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Delany supports ‘stipend’ to cover student-athletes’ expenses

Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany speaks news conference during Big Ten conference football mediday Wednesday July 24 2013 Chicago. Delany

Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany speaks at a news conference during the Big Ten conference football media day Wednesday, July 24, 2013, in Chicago. Delany joined the chorus of major conference commissioners calling for a new model when it comes to the governing body of college athletics. But he says schools must address some “substantive concerns” to make the process worthwhile. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

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Updated: July 25, 2013 3:27PM

Jim Delany has been a proponent of providing college athletes financial support beyond an athletic scholarship. On Wednesday, the Big Ten commissioner delved into the issue again.

Delany often spoke ambiguously on the topic and didn’t specify a particular dollar amount. But he spoke of his own experiences as a student-athlete in an effort to justify what has been a divisive issue among the leadership in college athletics.

His contention was that an athletic scholarship doesn’t cover all the expenses of a college education.

“A miscellaneous expense needs to be implemented, and it needs to be implemented in a way that allows the student to engage in athletics and also to receive support from the institution above the scholarship, up to the cost of education,” Delany said. “What that number is, I’m not sure.”

While Delany’s ideology is shared by some of his contemporaries, a concrete plan still is needed so it can be presented to the NCAA.

Legal issues stand in the way of providing additional financial assistance exclusively to student-athletes who play revenue sports. But that, in turn, raises the question as to how a university would find the money to pay athletes.

Given those issues, the financial feasibility and legality of such a concept would need to be examined.

“I’m talking about a stipend, a miscellaneous expense, that meets Title IX rules,” Delany said. “We have federal law, and there are no exemptions for football and basketball. So first thing is we’re talking about something that meets the test of Title IX. Don’t ask me what that may be.

“When I think about this, I think about this as a grant or an expense that goes to full-scholarship athletes.”

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