GAME CHANGER: University Of Texas Reportedly Earmarks $6 Million Annually To Pay Student Athletes

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If money in the bank equated to talent on the field, the University of Texas would be an NFL factory and the most dominant football program in all the land. Unfortunately for Texas–who “was recently ranked as the top university in the country for athletics licensing revenue for the ninth year in a row”–they’ve been playing under the same rules as everyone else. But now, because of the Ed O’Bannon verdict in which universities are no longer required by the NCAA to withhold revenue earnings from student athletes, the game looks to be changing. A new era could be on the horizon, and it’s one that excites some, and scares the piss out of many.

University of Texas Athletic Director Steve Patterson reportedly announced plans to pay student athletes $10,000 each per year at a recent conference in Washington, D.C.

From the Austin Business Journal:

The University of Texas at Austin plans to begin setting aside $6 million per year in its athletics budget to begin paying student athletes $10,000 per year each in response to court rulings that require colleges and universities to fairly compensate players as employees.

If this goes down as Patterson reportedly said, parity in college football could be blown to pieces. Programs with fat wallets will prosper. Poor programs, of which there are many, will squander.

Patterson did not lay out a timetable for adding UT players to payroll, but it’s easy to surmise he’ll want to begin as quickly as possible. Recruiting is the lifeblood of every football program, and Patterson’s burnt orange checkbook is one that knows no bounds.

***** Update: 4:20 CST *****

We’re now seeing some conflicting reporting from Darren Rovell, who claims Patterson was speaking merely of a hypothetical scenario.


We’ll update the story as it progresses.

[via Austin Business Journal]

Image via Longhorn Network

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