An article on this blog a few days ago mentioned that some 125 Division I Schools had petitioned the NCAA to reconsider its August 2011 decision to allow those schools to pay student-athletes an extra $2,000 per year as part of their scholarships in football and basketball.
Now it seems that some 75 school have also petitioned the NCAA to review the decision reached at the same time this past summer to allow schools to make scholarship offers good for 4 years instead of the one-year scholarships now offered that are subject to review annually.
The proposed reforms will now be reviewed by the Division I Board of Directors at its upcoming January meeting. Both proposals were supported by university presidents and by NCAA President, Mark Emmert.
“The NCAA and presidents step up with this legislation and then they vote it down,” said Christian Dennie in interview with The Chronicle of Higher Education).a former compliance officer at Missouri and Oklahoma who now practices law in Ft. Worth, Texas, and writes a blog on NCAA oversight comment made
“They say ‘We don’t have enough money,’ and then the football coach gets a $2 million raise,” Dennie added, speaking in general terms without naming any specific school. “It’s really a resource allocation issue.”
It appears that the representatives of many NCAA member schools talk about reform and concern for the welfare of student-athletes; but then balk at actually taking any concrete action. Perhaps what should be revisited is the idea that athletic departments are independent entities within a university who operate outside of the normal system of checks and balances.
In the end the problem may be simple. Paul “Bear” Bryant was once asked in an interview how did he feel about football coaches being paid so well as compared to faculty members on campus. He replied that no one ever paid money to listen to a chemistry professor lecture. The harsh reality on college campuses is that a great number of students and fans are much more concerned with the success of their football and basketball teams than they are of their school’s academic rank.