NCAA weighing higher payments to student athletes

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by Associated Press

KING5.com

Posted on October 24, 2011 at 11:06 AM

Updated Monday, Oct 24 at 1:29 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) -- NCAA President Mark Emmert says he supports a proposal to allow conferences to increase grants to student athletes by $2,000, "to more closely approach" the full cost of attending college, beyond the athletic scholarships athletes receive for tuition, fees, room, board and books.

Emmert tells the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics on Monday that the proposal will be finalized this week and he'll ask the NCAA to support it. He noted that student athletes have limited opportunities to work outside the classroom and playing fields, and that the current model of athletic scholarship hasn't changed for 40 years.

Emmert says he'll also ask the board to allow colleges and universities to provide multiyear grants, instead of year-to-year grants.

Meanwhile, more than 300 football and men's basketball players from Arizona, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Purdue and UCLA want the NCAA and college presidents to set aside a cut of TV sports revenue for student-athletes to cover the cost of their education.

A petition signed by the players asks the NCAA to "realize its mission to educate and protect us with integrity." The National College Players Association, an athletes' advocacy group, provided The Associated Press with copies of the document for release on Monday. Players started sending the petition to the NCAA last week.

The issue of whether to pay college athletes has been getting increased attention at a time when major college football programs from Miami to Ohio State have endured scandals involving impermissible benefits to players. At the same time, athletic conferences have made lucrative, new television deals.

Before now, athletes themselves had not voiced their opinions in such numbers.

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