Friday, May 30, 2014

AAC Pledges Support for Full Cost of Attendance for Athletes

At last year's American Athletic Conference Media Day, commissioner Mike Aresco boldly stated: "We will not pay players."

Aresco did, however, say that he would consider stipends for student-athletes to help offset the rising costs of tuition. And it seems the AAC is even more firmly behind that idea now, at the end of its three-day annual meeting down in Florida.

This from the AAC:

The American Athletic Conference completed its Annual Meeting today after three days of sessions. Presidents, Athletic Directors, Senior Woman Administrators, Faculty Athletic Representatives, and head coaches for football and men’s and women’s basketball representing all 11 member institutions, and future football-only member Navy, were in attendance.

Following a joint session this morning with Presidents, Athletic Directors and Senior Woman Administrators, The American reinforced its support of NCAA Governance restructuring with the following statement:

“The student-athletes at our member institutions compete and succeed at the highest level and benefit from the significant investments we are making in our men’s and women’s athletic programs, including infrastructure and facilities. Our Conference enjoyed unprecedented success during our inaugural season, highlighted by UCF’s BCS Tostitos Fiesta Bowl victory and UConn’s NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships. We established ourselves as one of the premier conferences in America.

“We continue to support the NCAA governance redesign process and are committed to enhancing our student-athlete experience by embracing full cost of attendance, academic and professional support, and health and safety initiatives, among other items.

“As this process continues, we support the idea of making all autonomous legislation permissive, and we are examining the proposed areas of autonomy to determine if any are more appropriate for shared governance.

“The American continues to be supportive of governance reform and the work of the NCAA Steering Committee. We appreciate the opportunity to address issues and concerns with the Steering Committee during the comment period and look forward to a successful NCAA restructuring that will serve the needs of our student-athletes and our institutions in the years to come.”

In other words, if the Power Five conferences achieve autonomy from the NCAA and decide they want to make things easier for student-athletes financially and in other ways, the AAC is willing to make the same kind of changes.



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