UW football: Big Ten talks about paying athletes for full college costs

2011-05-18T17:04:00Z 2012-04-18T10:48:18Z UW football: Big Ten talks about paying athletes for full college costsTom Mulhern | tmulhern@madison.com | 608-252-6169 | madison.com

The Big Ten Conference is flush with cash and looking to possibly divert some of it to athletes' pockets to cover the full cost of going to college.

That bit of news came out of this week's Big Ten meetings in Chicago. Here's a link to the story.

Athletic scholarships cover tuition, fees, room and board and books. Non-covered expenses include things like transportation, clothing and other living expenses. Studies have put the difference between the scholarship allotment and the cost of attending college around $3,000 per player.

That's something Big Ten schools are talking about changing. It's an interesting concept and one that likely scares conferences without the revenue streams of the Big Ten, which has had success with the lucrative Big Ten Network.

If other conferences didn't follow suit, it would give the Big Ten a clear advantage in recruiting. And the Big Ten doesn't seem concerned about creating a playing field that is not level.

"There are some conferences and some institutions that have higher resources than others," Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany told ESPN.com. "I don't know if there would be any interest around the country for that (idea)."

This idea is still in the formative stages and nothing is imminent. Still, it's interesting to note the Big Ten was out in front in having its own network, then ignited the expansion issue that dominated the news a year ago.

Don't be too surprised if the Big Ten takes the lead in the area of paying for full expenses, too.

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