The NCAA's Board of Directors passed five major reform initiatives last week in Indianapolis, including allowing schools to supply some athletes with up to $2,000 per year in living expenses.
PULLMAN — The NCAA’s Board of Directors passed five major reform initiatives last week in Indianapolis, including allowing schools to supply some athletes with up to $2,000 per year in living expenses.
The far-reaching changes will affect each of the NCAA’s member schools, including Washington State.
Each conference has the option of adding up to $2,000 per scholarship toward the full cost of attendance, or money beyond that supplied to cover tuition, room and board, books and fees.
“I’m confident the (Pac-12) conference will pass that, because we don’t want to put ourselves in a position of a recruiting disadvantage,” WSU athletic director Bill Moos said. “And I think there is a genuine feeling amongst the group that it’s good legislation.”
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At WSU, that cost of attendance number is $1,710, covering such items as travel and other miscellaneous items, according to Steve Robertello, the Cougars’ assistant athletic director who oversees the NCAA compliance department.
“With some of the disparity among schools, they didn’t want to have a Washington State, which is at $1,710, and another institution is at $4,000 and that difference becomes a significant recruiting advantage,” Robertello said.
The money is only available to full-scholarship athletes, of which WSU has some 160 spread around football, men’s and women’s basketball, women’s rowing, volleyball and other sports. Students with partial scholarships, which are common in such sports as baseball and track, are not eligible.
Moos believes the Pac-12 will adopt the financial-aid supplement soon, possibly as early as next week. He also sees the lower cost of attendance number as an advantage.
“Take for example the cost of attendance in L.A. may be $4,000 and yet they can only go to $2,000,” he said. “We’ll sell it that, hey, we’re covering the full cost of attendance in Pullman, Washington.
“And you’ll see that $1,710 number inch up toward the $2,000 with time.”
Moos also sees this rule create a greater divide between BCS and non-BCS schools.
“You’re going to see the BCS conferences, in my opinion, all adopt this,” he said. “Then you’ll have the other conferences feel if they’re going to compete … they’ll have to have the same benefit.”