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NCAA OKs Extra Money For College Athletes: Schools Can Pay Players Up To $2,000

It's not going to be easy for some people to digest the news that the NCAA just said schools will soon be allowed to pay their players up to $2,000 a year in addition to their scholarships.

For some, it sounds like part of a reform long past due. Others are going to wail about broken innocence and the student-athlete getting a small* amount of money. Nevermind that the NCAA invented the term "student-athlete" in the first place.

The basics of the rule:

The Board also adopted legislation giving student-athletes who receive full athletics scholarships the opportunity to receive additional athletics aid up to the full cost of attendance or $2,000, whichever is less.

The working group that made the recommendation told the board the $2,000 figure is meaningful in addressing the miscellaneous expenses student-athletes now have. Institutions will not be required to offer the benefit, but conferences are encouraged to consider common application within their membership.

But, really, it's nothing new. Every round of the debate includes at least one person who points out that students in other fields get paid -- even academic scholarships often include full cost of attendance perks. Why not athletes?

Two stacks amounts to a pebble compared to the mountain of money college football players have built for their schools and conferences and to the empire basketball players have made of the NCAA. But it's a move in the right direction, even though it's hard to buy that it's being done solely for the good of the athlete.

It removes the agent's common excuse for sliding money to players, since now players can afford ever-so-slightly more stuff on their own. And it provides the moneyed conferences a recruiting edge -- the Big Ten and SEC were the first two to call for the change.

* Seriously, y'all. That's $40 per week.

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