NCAA AD: Stipend a “window dressing policy”
by USA TODAY Sports, USA TODAY
Gary Walters has been athletics director at Princeton University for 20 years and has served on the selection committee for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. He is stepping down at the end of the school year.
This is an edited transcript of a New Jersey Press Media interview with Walters on the NCAA’s proposed $2,000 stipend for student-athletes.
“The ability of BCS schools, or maybe I should re-phrase that to say 1A schools — those that play 1A in all sports — their ability to disguise self-interest in the name of any number of principles has been raised to an art form.”
“The NCAA itself, and when I say the NCAA itself I’m not referring to the member schools but to the administration in Indianapolis, also has its financial welfare tied to the 1-A model of athletics.”
“The effect is that anything the NCAA does in the name of reform results in almost always better outcomes for the 1A schools, a greater division of financial policies and other policies separating 1A from the other schools.”
“When you see the NCAA president making $1.7 million, and that all of the (major conference) commissioners, many of whom are friends of mine, are making $2 million, where your treasure lies, so shall your heart beat. Said another way, where you stand on the issues is in large part determined by where you sit.”
“Clearly, the decision to speak to speak out (over the summer about the stipend issue and a potential break off) was choreographed.”
“I believe the desire to pay student-athletes is a bait-and-switch tactic which is taking place now under the name of student-athlete welfare. But student-athlete welfare wasn’t considered at all — not at all — when the conferences expanded beyond regions…”
“So the story in college athletics today for me is not necessarily whether you pay the student-athlete another $2,000. I don’t care whether they give them $2,000 or $5,000. I think it disguises the greater problem, which is that these (revenue-generating) programs have basically evolved into pre-professional programs, where many of these student-athletes major in eligibility, being directed to what courses they must take in order … [For more on NCAA AD: Stipend idea a "window dressing policy", click here.]