Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Interesting start to stipends

Who was going to pull the trigger first, we wondered, when we heard about the NCAA's approval of living stipends for DI student-athletes.
Erin noted the Title IX implications. But would schools and leagues realize them? Would a school be bullied into providing the stipends by its league? Would scholarship dollars grow further out of whack?
I think I assumed, given the recent upsurge in the pay-for-play debate spurred by Taylor Branch's Atlantic article, that football would take advantage of the new rule first.
But, no, it's basketball. (This makes sense economically given the low numbers of student-athletes. But my cynical self is never surprised when there are economically unsound decisions made in intercollegiate athletics.)
The Horizon League, which includes former Cinderella team Butler University, has voted to provide stipends to its men's and women's b-ball players.
No mention of Title IX considerations. But obviously no issue here given the equitable distribution of the stipends.
Wonder if this is going to be a trend?
I am also curious about whether other leagues will follow. Obviously the payment of living stipends becomes a huge recruiting tool.