Iowa AD Says Hawkeye Athletes Could be Paid for Good Grades
After college athletes were granted the rights to their name, image, and likeness (NIL) starting in 2021, they were able to make money outside of solely earning a scholarship to their chosen university.
This change effectively made college athletics, especially at the NCAA Division I level complete chaos. This afforded teenagers the opportunity to be millionaires.
Bryce Young, Alabama's starting quarterback and the 2021 Heisman Trophy Winner took in nearly $1 million before his first start under center for the Crimson Tide.
And now, according to a report from the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Iowa athletic director Gary Barta says that the athletes at the University of Iowa may be paid for their academic performances as well -- as early as next year.
After the Supreme Court upheld NCAA vs. Alson in 2021 in order for them to pursue money in exchange for NIL, it also granted universities to pay their athletes up to $5,980 for doing well in the classroom.
The amount was chosen "during the legal proceedings because it is equal to the maximum amount of financial value an athlete can receive in one year from awards related to their athletic performance, such as conference player of the year titles or the Heisman Trophy," per ESPN.
This is what Barta said following his department’s monthly Presidential Committee on Athletics meeting:
We're still working with our senior staff. Budget time is coming up, so our new budgets will be prepared in time for July. So we have kind of between now and then to finalize our plans for that.
In order to make such a thing happen, Hawkeye Athletics would need the backing of donors via an NIL collective that would operate separately from the athletic department.
Barta added this:
I’m grateful that some people who are planning to create a collective are coming to us saying, ‘We want to do this, but we want to make sure we do it the right way.' So we're having conversations about what is the right way.
According to ESPN, only 22 of the 130 FBS programs "say they have plans in place to provide these academic bonus payments to their athletes this year."
In-state rival Iowa State and fellow Big Ten member Wisconsin are among the aforementioned 22.
Both stories cite the financial impact of COVID-19 in regards to the few schools looking to participate in paying athletes for their academics. The Gazette shared this: "The Hawkeyes had a $40-plus million deficit in the 2020-21 fiscal year. The exact number varies slightly between the reporting methods for the Board of Regents and the NCAA, but either way, it’s an uncharacteristically large shortfall."
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