When the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC were granted autonomy by the NCAA, one of the biggest changes that group strove for was to meet the full cost of attendance for scholarship athletes. With that schools outside of those leagues had a choice to make: either follow suit and hope they can keep the gap from getting too wide, or not do so and fall even further behind in the future.
Many have looked to do what they can to further compensate their athletes, with the American Athletic Conference allowing its membership to do just that. Friday the University of Memphis announced its plans for the 2015-16 academic year, with scholarship members of the men’s and women’s basketball programs in line to receive the maximum amount of $5,373.
Those on scholarship in football, volleyball and women’s tennis will receive a $3,000 stipend, and those participating in women’s equivalency (or Olympic) sports will receive “a percentage equal to their grant and aid up to $3,000.” This move leaves a number of sports, including seven men’s sports, out at present time. Per the release the school will revisit this process for the 2016-17 academic year.
The money will be dispersed in equal amounts over the course of the year.
The way in which schools deal with meeting the cost of attendance will be something to track in the coming years, with the NCAA dealing with multiple lawsuits that could change the current collegiate model as we know it. From an individual school standpoint, these measures will have an impact on recruiting and the money that can be invested in areas such as facilities and coaching salaries.