On Tuesday the NCAA announced that it has granted a waiver to the College Football Playoff to allow it to assist with expenses for players’ family members to travel to the national championship game in Arlington, Texas.
In addition, the NCAA announced a “pilot program” to assist players’ family members travel to the Men’s and Women’s Final Fours this spring.
An NCAA press release states as follows:
The NCAA will pay up to $3,000 total in travel, hotel and meal expenses for family members of each student-athlete who competes in the Final Four semifinal games but don’t advance to the championships. The NCAA will pay up to $4,000 in expenses for each of the student-athletes who compete in the men’s and women’s basketball championship games. The College Football Playoff may provide up to $3,000 in travel expenses for families of each competing student-athlete.
Although the NCAA has attempted to maintain the facade of amateurism, it is slowly making financial concessions to the players. Helping players’ family members with travel expenses is certainly a positive development, but it appears overly paternalistic. If players are entitled to compensation for their work on the football field and basketball court, why should the NCAA decide how to spend their compensation? Perhaps the players should receive a stipend to use as they see fit.