"In this program the players come first no matter what. We're fighting for everything we can, that we are legally allowed to give these guys," he explained. "It was a great thing when they changed the food rules, particularly allowing us to feed walk-ons. I thought that should have come to pass a long time ago. And now, with the cost-of-attendance formula going to be factored in, hopefully we'll get a little more money in their pockets."
Not everyone, though, is happy about the impending changes.
Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch released a statement on the matter.
"The NCAA should be responsible for promoting fair competition among its participating institutions and their student-athletes. I am concerned that today's action could create an uneven playing field that may prevent some institutions from being able to compete fairly with other schools that have superior resources to pay for student-athletes," he said. "I also worry about how this decision will affect a school's Title IX requirements and whether this consolidation of power will restrict competition and warrant antitrust scrutiny. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I'll be examining the NCAA's Redesign Model closely to determine if action must be taken to ensure that competition in college athletics among all colleges is preserved."
BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall also weighed in on the issue. It remains to be seen how BYU, as an independent, will be affected,
"I have mixed feelings. If the true intent is to benefit the student-athletes and their well-being within reason, I'm for part of those ideas. In the discussions that I've been part of, I wish I could say sincerely that is the motive," Mendenhall said. "But usually, it's who has the most money, who can provide more for the sake of themselves and their programs, not really the student-athlete, and it's moving much more toward professionalism than amateurism. I wish I could say this is all for the student-athlete, but that's not how I feel. So I have mixed feelings. It will be an interesting time period in college football and for student-athletes."
As for the impact on BYU, Mendenhall acknowledged that he's spoken about it with BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe.
"From early discussions (with) Tom, our intention will be to provide what myself and he believe are worth following and will pursue those things that have true and real value to our student-athletes and to BYU. His intent, as he's passed it to me, if you look at the world of chasing the Big 5, I think we'll chase what's appropriate and we'll provide everything possible that will benefit our student-athletes, not only on the field but off. But also within reason," Mendenhall said. "When you consider the 120-plus Division I football schools and the number that are in the black, based on which surveys you look at, it's anywhere from only 15 to under 25. Now they say they're going to provide more. It's interesting to see where that money's going to come from."
BYU athletics director Tom Holmoe said he wasn't suprised by the ruling.
“We have been following the proposed changes to the NCAA governance structure for months and anticipated it would pass the board of directors," Holmoe said in a released statement. "At this point it’s hard to speculate about the ramifications to college athletics, but we’ll continue to monitor the issues and prepare to make changes as necessary to remain competitive. In fact, we have plans to move ahead this fall with enhanced nutrition opportunities for our student-athletes, who have been and will continue to be our No. 1 priority within BYU athletics.”
Utah State athletics director Scott Barnes and school president Stan Albrecht were both traveling and unavailable for comment, but Mountain West Conference Commissioner Craig Thompson did address the ruling in this released statement:
The Mountain West appreciates the efforts of the Division I Steering Committee and chair Nathan Hatch in developing a governance structure that meets the needs of Division I as a whole. Adoption of the new governance model will allow Mountain West institutions to determine how best to meet the needs of their student-athletes while continuing to provide opportunities to compete at the highest level of collegiate athletics. Student-athlete welfare and academic excellence have always been paramount in the Mountain West and will continue to be at the forefront of the discussion as we enter this new era of Division I. The Mountain West already has begun to involve student-athletes in its governance structure with the participation of two student-athletes at its spring 2014 Board of Directors meeting.
"This type of engagement will further enhance the overall experience of the student-athlete. The Mountain West membership has been actively engaged in conversations about the governance redesign for some time and we look forward to continuing the dialogue throughout the implementation phase of the new structure."
Contributing: Jeff Call
Contributing: Jeff Call
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