In the ongoing debate about compensating college athletes, a U of M Regent has presented an interesting idea.
While the NCAA forbids schools from paying their athletes, they do allow colleges to provide a full ride to their institution. The reasoning behind athletes being unpaid is to keep the playing field level. But in a column for Deadspin, Michael Hsu argues that because the value of a full ride varies so greatly from school to school, the field is already uneven.
So he pitched this: Schools should be able to make up the difference between the value of their full ride, and the highest-value full ride to the most expensive school.
For example, a full ride at Northwestern is valued at $70,385 per year. At the U of M, it's just $37,455. So Hsu says, let the U of M offer the difference of $32,930 to prospective athletes, in order to compete with Northwestern for talent.
"Schools already find lots of creative ways to stuff more cash into coaches’ pockets, from large bonuses for athlete academic performance to smaller ones for things like having their teams score first and hold halftime leads in football games," Hsu writes. "Surely the NCAA could be equally ingenious when it comes to spreading the wealth to athletes."