Students may pay for athlete scholarships


USF Athletics has requested an additional 62-cent per credit hour increase in student Athletic fees that would allow the department to pay for the full cost of attendance for student-athletes. 

The proposed increase in student fees amounts to an extra $9.30 per 15 credit hour semester per student.

Due to an NCAA rule change, universities are now able to pay for the full cost of attendance for student-athletes. This rule enables universities with the appropriate funds to pay for everything a student-athlete needs, including tuition, room and board, meals and textbooks. 

NCAA rule changes also allow universities to pay athletes a $2,000 to $5,000 stipend in addition to the full cost of attendance, though Athletics has not shown interest in the

For USF, the money to pay the full cost of attendance for all student-athletes on scholarships will come from student fees, even though some students may not agree with the proposal. 

“I don’t approve of it,” Austin Mount, a student majoring in cellular biology said. “It’s an academic institution and not an athletic institution. I don’t come here for sports.”

Other students said they would rather see the money go elsewhere.

“That would suck because not everyone is involved with athletics and what if there’s other things they would prefer the money to go to,” said Alicia Vachon, a student majoring in psychology.

But not all students are opposed to the increase in tuition if it means Athletics will be able to succeed. 

“I think our athletics is a huge part of our university,” said Morgan Boykin, a student majoring in respiratory care work. “I think that everyone should take pride in our athletics and stand behind them. I would say that I do support the increase.”

USF Associate Athletic Director for Communications Brian Siegrist said the university needs to explore all options in order to remain competitive with schools that have the money to offer student-athletes the full cost of attendance and other benefits.

“Recent NCAA legislation has brought about significant changes in providing full cost of attendance and meals for student-athletes that, when coupled with inflationary rises in other costs, project the need for incremental increases in all revenue sources,” Siegrist said.

According to USF’s 2013 financial statement, student fees already accounted for $16,248,285 of USF Athletics’ revenue, compared to $1,455,486 that comes from institutional support from the state and the university.

The money Athletics would receive from students would go to all student-athletes already receiving scholarships. The amount of scholarships offered will not change at this time, Siegrist said.

Along with paying the full cost of attendance, some universities are also offering guaranteed four-year scholarships, but USF has not decided to change the structure of its scholarships yet.

The proposal has yet to be approved by the Local Fees Committee, which is comprised of both students appointed by Student Government President Jean Cocco and faculty. Once approved, the proposal will go before President Judy Genshaft and the USF Board of Trustees for final approval.

The proposed changes will take effect starting in the 2015-16 academic year.