Mike Slive’s last official act of courage:
But the SEC essentially told the coaches that there was nothing the SEC could do. The cost-of-attendance is determined by each school’s financial aid office, separate from athletics, and messing with the formula could run afoul of the Ed O’Bannon ruling.
Mike Slive, the outgoing SEC commissioner, said it was a short discussion.
“We understand that there are really compelling concern about how it affects recruiting. But we just tried to explain to them that this is something that … The judge in O’Bannon indicated that we were going to follow the federal rules, and it’s a financial aid issue, it’s not an athletic issue. It’s run by the financial aid office,” Slive said.
In other words, it’s Judge Wilken’s world, and he’s just living in it.
Here’s the thing: he’s only half right, at best. O’Bannon said the NCAA could cap the amount of new compensation that Division I men’s basketball and football players receive when in school, but that cap will not be allowed to be an amount that is less than the athletes’ cost of attending school.
That’s a floor, not a ceiling. But, of course, that’s small consolation to those schools in the conference that don’t want to jack up their COAs to run with Auburn and Tennessee. And nobody’s going to touch player compensation outside of a COA stipend right now.
So that leaves things right where they’ve been. We’ll have empirical data in a few years to see what sort of impact the disparity has on real world recruiting. My bet is that if it turns out to have a serious effect, they’ll revisit the concept of player compensation. It’s not like they won’t be able to afford it.