Athletic directors at the biggest college football schools closed their annual meeting by taking a stand against paying athletes and supporting an overhaul of how college sports is managed.
The decision came as the National Collegiate Athletic Association is discussing reorganization, reviewing its policies on rules enforcement and considering whether it should give schools the option to spend for items like player stipends.
The debate reached football fields last weekend when 28 players, including Georgia Tech quarterback Vad Lee and Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter, wrote the words “All Players United,” or “APU” on their uniforms in a call for NCAA reform, the New York Times reported.
“Pay for play has no part in the amateur setting,” Morgan Burke, president of the Division 1A Athletic Directors Association and athletic director at Purdue University, said in a news release.
Burke said the value of a full scholarship and support services for Purdue athletes is worth more than $250,000, and that student-athletes with full scholarships have no loan to pay back.
What’s more, integrity issues need to be handled effectively in the enforcement system, which is currently under review, she said.
“Institutions must clearly understand the meaning of institutional control and must reinforce integrity as a core value,” Burke said.
The player protest was organized by the National College Players Association. In a release on its website, the association listed some of its goals as: minimizing brain trauma risks, raising the scholarship amount, preventing players from being stuck with medical bills, eliminating restrictions on legitimate employment and allowing players to benefit from commercial opportunities, and guaranteeing athletes’ release if they want to transfer.