I’m not sure if any issue exposes the have/have-not fault line in D-1 athletics more than this issue does right now.
In the coming months, the NCAA will seek feedback on a topic that divides opinions based upon wealth and could eventually change how the association is governed. These three options have been floated for consideration:
* Let schools provide up to $2,000 in additional aid without financial need as a requirement. Athletes on partial scholarships could be limited to a proportional amount of the stipend, such as $500 for an athlete on a 25-percent scholarship.
* Require athletes to demonstrate a need for the stipend by applying through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
* Allow schools to use their Student-Athlete Opportunity Funds for the optional stipend.
NCAA Division I Vice President David Berst said there is no clear leader among the options and other ideas are welcome before a recommendation goes to the board in August or October.
If the membership is that split, there’s nothing coming. And that’s just more fuel for the fire for an upcoming break in D-1. Really, if you think about it, this is something that probably drives that future no matter how it gets settled, because there’s a block of schools which can afford to pay it and want to and another block that can’t, regardless of intent. Maybe they just ought to get this over.