CHICAGO, IL – Money makes the collegiate sports world go round these days and it could become even more so the case if a proposal that Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany supports goes through. It also means fundamental changes could be coming sooner than later to the NCAA model.
Jim Delany made it abundantly clear he still is in favor of paying players a stipend for as he called it "miscellaneous expenses."
"Miscellaneous expense for student athletes needs to be implemented….. it's the right thing to do," said Delany.
His worry in moving forward is that there needs to be educational issues that are addressed before any of this can move forward. Delany has always been a supporter of kids getting an education through collegiate athletics and that is his main concern with any changes moving forward.
One of the educational ideas Delany would like to see put forth is that any player who receives a scholarship as an athlete could return to school if they turn professional or leave school early and continue to receive their scholarship money.
Delany also made it clear that the NCAA must start addressing outcomes, rather than reacting afterwards if it wants to be a viable organization moving forward.
For the Big Ten and conferences of its ilk, the idea of paying players isn't something new, but the fact that there are some concrete ideas and major discussions happening indicates a new level of seriousness to these discussions and the NCAA model as we know it could well be in for some wholesale changes.
However, don't expect those changes to come in the form of a so-called "Division 4" format that has been thrown out in some circles. Instead there may end up being a further division within a division that encompasses the power conferences that exist today.
Delany also indicated that the Big Ten and other major conferences could wind up playing schools that don't pay players for "miscellaneous expenses" in postseason tournaments, a concept that is sure to be controversial as an already uneven playing field is likely to get larger if these changes are implemented.
While some expect these changes to come rather quickly Delany also highlighted that there are plenty of issues that need to be worked out to make this happen. At the end of the day though it's clear that momentum is building to allow players to at least begin to receive more than just the simple cost of their education.