Urban Meyer, the coach of Ohio State, has opined that players’ families should be given a stipend to cover the costs they incur while travelling to watch championship matches. Speaking at a news conference, he said that the stipend of $800 that families of Ohio State athletes receive is insufficient. He said: “My family couldn’t go there for $800.”
Thirty minutes later, an NCAA waiver was sent enabling the Playoff to reimburse athletes’ families for travel, food, and lodging up to $1,250 for each parent. The NCAA also announced that family members of athletes will receive as much as $3,000 for semi-final matches and $4,000 for title games at first division basketball tournaments for both men and women.
When a spokesman for Ohio State informed Meyer about it, he said that he is “really fired up” about it and that it “just kind of made my day.”
For a long time, the high travelling costs incurred by athletes’ families just to watch championship matches has been brought to the NCAA’s attention by those who are demanding extra benefits for NCAA athletes. Thanks to high-profile court cases such as the one associated with Ed O’Bannon as well as other factors, college players have been getting more and more benefits from their conferences, colleges, and the NCAA, which has cancelled limits imposed on meals and has granted autonomy to conferences.
A proposal to grant athletes full attendance costs, coming up to several thousands of dollars, is expected to get the conferences’ approval soon.