It looks like the concept suggested by Steve Spurrier and pushed by John Calipari won’t be going away anytime soon. At least, not in the SEC. In a Q&A with a Louisianna newspaper, SEC Commissioner stressed the importance of looking towards the future and not getting mired in the traditions of the past.
Question: I know you really wanted to start a discussion on the idea of providing players a stipend of some sort. Steve Spurrier’s proposal to pay players $300 a game from coaches’ salaries got some support in Destin, but what did you think of the idea? How long will it take for serious dialogue on a national scale?
Answer: “When coach Spurrier raised that issue, that’s something that obviously can’t be done. I’m sure the coaches knew that and I interpreted it to mean that they felt the concept of full-cost of attendance was more than what needed to be explored and that’s what I had been saying prior to the meetings. I do believe that full-cost of attendance will be a serious topic of discussion nationally and I wouldn’t be surprised if that dialogue begins sometime within the next year. When I say year, I mean academic year, on a national scale. We have encouraged that dialogue.”
Q: Do you see a future when players get some type of stipend or extra money?
A: “We’re not talking about pay-for-play or just a stipend. I think what we’re talking about is, every institution has a full-cost of attendance figure that involves dealing with the federal government in financial aid matters. The question is what is that number compared to the definition of a scholarship, room/board, tuition, fees and books, and then looking at that number versus the scholarship number and what’s the differential.
“No one has suggested that this is an easy thing to do. There’s no doubt there will be considerable dialogue for lots of different reasons but, in my mind, this is a concept whose time has come.”
Having just looked it up myself, ‘full-cost of attendance’ basically amounts to exactly what it sounds like. How much it costs to complete a full year of school at a university – this includes school fees, books, living expenses and yes, even some personal expenses. Basically, by suggesting that people should be looking at the full-cost of attendance figure and adjusting financial aid for athletes, Slive is attempting to find a middle ground between the pay-the-players and anti-payment camps. This is how national dialogues begin, with a unified compromise and starting out point. Where it goes from here, only time will tell.