"A Little Pocket Money" Goes a Long Way

The word autonomy isn’t one that’s used every day. What does it mean? To put it into context, the Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12, ACC, and SEC now have somewhat free range in the NCAA. These powerful five conferences can now vote and implement independent regulations. Discover how this governing concept will influence football teams across the nation.

Coach Spurrier was asked about the NCAA autonomy vote during practice last week. The Old Ball Coach has been somewhat of a supporter of benefits for players for quite some time and has been noted on his comments made in the past. Last week, he explained his current stance on the subject.

“The players should share in (the money) just a little bit. I’m not talking about paying them $100,000 a year. We’re not paying them. We’re trying to give them a little pocket money and giving their parents some money to go back and forth to ball games. I don’t think that’s asking too much. Hopefully someday that will happen,” Spurrier said.

The Power Five conferences now account for 37.5 percent of the voting power in the NCAA, according to newsok.com. On Thursday, the NCAA Board of Governors’ formal approval was stamped on the new ideal, giving power to the strong.

Merriam-Webster’s definition of autonomy is the quality or state of being self-governing. The Power Five will be given the power to pass its own legislation, but those rules will be given to smaller schools as well.

It does not permit universities to pay athletes, but with this new freedom, the 65 schools have noted they intend to provide more benefits to student-athletes. In all reality, the bigger schools now have range to pursue endeavors they have been wanting to for quite some time that will assist athletic programs.

This will allow for conferences to offer more than just a scholarship. Full cost of attendance, with things like food, clothing, and occasional trips could be a new factor. This means bringing somewhat of a stipend into the picture for athletes. Also, agents and athletes will be able to receive more contact, enabling things like post-season travel for families and bring in health coverage.

The reality is, money talks, and the NCAA is quickly realizing this idiom, taking heed to its word. It’s not feasible anymore for teams to cash in on college athletes like Johnny Manziel, without giving some of that success back to which it is owed.

According to Time.com, the SEC jumped 91% between 2003 and 2012 in annual football revenues for teams to almost $760 million. The new SEC Network powered by ESPN will start up this fall and be bringing even more fandom to the program.

As far as recruiting is concerned, yes these changes could very well sway decisions for athletes. Extra benefits are always a nice addition to a package. But, is it big enough to change the face of recruiting as we know it? Probably not.

GamecockPride.com will keep you updated on the new changes to the NCAA and Power Five conferences.

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