Thursday, June 2, 2011

The old-school, establishment view of stipends for athletes

Penn State assistant coach Jay Paterno sounded off recently on the stipends issue (excerpted from a post by ESPN's Ted Miller):

Let me start the argument by making a proposal to parents and students alike. I am going to ask you to work no more than 20 hours a week for 21 weeks – with at least one mandatory day off every week. For another 23 weeks you'll work no more than eight hours a week. You'll get eight weeks off. (These are all NCAA-mandated time limits).

You will receive fall, spring and both summer sessions of education, plus room, board and all fees paid. For the 604 hours you put in, you'll get an education valued at $33,976 in state and $50,286 out of state (using last year's numbers from Penn State, the latest available). Keep in mind that number does not include several hundred dollars per semester for books and supplies, which are covered under the NCAA scholarship.

At those rates, the student-athlete on full scholarship to Penn State will earn $56.25 per hour if he is an in-state student and $83.25 per hour if he is an out-of-state student.

Paterno also points out that the student-athletes have additional resources:

If you and your family have financial difficulties, this scholarship also allows you to receive any Pell Grant money you are qualified for up to the federal maximum of $5,550 per year. There's also a needy student fund allowing for several hundred dollars a year to buy clothes.

The one question I'd like to put to Paterno, after a dose of sodium penathol:

Coach, do you any knowledge of illegal and extra benefits being received by any of your players at Penn State?

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