There are times when it’s hard to imagine an organization with its head farther up its ass than the NCAA’s. There is obviously a major fight going on over the implementation of Emmert’s pet $2000 athlete stipend – off-again, on-again, unless five-eights of all D-1 schools vote to override it – which boils down to the have schools imposing their way on the have-nots.
And yet there are some who would insist that the goal is more noble, like California athletic director Sandy Barbour.
“I stand in support of a delay in implementation and an extended effective date. Those of us in support are doing it because it’s the right thing to do for our student-athletes. Let’s get it right. A delay may draw criticism, but that criticism will be even deeper and longer-lasting if we do not get it right.”
Some dude named Ed Ray dittos that.
“We’ve talked about wanting to move in an expedited way and we all understand that when you try to create systematic change quickly, you can make mistakes,” he said. “I think the question constantly is — Who bares the risk of getting it wrong?
“You have to make sure you step back and be comfortable with what’s being proposed before you go forward with it.”
Meanwhile, here’s the reality of what these geniuses have put together so far.
Mid- and lower-echelon Division I schools objected to the financial burden they said the payments would bring. Others raised gender-equity concerns; there generally are more men’s than women’s athletes on full scholarship because of football’s larger rosters.
There were enough formal objections, from 160 schools, to suspend the measure until the board of directors restudied it.
That suspension didn’t come until December. The NCAA has said that some 1,000 prospects who signed letters-of-intent in November – most of them in football and basketball – can get the additional money if it were promised to them.
Those signing in February and April cannot.
These folks make Congress look sharp.