SBD/June 15, 2011/Colleges

Larry Scott Advocates For Paying All Pac-12 Athletes' Cost Of Attendance

Scott estimates Pac-12 athletes' living expenses at $2,000-4,000 per year
Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott is seeking an "increase in scholarship money for every varsity athlete on a Pac-12 campus," according to John Henderson of the DENVER POST. Scott "broached the topic with Pac-12 athletic directors at their recent conference meetings," and he said that the "shortfall between the amount of an athletic scholarship and actual living expenses -- termed 'cost of attendance' -- is $2,000 to $4,000 per student per school year." Scott: "It's a question of priorities, and sometimes you have to prioritize what's right. I think this is an issue of principle. And we're going to advocate for it." Henderson notes Scott's pitch "received mixed reviews." The conference's ADs are "ecstatic about getting about $20 million a year in television revenue per school once the new TV contracts kick in, but many will need that money to soak up red ink." Meanwhile, the NCAA "must determine if the increase would be across the board or if each school would have a different increase based on cost of living in their area." If the NCAA "approved an increase in funding, each Division I conference would decide whether to do it," which "could provide an uneven playing field" between conferences. Scott said, "I don't think there is an even playing field. There's not an even playing field in TV exposure. There's not an even playing field in coaches and coaches salaries. There's not an even playing field in stadiums" (DENVER POST, 6/15).

COST OF ASCENDANCE
: The Western Athletic Conference yesterday added Seattle Univ. as a non-football member, and Commissioner Karl Benson said that the WAC "had been in touch with 10 to 12 football playing schools, including schools from the FCS, but that the economy halted some of those schools from making the jump to the FBS." Benson: "We will continue to look at both FCS and FBS schools and could have another member by this time next year, or possibly sooner" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 6/15). In San Antonio, Dan McCarney notes Utah Valley Univ. and Cal State Bakersfield "had been interested in joining the WAC as non-football members." Benson said that an "ideal model for future membership could be 12 schools, with nine for football, split into two divisions" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 6/15).
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