IU, Big Ten talk scholarship costs

Both the Big Ten and Indiana Wednesday released statements regarding proposals that involve the cost of an athletic scholarship. Read on to find out more.

The Big Ten put out a statement today regarding initial recommendations to the NCAA to provide “enhanced benefits for student-athletes” in all Big Ten institutions. Later in the day, Indiana put out a statement that breaks down exactly the benefit of a four-year athletic scholarship.

First, here is the Big Ten statement.

ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten Conference announced today that it has notified the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) of initial recommendations designed to provide enhanced benefits for student-athletes that are members in good standing with their individual universities as part of the NCAA’s new autonomy governance structure.

For the past two years, the conference has publicly stated its desire to continue providing student-athletes with an unmatched educational and athletic experience, including comments made by Commissioner James E. Delany at the July 2013 Big Ten Football Media Days (attached as PDF), at the Collegiate Commissioners Association meeting on September 25, 2013 (PDF), at the July 2014 Big Ten Football Media Days (PDF), and in statements issued by the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors on June 1, 2014 (PDF) and June 24, 2014 (PDF).

The Big Ten will work to implement the following proposals through individual institutional action, conference-wide action or under the NCAA autonomy governance structure:

Cost of Education: Redefine full grant-in-aid to meet a student-athlete’s cost of education, as determined by the federal government.

Multi-Year Scholarships: Guarantee all scholarships. If a student-athlete is no longer able to compete, for whatever reason, there should be no impact on institutions’ commitment to deliver an undergraduate education.

Lifetime Educational Commitment: Ensure that scholarships are available for life. If a student-athlete leaves a university for a professional career before graduating, whether the career materializes, and regardless of its length, the scholarship will be honored after his or her playing days are complete.

Medical Insurance: Provide improved, consistent medical insurance for student-athletes.

The Big Ten has also agreed to address additional student-athlete welfare issues including, but not limited to, health and safety, time demands and comprehensive academic support by way of a “Resolution” that creates a specific pathway and timeline for implementation.

The Big Ten Conference is an association of 14 world-class universities committed to the pursuit and attainment of athletic and academic excellence. Big Ten institutions feature broad-based athletic programs which provide nearly $200 million in direct financial aid to almost 9,500 student-athletes on 350 teams in 42 different sports.

We look forward to working with the ACC, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC through the NCAA autonomy governance structure toward adoption and implementation of these proposals.

Later in the day, IU put out a statement that included some interesting numbers about the total cost of an education.

Here is Indiana’s statement:

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana University Vice President and Director of Athletics Fred Glass recently unveiled the nation’s first ever Student-Athlete Bill of Rights, demonstrating Indiana University’s commitment to its student-athletes. IU Athletics has now completed an exercise to quantify the total value of a full four-year scholarship, including certain services and goods over and above traditional tuition, fees, book, room and board.

“What seems to have been lost in the public debate about whether student-athletes should be paid above the cost of attending college is an understanding of the true value of an athletics scholarship and the college degree it makes possible,” said Glass. “We conservatively estimate that the four year total value of a full IU athletics scholarship to an out of state student-athlete is nearly a quarter of a million dollars. Moreover, recent studies show that college graduates will earn nearly twice as much as those who don’t have degrees and that the gap is widening.”

For an out of state student-athlete, the four year total value of a full athletics scholarship is estimated to be $240,274. For an in-state student-athlete, that estimate is $135,766.

These total estimates include direct value, such as tuition and fees, room and board, and books. They also include indirect value from goods and services sometimes not thought of when considering the full value of a scholarship.

The annual value of those “indirect” items includes $1,775 for academic services such as advisors, tutors, and learning specialists; $952 for food and nutrition over and above that provided as part of the student-athletes “board”; $810 for medical services over and above those associated with treating an athletics related injury; $446 for leadership and life skills training; $680 ($2,075 out-of-state) for summer school, 5th year aid and other extended aid access; $1,550 for computer labs and other technology; and $1,373 for apparel and gear.

Not included in the calculation of indirect value are the following expenditures even though they also benefit student-athletes: team travel; medical treatment for an athletics related injury; athletics department administration; strength and conditioning training; coaches salaries; facility construction financing and maintenance; and equipment. While these expenditures also benefit the student-athlete, in an effort to err on the conservative side of the overall value calculation they were not included because they are related primarily to the student-athlete’s role as an athlete rather than as a student.

At Indiana University, all monies associated with the operation of the department, including athletics scholarships, are generated by the department itself without any special university subsidy, taxpayer money or student fees.

The IU Athletic Department, through its “Varsity Club”, annually raises the funds to cover the costs of athletic scholarships. Last year alone the Varsity Club raised over $16 million to fund student-athlete scholarships, money that goes right back to the university to fund the educations of our student-athletes.

What these student-athletes gain from the availability of a college education due to an athletics scholarship is a leg up on the competition. According to U.S. News and World Report, college graduates will earn about $1 million more in their lifetime than persons who have a high school degree.

According to the Economic Policy Institute as reported by the New York Times, Americans with college degrees made nearly 100% more an hour on average in 2013 than people without a degree, up from 89% five years earlier, 85% a decade earlier, and 64% in the early 1980’s.

Athletic scholarships, next to the G.I. Bill, are the second largest single source of college scholarships in the U.S. More than 150,000 student-athletes receive $2.7 billion in athletic scholarships each year from NCAA member colleges and universities.


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