Another Bad Plan to Pay College Athletes

One South Carolina football coach has announced his support for giving college athletes stipends. The plan needs a little work. According to a piece by Edward Aschoff at ESPN:

Steve Spurrier said he proposed giving more than the $2,000 stipend the NCAA is still mulling over. He’d like to give football players and other athletes in revenue-producing sports, such as men’s basketball, “approximately $3,500 to $4,000” for the entire year to cover most college expenses.

“We as coaches believe they’re entitled to a little more than room, books, board and tuition,” Spurrier said. “Again, we as coaches would be willing to pay it if they were to approve it to where our guys could get approximately get three-, four-thousand bucks a year. It wouldn’t be that much, but enough to allow them to live like normal student-athletes.

The problem is that his proposal, according to Bryan Toporek at Education Week, is straight-up illegal.

Revenue producing sports, while rare in college athletics at all, are almost exclusively confined to men’s sports. And Title IX, the 1972 law banning sex discrimination, requires that schools, among other things, “provide athletic participation opportunities that are substantially proportionate to the student enrollment.” And there’s no way paying only male basketball and football players is going to fall within that guideline.

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Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer