CHICAGO — Jim Delany joins his counterparts in believing that today’s vote authorizing the creation of a new structure of governance for the NCAA will pass.
The commissioner of the Big Ten believes that the 351 schools that make up Division I in the NCAA will grant schools in the so-called “power five" conferences the autonomy it seeks to make some of its own rules.
Delany said passage is necessary for institutions in the Big Ten, Big 12, Southeastern, Pac-12 and Atlantic Coast conferences to provide to “student-athletes in the 21st century.’’
“I would be very surprised if it doesn’t pass,’’ Delany said at the recent Big Ten kickoff. “If it doesn’t, I don’t know what we would do, except have some conversations in each of our conferences, huddle and see what the next steps would be.’’
At the top of the list of priorities for the group is an idea Delany and Big Ten members have long supported, providing full cost of attendance to student-athletes. That would mean paying the difference between what a scholarship covers and what it actually costs an individual to attend school per year.
Iowa director of athletics Gary Barta supports much of what is being talked about in areas of assisting student-athletes.
He likes the notion of creating educational trust funds which would allow student-athletes who leave college without a degree with the chance to return at any point in their lives and complete their degree work.
He also points out that some of what is being discussed already happens on the Iowa campus.
“We already take care of the medical bills our student-athletes have for two years after they are done competing,’’ Barta said. “That is just the way we have operated. A lot of what is being talked about are ideas that we support.’’
Barta said Iowa officials have not yet been able to put a dollar figure on what providing the full cost of attendance would cost Iowa although he said it likely falls within a ballpark figure of $2,500-5,000 per athlete that other Big Ten administrators have talked about.
“Until we know exactly what that entails, it’s difficult to put a cost on it,’’ Barta said. “We do know that it would come from athletic department dollars. Our budget right now is $85 million and as long as we have a couple of years to plan for it, we will be able to fit whatever it costs into our five- and 10-year budget projections.’’