COA impact so far? “Not at all.”

Eh, except where it might be.

“Kids and parents and high school coaches and AAU coaches are very aware of what cost of attendance is about and they want to know the number,” says NIU men’s basketball coach Mark Montgomery.

“It’s already a recruiting topic,’ adds [Northern Illinois Football Coach Rod] Carey. “It’s not as big of one as it will become because schools are still figuring out how much and how they’re doing it. Once that has a year to go through, and then you’re going to have comparables. Then yea, oh yea, it’s going to be a recruiting topic.”

No shit, Sherlock.

We’re still in the feeling out stage, but I have a hard time believing that Auburn and Tennessee aren’t pimping out their stipend advantage on the recruiting trail.  And why not?  That’s what it’s there for.  If it were me, I’d be pushing it hard.  It’s not like there’s a downside to doing so.

Now do I think it’s decisive in every kid’s case?  Of course not.  For some, the difference in the amount of the stipend at schools may not be enough to overcome things like playing time, state pride or the perceived quality of a particular program.  But for a recruit facing an all-other-things-being-equal choice, yeah, I suppose a couple of extra thousand dollars a year could be enough to swing a decision.

And as far as “Schools aren’t free to just make up a number, of course” goes… blogger, please.  Come spend some time in SEC Country and let me know how that works.

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18 Comments

Filed under Recruiting

18 responses to “COA impact so far? “Not at all.”

  1. Russ

    Hell, I’m a, ahem, middle-aged man with a nice income and a couple of thousand more per year would sway me. Of course it’s going to sway a college student, especially one where $1000 might as well be $1,000,000 if it weren’t for football.

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  2. DawgPhan

    While some fret about the horrors of how college students will spend their money, you guys should check the article about some of the business decisions that Elway has made over the years. Truly amazing in their sheer incompetence and that is someone with a Stanford degree.

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    • We all know that using your spending money on tats and rims is a much worse value proposition than dropping millions into a Ponzi scheme.

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      • DawgPhan

        My personal fave is the $15 million, not to buy a stake of the Broncos that would now be worth $300+ million, but instead to invest in the Blockbuster Video of the Laundry world.

        So hard the lulz…

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  3. Ben

    This COA thing still confuses me. How does it not adversely affect the rest of the student body? Wouldn’t that mean it affects their overall tuition and potential loan takeout? It seems to me that most people try to find a play where their dollar will go further than to a place that’s more expensive to live.

    Or am I missing something else here?

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    • That’s the most perverse part of it all to me. The COA is supposed to be a figure to help students estimate how much it will cost to attend a college. Many students and their parents use that figure to determine the amount of financial aid they need in a given year. Some students and parents are well-read and financially literate enough to know that the schools are toying with these figures to artificially inflate them so that a few star football players to come to their school. However, the vast majority will probably accept financial aid for the COA figure assuming it is legit and will have an inflated amount of student debt to repay because ‘crootin is more important to the schools.

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      • DawgPhan

        Yep the NCAA just poured gas on the student loan crisis. I just hope that the whole thing implodes before I need to send my son off to school (and have to pay for it.)

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      • Bulldog Joe

        In Tennessee and South Carolina, do the inflated COA numbers affect the per-student Hope contribution from their taxpayers?

        If so, I would expect another round of increases this year.

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        • paul

          In Georgia HOPE does not come from tax revenue. It comes from lottery revenue. No one contributes to HOPE unless they want to. HOPE pays a fixed cost based on tuition. Schools are not jacking up tuition in order to inflate cost of attendance numbers. That would be detrimental to enrollment and the bottom line. Cost of attendance figures are intended to help parents and students figure out TOTAL cost of attendance. HOPE and other scholarships and grants only cover certain costs, primarily tuition. Not everything. COA numbers are intended to help you figure out the difference, or more correctly, the out of pocket expenses. Athletic scholarships typically cover much more than HOPE or other scholarships intended to defray only tuition costs. So, by using the COA number to define an athletic stipend the athlete should be able to pocket a little spending cash since they typically don’t have as many out of pocket expenses as other scholarship students. That’s why athletic departments are pressuring financial aid departments to jack up total cost of attendance figures. The downside is that you can’t publish different numbers for athletes. When you publish a COA number of, say, $5,000 the other 95% of the student body not on athletic scholarship is likely to believe it might actually cost that much. Banks and lenders, not so much. They know better. Problem is, the banks and lenders know for a fact they WILL get paid. Student debt cannot be discharged even in bankruptcy. So yeah, they will probably lend based on the inflated numbers if you are dumb enough to ask for it. Which means it’s up to mom and dad to be smart enough to say no.

