Haden on Stipends


As he nears his one-year anniversary as USC's athletic director, Pat Haden wants to address what he feels is an injustice with the formula the NCAA uses to determine scholarship stipends for student-athletes.

Haden-HH.jpg"The NCAA formulas used to determine student-athlete stipends are not appropriate," Haden said.  "Having interviewed 15 different athletes and broken down their stipend against their bills, they are left with about $5 per day for food.  I just do not think that is right."

The current formula does not take into account the different costs associated with going to USC and living in Los Angeles as opposed to Washington State and a small town like Pullman.

"I would change the formula," said Haden.  "If you used the 'cost-of-attendance' formula, I am told USC student-athletes would get about $3,300 more per year.  Of course, it would go on the athletic department's budget.  We can afford to do this, while some of the others cannot."

And of course, USC cannot make unilateral changes nor can the Pac-12 amend the rule for the conference. 

"The NCAA has to do it.  It is pushing the proverbial rock up the hill because some of the institutions cannot afford to do it."

Nevertheless, the USC athletic director will continue to push for reform in the hopes of improving the health and wellness of the student-athletes.

"In a year from now, our new TV contract is going to kick in with $20 million per year in revenue and it is not right to have a student-athlete tell me he or she is going hungry," said an impassioned Haden.  "It is unconscionable."


I wholeheartedly agree! This is not "paying" athletes... it is giving them an appropriate cost-of-living allowance. If the NCAA is going to forbid them from holding a job--and holding a job is something all other college students have a right to do--then they must act now to make the stipends fair. I am not a keen legal mind, but it seems plain to me that student athletes have a right to the same constitutional protections that other citizens and resident aliens in the U.S. have. Why couldn't there be a class-action suit by all student-athletes? An anti-discrimination suit? A constitutional-rights suit? I would say that affording food falls under the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness...

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