Former Kansas University football player Gary Green said an extra $2,000 could have gone a long way when it came time to pay the bills.
“Playing football is pretty much a full-time job,” with practices, games and the like, said Green, a running back who played at KU from 2004 to 2008.
The NCAA Division I Board of Directors shelved a proposal this month to pay athletes a stipend of up to $2,000 after several of its member institutions protested the measure. The board will take another look at the policy in April.
At KU, the athletics department is generally supportive of the policy but called for the NCAA to vet the proposal more, said Jim Marchiony, associate athletic director.
“We’re not opposed to the concept of a stipend,” Marchiony said. “I think any time you can get more money into the hands of student-athletes that it’s a good thing.”
However, he said, Kansas Athletics identified a few issues with the initial proposal.
First, he said, it raised a gender-equity issue. The stipend would be available only for players on a full scholarship. Most nonrevenue sports at KU split scholarships among more than one player.
Football and men’s basketball players who receive scholarships are typically all on a full scholarship. Therefore, Marchiony said, KU has about 100 men and about 40 women who would qualify for the stipend as written.
Second, he said, the proposal as written allowed a stipend of up to $2,000, but not more than the actual cost of attendance for a student. The proposal was meant to cover the difference between an athletics scholarship and the true cost of attending school.
At many schools, including KU, that difference would not reach $2,000, Marchiony said. A school like KU would be able to offer a stipend of roughly $1,200, he said, while others could offer the full $2,000.
“Then, it becomes a recruiting issue,” Marchiony said.
Green said he didn’t have much time to secure outside employment while playing football at KU. His scholarship paid the bills, but Green said the extra cash would’ve been helpful for him and other teammates, too.
“It was enough to live on if you managed your money right,” Green said of his scholarship money.
But with the extra stipend, he might have been able to buy some clothes or have a little bit extra to put away, he said.
Green, who lives in Lawrence, is attending seminary school and working in the social work field. He said even though he supports the NCAA proposal, he doesn’t think college athletes should be paid. That’s understood when an athlete is getting recruited, he said.
“We’re not a professional athlete, so we’re not entitled to anything,” Green said.
Marchiony agreed that many student-athletes lack the time to work given their coursework and team responsibilities.
“This is a way to give them something in return for what they give to the school,” Marchiony said.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report.