significant. This is a big step forward and a response to a changing circumstance for the 21st-century athlete.”
Stipends, determined by institutions under federally created guidelines, have been estimated at $2,000 to $4,000 annually. They are designed to cover the cost of living expenses that fall outside athletic scholarships.
The conferences also passed ordinances that will allow athletes to borrow against future earnings to buy loss-of-value insurance, the implementation of a discretionary student athlete assistance fund and a rule that will prevent schools from stripping scholarships due to worsened athletic performance.
This is HUGE for college sports – a system that has generated billions of dollars annually from virtually free labor. Although the $2,000-$4,000 that students can expect to receive pales in comparison to the revenue many of them generate for their respective institutions, this is a step in the right direction.