Earlier this week, the Sun Belt became the first conference to fully and publicly embrace recently-passed legislation that allows schools to provide up to $2,000 annually per student-athlete to help cover the full cost of attendance.
In short order, that “trailblazing” conference could have some company.
In an interview with the Spokane Spokesman-Review, Washington State athletic director Bill Moos said he expects the Pac-12 to follow the Sun Belt’s lead and adopt the NCAA legislation, perhaps as early as next week. Why the swiftness in embracing the bridging of the gap between what a scholarship pays for and the actual cost of attending college? Recruiting, of course.
“I’m confident the conference will pass that, because we don’t want to put ourselves in a position of a recruiting disadvantage,” Moos told the paper. “And I think there is a genuine feeling amongst the group that it’s good legislation.”
While Moos was referring to recruiting nationally in the above quote, it’s also more than a little interesting that the athletic director brought up how the financial-aid supplement could aid Wazzu on the recruiting front within its own conference. At a school such as WSU, the difference between what a full scholarship provides — tuition, books, room & board, etc. — and the full cost of attendance has been calculated at just over $1,700, below the allowable annual sum of $2,000. At a school such as USC or UCLA, the difference could reach upwards of $4,000, only half of which could be paid to the student-athlete due to the $2K cap.
Moos sees that disparity as an opportunity to make headway on the recruiting front.
“Take for example the cost of attendance in L.A. may be $4,000 and yet they can only go to $2,000,” he said. “We’ll sell it that, hey, we’re covering the full cost of attendance in Pullman, Washington.”
It will be worth watching what if any impact this “disparity” that will exist between some schools — depending on the market in which they reside — will have in recruiting. It’s hard to believe, though, that a four- or five-star recruit would eschew the opportunity to play for the Trojans simply because a school such as Wazzu can cover the full cost of attendance, while USC would only be able to cover 50 percent of the actual cost.
We’re guessing, though, that the “large market” schools will have a keen interest in the impact it may or may not make on the recruiting front.