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Posted on Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 5:50 p.m.

Michigan football players say proposal to add $2,000 to NCAA Division I scholarships is 'a good idea'

By Nick Baumgardner

NCAA president Mark Emmert backed a proposal Monday to allow athletic conferences the option of giving student-athletes an additional $2,000 of scholarship money to deal with external costs of being a college student.

Currently, scholarship athletes receive money to for tuition, university fees, room, board and books. But nothing for additional living expenses.

That's something Michigan senior center David Molk says needs to change.

"If you're basing your living just off that scholarship stipend we get, you're living thin," he said. "You're living really thin and, frankly, you're living in poverty, if you consider it with the rest of America.

"So, I think (the proposal) is great."


NCAA president Mark Emmert wants the NCAA Division I Board of Directors to support a proposal to increase grants to student athletes.

Associated Press

Emmert said Monday that the proposal will be finalized this week, and he'll request support on the venture from the NCAA Division I Board of Directors.

He explained the initiative wouldn't be mandatory for anyone, but would be an option to further help student-athletes pay for life outside of their scholarship restrictions.

According to a recent article, Division I athletic scholarships do not cover parking permits, transportation, course fees for classes requiring additional fees, laundry, food or rent payments exceeding the normal "room and board" level.

Molk said he's seen plenty of players struggled to pay for additional living costs during their time on scholarship, saying some players take out loans to get through their bills, as they have virtually no time to obtain a part-time job outside of school and football.

"There's a lot of guys who come from absolutely nothing," he said. "They didn't have their parents backing them for extra expenses. They need that extra money."

Michigan senior defensive lineman Ryan Van Bergen echoed Molk's statements.

"That'd be a good idea," Van Bergen said. "College athletics is an entity that brings a lot of revenue in. I'm not an economics major or anything like that, but it'd help make guys a little more comfortable throughout college.

"We're not struggling by any means, but we are college students. We come out of here and we're not in the black. … But that's decisions that are left up to the guys in power, and when it comes down to it, I think they'll make the right decision."

In August, Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon called the idea of outwardly paying student-athletes for their contributions on the playing field "absurd," explaining that the average student-athlete has no commerciality.

However, Brandon said the idea of allowing an additional cost of living stipend, something similar to the proposal Emmert is backing, seems "fair."

Nick Baumgardner covers Michigan sports for He can be reached at 734-623-2514, by email at and followed on Twitter @nickbaumgardner.


jeff blue

Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 8:24 p.m.

This is kind of stupid -- everyone wants $2000. I would like to have $2000 more too.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 11:07 a.m.

This is an interesting idea, but I still come back to the notion that all families and students must face when going to college, where costs overwhelm the cash inflow. Why can't the athletes get help from their families or get loans, similar to the rest of the student body? The argument about how much money the university makes is important, as I think there is such a commercial cash influx that the student athletes get no part of, but it is part of the deal. If the student athlete does not like it, don't participate. Don't accept a scholarship and walk on, paying your own way. Go to div III schools without scholarships. I don't know if there is a way to fix it now, because of the amount of money in the entire system, but why does nobody look at loans? These athletes come out of college without debt, and with professional training, which is more than the rest of the student body can say. Why is that not important?


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 7:08 a.m.

Maybe the extra money is a good idea. Perhaps an even better idea would be to offer (or require) athletes to take a money management class so that they can learn how to live within their means. I would support the extra $2000 if it came with a mandatory class like this (but maybe they wouldn't need that extra money if they had the class :D). Back when I was in college, some of my athlete friends only bought full price groceries until I went shopping with them and showed them how I saved money by using coupons or shopping for sale items. Other friends who were athletes already did this, and they were able to live on the money that the university gave them. Groceries are just one example, but I can think of lots of things that could go into a class like that.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 5:35 a.m.

This is college sports and not the pros. That will be legalizing the Terrell Pryor mentality of pay me money to play QB attitude for more tatoos etc. Attending fine Universities to earn degrees for free is enough priviledge for college player considering a non player or non scholar pays huge amounts to attend. After the NCAA, then that is the time for dough.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 5:15 a.m.

All good comments. If a kid is a great athlete or student and is offered a scholarship to a school across the country but can't afford to come home for the holidays then he/she should go to a school closer to home. Eventually, shcools will have to decide to pay athletes or faculty. It will be the beginning of the end of college athletics.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 1:53 a.m.

As I sit here staring into the black hole of spending $500,000 or more to send my two kids to a good college, I have to say that I find this proposal insulting and utterly ridiculous. Hey football players, it's college- you're supposed to be broke, eat copious amounts of top ramen and mac-n-cheese and drink cheap beer (once you're over 21). If you don't like it, go do something else. Washington state is in desperate need of fruit pickers. I just don't see how this is an issue that is getting any sort of conversation at all.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 1:14 a.m.

I'm all for paying athletes, as long as they recoup this extra money from them when they are done with school and working. It is called a student loan.


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : midnight

"Michigan football players say proposal to add $2,000 to NCAA Division I scholarships is 'a good idea'' 2011 Michigan football players say proposal to add $4,000 to NCAA Division I scholarships is 'a better idea' 2016 Michigan football players say proposal to add $8,000 to NCAA Division I scholarships is 'a great idea' 2021 Michigan football players have taken a strike vote and will walk out prior to UMs opening game with Appalachian State. They are demanding revenue sharing on a 45/55 basis, although the percentages are not "cast in stone" according to Virg Bernero, lead negotiator for the players union. Representatives for the B1G have threatened a lockout that could last through Sept., since "Nobody wants to see those lame games anyway". Officials for Notre Dame are leading the lockout proposal. A leaked memo from "" called the cancellation of all Sept games a key strategy in NDs bid for an unbeaten season, since October is when they get to play all the service academies. 2026

Macabre Sunset

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 10:30 p.m.

It's probably fair, but it could have an impact at schools with smaller budgets. Let's say you have 500 full scholarship athletes. That's a million more you need to add to your scholarship fund. I would imagine this would take away a few more sports at most schools if it were mandatory. And probably a few hundred more kids who wouldn't get a chance for a full scholarship. I would imagine if it's optional, only a few schools will take advantage of that option.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Mon, Oct 24, 2011 : 10:25 p.m.

"In August, Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon called the idea of outwardly paying student-athletes for their contributions on the playing field "absurd," explaining that the average student-athlete has no commerciality." All of the money that the U takes in on the backs of its football players notwithstanding. Good Night and Good Luck


Tue, Oct 25, 2011 : 1:03 p.m.

I think Brandon makes a distinction between paying a stipend for living expenses, which he has publicly supported, and paying a salary.