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NCAA Rearranges Deck Chairs

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This has me thinking that the NCAA is worried about something:

NCAA President Mark Emmert says he supports a proposal to allow conferences to increase grants to student athletes by $2,000, “to more closely approach” the full cost of attending college, beyond the athletic scholarships athletes receive for tuition, fees, room, board and books.

Emmert told the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics on Monday that the proposal will be finalized this week and he’ll ask the NCAA Division I Board of Directors to support it. He noted that student athletes have limited opportunities to work outside the classroom and playing fields, and that the current model of athletic scholarship hasn’t changed for 40 years.

Emmert says he’ll also ask the board to allow colleges and universities to provide multiyear grants, instead of year-to-year scholarships.

Definitely an improvement in terms of sustainability of the model and in making the lives of student athletes marginally easier. In terms of enhancing the overall fairness of the system, not very significant. I suspect that this is a gambit on the part of the NCAA to ward off the emerging critique of college athletics, which it appears to regard as dangerous.

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