Per The Chronicle Of Higher Education,
The University of Tennessee and four other major-college athletics departments are set to offer players an additional $5,000 or more in scholarship assistance starting this fall, according to a Chronicle analysis of financial-aid allowances at the 65 wealthiest NCAA institutions. Ten other athletics programs have plans to distribute at least $4,000 more in aid.
Three of the four programs that will pay players $5000+ are from the SEC:
- Tennessee ($5,666)
- Auburn ($5,586)
- Mississippi State ($5,126)
Seven of the top twenty schools are from the SEC. Georgia, you probably won’t be shocked to learn, isn’t one of those. In fact, the Dawgs, at $2,598, will offer less additional assistance than any school in the conference outside of Kentucky.
This should make for an interesting time on the recruiting trail. And before you go where it’s obvious, consider this:
Elite private institutions sometimes underestimate students’ personal expenses in their published cost of attendance as a way of limiting the sticker shock that can accompany their tuition bills.
Last week, before the final rounds of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, in Indianapolis, athletics officials from several programs told The Chronicle that they have had conversations with campus admissions and financial-aid officials about raising their institutions’ cost-of-attendance figures.
Having a higher number means they would have more money to offer players, which can be crucial in recruiting. Some recruits have already mentioned cost-of-attendance differences as being a factor in their decisions.
Colleges are given great latitude in calculating the numbers. But at least one athletics official said that it would be difficult to persuade the admissions office to increase the university’s cost-of-attendance allowance, even if it would benefit the athletics department.
“If we’re talking about a few-hundred athletes versus 5,000 or 10,000 incoming students, who do you think is going to win that battle?” said the official, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the discussions. “The admissions department is going to put their number up there because they’re marketing the school.”
I give Jeremy Pruitt one offseason before he starts yelling about this.