By Justin Sweitzer
Following the NCAA’s recent ruling to allow Division I student athletes to be given stipends for their cost of attendance, KU Athletic Director Greg Bamberger said he does not believe these measures will have an effect on KU in the foreseeable future.
This new legislation passed by schools in the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12, otherwise known as the Power 5 conferences, allows institutions to supplement the costs of attending their school for athletes.
These stipends are awarded in addition to the scholarships these students are already receiving.
This makes big schools even more appealing to prospective student athletes, and more threatening to smaller schools that can’t compete with the same benefits.
According to Bamberger, from a recruiting standpoint, the effects are not likely to hurt KU.
“The fact that some of these Power 5 schools are able to now sweeten the pot even more [doesn’t change anything], for us at Kutztown, I don’t see that making a big effect,” said Bamberger.
“We have a hard enough time competing against our sister schools,” he said. “We’re all fighting against each other for the same recruits.”
When asked about the potential of a similar cost of attendance measure coming to Division II, and specifically KU, Bamberger was quick to dismiss any chances of such a change occurring.
“I just don’t see it. Most of us are fighting just to offer the full amount that the NCAA allows us to offer. We’re not even close. Very few schools in our state system have the resources to do that.”
The difference in resources between Division I and Division II schools is what quells any chance of similar benefits coming to Division II student athletes.
Division I schools have a significantly higher amount of funding due to both the size of the school and the media contracts they have from the success of their athletic programs.
With that in mind, Bamberger simply believes that there will be no additional benefits coming to Division II athletes anytime soon.
While Division I seemingly has more to offer from an athletics standpoint, Division II offers an experience to student athletes that Division I often can’t.
When asked about the reasons student athletes would choose a Division II school over a Division I school, Bamberger responded, “It’s about the balance in life that they [want to] have. It’s not all about athletics [in Division II]. It’s about the student athlete.
“It’s about a good balance between their academic work, between their social life and
obviously their opportunity to be a student athlete.”
Although the recent changes in the NCAA seem to be raising questions about the future landscape of collegiate athletics, it has been officially decided that KU students will not have money going their way for being an athlete alone.