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Yes, coaches might actually be able to fine college athletes. But they shouldn't.

If the NCAA wants to insist athletes aren't employees, maybe it should stop this right now.

Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

This year, many college athletes will be receiving slightly more scholarship money to help pay for food, books, clothes and other stuff. Hooray!

Coaches are already lining up to take away that money! Boo!

Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster said the same thing on Wednesday. Athletic director Whit Babcock later clarified that fining players out of the bowl allowance has "been in place for a number of years," but that Virginia Tech says it will end the practice (and will not be fining players cost of attendance money, either).

This, however, does not look good.

Virginia Tech will no longer be doing this, and Babcock says no money actually changed hands. That being said, STOP DOING THIS, college programs!

The NCAA was just gifted a surprise reversal from the National Labor Relations Board, ruling that Northwestern football players are not employees. Issuing fines out of a monthly stipend sure seems like something an employer would do to an employee ... and when that monthly stipend is only around $300 per month, it really does not sound good coming out of the mouth of coaches making seven figures.

Cincinnati clarified in a statement, saying athletes would be allowed to appeal and that fines would be restricted to certain violations.

It (a reduction in aid), which they would be notified of and would be allowed to appeal, would be allowed if they don't meet certain academic requirements and a myriad of other things. Not related to their on field performance. Only for violations of team rules including student code of conduct and athletic dept. policies.

The Bearcats' athletic director doubled down.

Coaching is like parenting. If you need to take away what little money your kids have to ensure "accountability," you're probably not doing a great job.

According to a sample financial aid agreement, aid can not decrease because of performance.

My financial aid will not be increased, reduced, or canceled during the period of the award on the basis of my athletic ability, performance or contribution to my team’s success; because of an injury or illness that prevents me from participating in athletics; or for any other athletic reason. Further, NCAA Bylaw states that athletic aid shall not be awarded in excess of one academic year.

But NCAA rules expert John Infante says taking money out of an athlete's COA stipend is allowed. education reporter Libby Nelson said she could not think of a scenario in which a non-athlete student on scholarship would be fined scholarship money.

It's also just a plain bad idea.


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