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      • paul

        Here is the truth. Our parents, or at least my parents generation, understood this truth but somehow it’s been lost. If your financial situation is such that you need to borrow the entire amount of the difference between what a scholarship covers and the total cost of attendance you aren’t ready for college yet. Take a year or two off to work and save money. Then, once you start school, keep working and take classes part time to defray costs. That way you borrow little or nothing. If you don’t have the discipline or the drive to do these things then college isn’t really for you. Pursue other opportunities. Part of being a grown up is learning to be fiscally responsible. This worked for me and pretty much most everyone I knew while I was in college. It still works today. Those who graduate with staggering debt do so because they have chosen to.

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        • 81Dog

          it’s simple economics. Tuition at state schools in Georgia has skyrocketed for years, partly, perhaps largely, due to HOPE. When the costs were covered by HOPE, it didn’t matter much to the students and parents, because they were insulated. As long as the money was rolling in, who cared? Partly, perhaps largely, due to the seemingly bottomless pockets of HOPE, administrators had no real need to restrain costs. When there are no consequences to raising prices, and no incentives to control prices, guess what invariably happens?

          So, guys like Mike Adams live like colonial pashas, easy to get loans now cover the gap between HOPE (guess what? It wasn’t bottomless after all!), and the consequences/incentives are still not very strong. But some kid with a major in tile grout studies who graduates with a useless degree and 100 grand in student loans is now shocked to find that his 10,000 a year entry level job at Hobby Lobby doesn’t allow him to live in the sumptuous manner said kid became used to at UGA (because it’s a spa now, not a college).

          I have no idea how AU or UT arrive at their COA figures, but they aren’t just scamming the NCAA, they’re scamming the feds and all the students who actually borrow money to get a degree in meth production, or moonshining, or whatever.

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          • paul

            If you have put children through college you know that tuition at state schools here in Georgia is actually one of the easiest costs to cover even without HOPE. It’s the other stuff that costs real money. Tuition has gone up for a variety of reasons but mostly because states have been steadily de-funding education for years. When I went to college at UGA, what I paid in tuition was actually about 50% of the true cost. Today, what you pay in tuition at UGA is about 75% of the true cost. So a whole lot more of your education costs are coming out of your pocket. That’s why it’s so interesting to hear politicians pretend to be shocked at the cost of education these days. Suddenly they’re all about making college more affordable. Some want to make it free. Really? Y’all are the ones who made it expensive to begin with. You know what they say, create a demand and then fill it.

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  4. @DawgPhan .Watch the 30 30 show on athletes and what they have done with their $$$. Some are truly amazing. I do admit, I really admired the one basketball player, who stated to hanger ons and would be entourages, , “It is my money, it will be invested, and go the hell away”. Said he lost some family members, but that is fine.

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  5. Cojones

    “…., I suppose a couple of extra thousand dollars a year could be enough to swing a decision.” – yeah, mighty white of you to finally admit that Senator after the warning was sounded for months before CoA became a reality and you said it wouldn’t make a difference. Guess you will gradually grudgingly admit to a lower amount after you hear a few results of what the recruits have been saying for some time.

    Some of us didn’t need your lack of foresight to come to that conclusion some time ago when you were willing to open that Pandora’s Box of cheat helper without a plan.

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  6. Bulldog Joe

    Given the cost of travel was claimed to be the primary ‘driver’ of the inflated COAs and fuel prices this year are close to half of what they were last year…

    Anyone want to predict how many COAs (outside of Georgia) will be reduced this year?

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