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Big Ten proposes new student-athlete benefits to NCAA

The Big Ten conference has submitted a set of recommendations to the NCAA — including redefining the cost of education and providing improved medical insurance — that it says would improve the college experience for student-athletes who are in “good-standing” with their respective universities.

The release is in response to the NCAA’s new autonomy structure that was announced in August which allows the Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, Pacific 12 and Southeastern conferences to make their own rules concerning scholarships, full cost of attendance and health care for student-athletes.

The release by the Big Ten listed four main suggestions its made to the NCAA including

  • Cost of education: Make sure full grant-in-aid meets a student-athlete’s cost of education, as determined by the federal government.
  • Multi-years Scholarships: Guarantee all scholarships so even if a student-athlete is no longer able to compete, there won’t be an impact on a university’s commitment to provide an undergraduate education — no matter what the reason is that student can’t compete.
  • Lifetime educational commitment: Ensure that scholarships don’t have an expiration date, so if a student-athlete leaves a university for a professional career before graduating — whether the career materializes, and regardless of its length — the scholarship will be honored after his or her playing days are complete.
  • Medical insurance: Provide improved and consistent insurance for student-athletes.

The release added that Big Ten athletic programs provide almost $200 million in direct financial aid to student-athletes on 350 teams in 42 separate sports.

One comment

  1. This would further the divide between the two classes of students — the scholarship athletes and the tuition-paying students. And why would the schools want to do this? Already the competition for athletic scholarships is tremendous, meaning the schools don’t need to entice more high school kids to try for the existing scholarships. Are there currently scholarship-holding athletes who are dropping out because their financial arrangements aren’t generous enough?

    This issue should really be market driven, which would argue for no further benefits for the athletes.

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