Although these are positive changes from a student-athlete perspective, a group of student-athletes has demanded a much bigger prize – a slice of the television revenue generated by big-time football and basketball.
Here are two of the changes backed by Emmert:
- Allowing schools to increase grants-in-aid (scholarships) by $2,000 to more closely approach the full cost of attendance. The National College Players Association has estimated that the shortfall ranges from $200/year to $10,962/year depending on the college, and has asked for $3,200 per scholarship.
- Multi-year scholarships. Under the current system a school may only award a scholarship for one year. Multi-year scholarships, which would be discretionary, may lead to increased security for student-athletes and also may lead to a competitive recruiting process in which one school might offer a longer scholarship than another.
These reforms have been sought by the National College Players Association. Nevertheless, the association and its supporters took a much bolder step this week.
Three hundred football and basketball players have signed a petition asking the NCAA to set aside some of the $784 million in television revenue for players. The money would go into “an educational lockbox (a trust fund) that [players] can receive if [they] abide by NCAA rules and graduate, or to pursue [their] undergraduate degree when [their] eligibility expires.”
The petition appears to be the first time that current players are voicing their opinions on the NCAA system. Although it remains to be seen whether the players’ petition will have an effect on college sports, the message is clear – players are educating themselves and are willing to speak out against the NCAA’s outdated notion of amateurism. Accordingly, the NCAA’s suggested changes might be too little, too late.