Meyer Reacts To Playoff Parent Stipend

Ohio State was happy to learn Tuesday afternoon that the College Football Playoff announced it will provide reimbursement to parents traveling to the National Championship to be held next week, something head coach Urban Meyer and AD Gene Smith have pushed for.

One of the hot button issues surrounding the College Football Playoff has been the exorbitant cost of player family travel, with Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer and athletics director Gene Smith pushing to extend benefits to make sure parents can see their sons play in the inaugural event.

Meyer spoke about the issue at his postgame press conference after the Sugar Bowl win, and Smith announced Saturday he would push to create NCAA legislation to free up money to help parents as part of the lucrative new playoff.

Tuesday, the playoff heard, announcing that it would provide a $1,250 travel reimbursement per parent starting with this year's title game in Dallas.

“We know how expensive travel can be, so we’re pleased to provide assistance to parents or guardians who want to see their sons play in the first College Football Playoff National Championship,” said Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff. “It will make the game even more special for the student-athletes to know that their family members are receiving this benefit.”

The news excited Meyer, who was presented with the information during his Tuesday press conference.

"I'm fired up," he said. "That made my day."

When told of the news, Ohio State starting safety Tyvis Powell bowed his head and smiled.

"Thank God for that," he said. "That's a blessing right there.

Ohio State had already found a way to provide $800 in reimbursement to families through the NCAA student opportunity fund -- something it had done for the men's basketball team when it reached the Final Four in 2012 and for the women's volleyball team this year when it advanced to the Sweet 16.

Earlier in the day, Smith said he was going to push for the increased stipends through NCAA legislation. The plan was to talk to the other athletics directors involved in the playoff and then put together a piece of legislation that could be viewed by NCAA schools in April and voted on in October to put it in place before next year's playoff.

"The dollars are there so we should definitely do it," Smith said.

Now, though, it's clear his call was heard loud and clear by NCAA higher-ups. Also on Tuesday, the NCAA announced it would provide up to $3,000 for families that travel to the men's and women's Final Four events and up to $4,000 that reach the basketball finals in each gender, while also approving the CFP stipend for up to $3,000.

“Championship experiences like the Final Four create memories of a lifetime for student-athletes, and we want to make sure their families are there to support and celebrate with them,” said NCAA President Mark Emmert.

“From multiyear scholarships to opportunities to return to school and complete their degree on scholarship, we have been dedicated to further improving the student-athlete experience since our presidential retreat in August 2011,” Emmert added. “Providing travel expenses for student-athletes’ families is another example of this progress.”

Smith said he first heard from the NCAA about the potential for the plan yesterday and said the public outcry had been immense when it came to affecting change.

"It wouldn’t happen without that and the collective efforts because we weren’t the only ones talking about it, Oregon was talking about it as well," he said. "So it was the aggregate of all the conversations and really the NCAA national office hearing us. I imagine they were sitting in a room talking about how could we make this work and they came up with a strategy.”


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See what Ohio State fans are saying here

\r\n\r\n","mobileBody":"One of the hot button issues surrounding the College Football Playoff has been the exorbitant cost of player family travel, with Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer and athletics director Gene Smith pushing to extend benefits to make sure parents can see their sons play in the inaugural event.

Meyer spoke about the issue at his postgame press conference after the Sugar Bowl win, and Smith announced Saturday he would push to create NCAA legislation to free up money to help parents as part of the lucrative new playoff.

Tuesday, the playoff heard, announcing that it would provide a $1,250 travel reimbursement per parent starting with this year's title game in Dallas.

“We know how expensive travel can be, so we’re pleased to provide assistance to parents or guardians who want to see their sons play in the first College Football Playoff National Championship,” said Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff. “It will make the game even more special for the student-athletes to know that their family members are receiving this benefit.”

The news excited Meyer, who was presented with the information during his Tuesday press conference.

\"I'm fired up,\" he said. \"That made my day.\"

[MEDIA:1460291]

When told of the news, Ohio State starting safety Tyvis Powell bowed his head and smiled.

\"Thank God for that,\" he said. \"That's a blessing right there.

Ohio State had already found a way to provide $800 in reimbursement to families through the NCAA student opportunity fund -- something it had done for the men's basketball team when it reached the Final Four in 2012 and for the women's volleyball team this year when it advanced to the Sweet 16.

Earlier in the day, Smith said he was going to push for the increased stipends through NCAA legislation. The plan was to talk to the other athletics directors involved in the playoff and then put together a piece of legislation that could be viewed by NCAA schools in April and voted on in October to put it in place before next year's playoff.

\"The dollars are there so we should definitely do it,\" Smith said.

Now, though, it's clear his call was heard loud and clear by NCAA higher-ups. Also on Tuesday, the NCAA announced it would provide up to $3,000 for families that travel to the men's and women's Final Four events and up to $4,000 that reach the basketball finals in each gender, while also approving the CFP stipend for up to $3,000.

“Championship experiences like the Final Four create memories of a lifetime for student-athletes, and we want to make sure their families are there to support and celebrate with them,” said NCAA President Mark Emmert.

“From multiyear scholarships to opportunities to return to school and complete their degree on scholarship, we have been dedicated to further improving the student-athlete experience since our presidential retreat in August 2011,” Emmert added. “Providing travel expenses for student-athletes’ families is another example of this progress.”

Smith said he first heard from the NCAA about the potential for the plan yesterday and said the public outcry had been immense when it came to affecting change.

\"It wouldn’t happen without that and the collective efforts because we weren’t the only ones talking about it, Oregon was talking about it as well,\" he said. \"So it was the aggregate of all the conversations and really the NCAA national office hearing us. I imagine they were sitting in a room talking about how could we make this work and they came up with a strategy.”

What other college coach would stand up for his players families on a big stage? Thanks Urban for having our backs &supporting our efforts.

— Annie Apple (@SurvivinAmerica) January 6, 2015

See what Ohio State fans are saying here

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