Back in late May following the conference’s annual meetings, it had been reported that the Big East would require its programs to give cost of attendance stipends to its men’s and women’s basketball scholarship athletes (each school can determine what amount is suitable for its athletes). Of course with tuition and fees for each school being different, it remained to be seen just how much athletes at each school would receive.
In the case of Seton Hall, it’s men’s and women’s basketball scholarship athletes will receive $2,600 according to Asbury Park Press. Athletes will receive the money in the form of two checks per semester according to the report, which also noted that other sports could be in line to receive a stipend down the road (that’s being evaluated by athletics director Pat Lyons).
Lyons said he hasn’t heard any recruiting concerns from his coaches who lack the stipends, but he’s keeping an ear out. With just 14 sports and 230 student-athletes, he said, Seton Hall is in a position to ramp up quickly if needed.
“For us to be able to do the cost-of-attendance across the board, it’s not going to be as heavy of a lift as schools that have 25, 26 sports,” Lyons said. “We’re in a good position to adapt to what the market says. The majority of schools haven’t enacted cost of attendance for all programs yet. Schools are being cautious because don’t know what’s going to happen down the road with football five autonomy.”
How much schools will give their scholarship athletes, and which athletes will receive the stipends, is something that’s been the focus of debate on the topic in recent months. For those who want a uniform policy there are concerns regarding how the stipends will impact recruiting, but on the flip side there’s also the need to acknowledge that different schools have different costs that need to be covered.
How programs go about addressing the possibility of giving their athletes is something to keep an eye on, especially when considering the current gap between schools that sponsor major college football programs and those who don’t. In the case of the Big East, the conference does have its television contract with Fox that runs 12 years (beginning in 2013) and was reported to approach $500 million for the length of the contract.
That’s more that any other league that doesn’t sponsor FBS college football, but is it enough to keep up with the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC over the long haul? That question won’t be answered definitively for quite some time, but the members will do their best to avoid having the stipend issue used against their coaches in recruiting.