Well, with COA and unlimited food budgets, college athletic departments are off to the races providing their student-athletes with sensible financial support.
Schulz added that “there was a little bit of trust involved” in making the changes. Using the introduction of unlimited meals and snacks as an example, he said schools had to ignore worries that “if we let everybody do that, maybe somebody’s going fly lobsters from Maine every evening for their football team. At some point, you’ve got to say, ‘If people are going to do that, they’re going to do that and let’s not worry about it.’ ”
But worries are being raised. Within the broader higher-education community, there is concern about pressure being put on financial aid officers, whose decisions about schools’ cost-of-attendance figures can impact student debt levels…
Noooo. That can’t be happening, can it? Oh, yes, it can.
SEC schools are additionally working through a set of reporting requirements designed to bring transparency to their cost-of-attendance calculations. At the NCAA convention in January, the SEC proposed that these rules apply to all NCAA schools, but it was voted down. In May, the conference’s schools adopted them anyway.
They begin from the principle that cost of attendance for all students is supposed to be based on budgets determined under federal guidelines by financial aid office staffers, who also have the authority to use what the U.S. Department of Education terms “professional judgment” to provide upward variances on a case-by-case basis.
By July 15 each year, SEC schools must provide the conference office with their cost-of-attendance figures and methodology, as well as certification from their campus CEO and senior financial aid officer that both have reviewed and approved the report.
Then, at the end of each term, they have to submit information to the SEC about each student who has been granted an individual increase in their cost-of-attendance budget based on “professional judgment.”
Justin Draeger, the president and CEO of National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, said he is “disappointed that has not been adopted among all the institutions. Transparency is integral to this going forward.”
Justin, are you kidding? This is the SEC we’re talking about.
Draeger said he doesn’t have any evidence of an athletics department manipulating cost-of-attendance numbers or pressuring a financial aid office to do the same.
What he does have is “an enormous amount of newly found interest in how schools come up with their cost of attendance,” he said, “and it’s not just coming from the athletic department. It’s coming from the board or trustees or the president’s office in relation to how their cost of attendance compares to (those of) other schools within their conference.
“So I think it’s too soon to tell whether pressure ultimately will be brought to bear.”
Oh, they’re interested alright. But you’re going to be disappointed when you find out what kind of pressure those folks are bringing.
The irony of people fretting about what an 18-year old kid is going to spend his stipend on while colleges breezily manipulate data allowing them to spend more and more millions on sports shouldn’t escape anyone’s attention. But, who am I kidding here?
“Hey, stop him – he’s about to waste $400 bucks on an Xbox!”
8 responses to “Amateurs at amateurism”
Justin Draeger thinks athletic departments and bog football donors shouldn’t affect COA figures. Isn’t that cute.
bog = big. Oops.
“They have to submit information to the SEC about each student who has been granted an individual increase in their cost-of-attendance budget based on “professional judgment.”
Wow. The inflated COA’s are only a floor to what schools can now pay players legally above the table.
All certain SEC schools have to do is send a contrived reason for individual increases to one of their friends in Birmingham and it’s all Gucci.
The non-SEC schools don’t even have to do that.
Yes, “professional judgement” is the appropriate term.
First they came for the rock lobster
Then they came for the Xbox
They’re just living in their own private Idaho.
Senator, don’t ya know that if you give a young man a pocketful of money, he’s prone to make bad decisions? I’m so concerned about the well being of a person whose situation I know next to nothing about that I know better how to spend that money / distribute it to him. Won’t somebody PLEASE think of the children here?
Nevermind the fact that how a man chooses to spend his money isn’t any of my damn business anyways.
/I really need a sarcasm font
AD, well done, sir. I could care less about how the student-athlete spends his or her stipend. I want transparency from the institutions as to how the numbers are determined.
“The irony of people fretting about what an 18-year old kid is going to spend his stipend on while colleges breezily manipulate data allowing them to spend more and more millions on sports shouldn’t escape anyone’s attention. But, who am I kidding here?”
It’s distressing. If the general student population can borrow more, what’s stopping the schools from raising student athletic fees as a way to pay for COA for student athletes? Just sweep it into their student loans and carry on. So distressing.