Just curious – has anyone running a college athletics department ever taken an Economics 101 course? Because I’m not getting this:
Auburn AD Jay Jacobs sent shockwaves of concern through the league last month when he told USA Today that the cost-of-attendance benefit for Auburn athletes is likely to be in the neighborhood of $6,000 per year, with an additional $1,500 if they enroll in summer school. That number is considerably higher than the one posted on the majority of SEC school’s websites – including Georgia’s – and Jacobs was not bashful about his intentions of using that as a recruiting inducement.
“Certainly having a higher number than most in the Southeastern Conference is going to be helpful (in recruiting,” Jacobs told USA Today. “Having the lowest number in the SEC could be hurtful. The way we recruit and the quality of student-athlete we want, we hope that number isn’t a deciding factor but human nature says it could be depending on the circumstances.”
UGA President Jere Morehead and AD Greg McGarity have reserved comment to date but, suffice it to say, they don’t share Jacobs’ philosophy and would like see SEC set a standard.
I’m sure they would. Just like Michael Adams wanted the SEC to use Georgia’s drug policy as a conference standard. You know how well that went over.
I understand these guys are reflexively opposed to competition when it comes to affecting the reserve fund’s bottom line. But setting a standard in this case means adopting the amount from whichever SEC school has the lowest cost of attendance, whatever that might be, because the rules don’t allow a school to pay its student-athletes more than that amount. Maybe I’m missing something here, but, assuming Jacobs is willing to abandon something he thinks is a clear advantage to Auburn, isn’t colluding in that way likely to be an open invitation to an enterprising antitrust plaintiffs attorney?