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Sports Notes: Cost of attendance stipend welcomed, but few think it changes minds

UK coach Mark Stoops says student-athletes will see their quality of life improve thanks to cost of attendance stipends (Jon Hale Photo)

UK coach Mark Stoops says student-athletes will see their quality of life improve thanks to cost of attendance stipends (Jon Hale Photo)


Later this month, NCAA Division I scholarship athletes will find a little something extra in their bank accounts.

In addition to their allotted scholarship money, they will get a “cost of attendance” stipend. That amount will vary from school to school, depending on how much the institution’s admissions and financial aid offices decide what appropriate expenses are.

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Not all schools have allocated money for this and, obviously, some schools will be paying more than others.

Doesn’t that put the schools that can’t afford stipends or don’t pay as much at a competitive disadvantage?

Most coaches and student-athletes don’t think so. For example, a football player who want to play for Urban Meyer at Ohio State or Nick Saban at Alabama probably isn’t going to be swayed by a couple of thousand dollars in expense money spread out over a nine-month period.

At Kentucky, for example, scholarship athletes will receive an additional $2,284 this year. The total at Georgia is slightly more, $3,221. If you go to Tennessee, its financial aid office has set the cost of attendance at $5,666.

A number of FBC schools are also in the game, in order to remain competitive and challenge the five Power Conferences for players. At Eastern Kentucky, scholarship athletes will receive anywhere from $2,800 to $4,600 a year — but for now that just applies to cost of attendance for men’s and women’s basketball.

Athletics Director Steve Lochmueller said that total is an estimate of what an average student spends on personal and travel expenses during the year. The stipend is expected to “allow EKU to more effectively compete with schools from the five autonomy conferences – Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and Southeastern.” The autonomy group voted in favor of cost of attendance for all sports in January.

“Our number one priority is the well-being and development of our student-athletes on the court, off the court and in the classroom,” said Lochmueller. “Cost of attendance is certainly an added expense for us, but it’s financial assistance that will benefit our student-athletes’ lives on a daily basis. It will be challenging for programs to remain competitive over the long term by not taking advantage of this new opportunity provided by the NCAA. I am thankful that Dr. Benson has been supportive throughout this process.”

During an SEC Media Days appearance, UK head coach Mark Stoops said he thinks the players deserve to get the extra support.

“These guys work extremely hard for their universities, for their families, and for everybody,” he said. “It’s not all equal. People come from different backgrounds and different situations, and things are very difficult. I believe, like every coach here in the SEC, we can’t do enough for these guys. What they do for us, what we ask of them, the amount of work that they put in, they deserve it.

“So I do think it helps? We appreciate any and all help that the NCAA gives us to help their quality of life better. And, yes, I think it is better.”

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The Major League Baseball trading deadline passed last Friday, and former Lexington Catholic star Ben Revere found himself on the move.

The fleet outfielder went from the Phillies to the Toronto Blue Jays for a pair of minor leaguers. Of course, two other deals the Jays’ made overshadowed Revere’s acquisition: Toronto also picked up shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and left-handed pitcher David Price.

The 27-year-old Revere was batting .298 for the Phillies with 24 stolen bases. He is a career .292 hitter with 169 steals over 2,300 at bats.

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Another Kentuckian was in the news this weekend. Franklin’s Kenny Perry, playing on the Champions Tour, captured the 3M Championship in Blaine, Minnesota.

Perry followed up a sparkling third-round 61 with a final day 68 to take an easy four-shot victory over Bernhard Langer, Scott Dunlap and Kevin Sutherland. He final total of 198 was 18 under par and resulted in a payday of $262,500.

He also won the title a year ago and he became the first player in 23 years to defend his championship in the event. Perry has won eight times on the Champions Tour.

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Kentucky coach John Calipari took time out from one of his Pro Camps last week to talk to the media, along side recent No. 1 draft pick Karl-Anthony Towns. A number of subjects were covered, including expectations for this year’s teams and assessments of the incoming freshmen.

Also on the agenda was promoting the Sept. 13 exhibition game between former UK players and their counterparts from North Carolina. Calipari is expecting a typical Wildcat basketball crowd, despite the date. And part of the proceeds will be dedicated to a legacy fund in memory of former Tar Heels coach Dean Smith, at the request of the College Basketball Hall of Fame.

“Can you imagine, if it’s North Carolina’s players against our players, one they lose?” Calipari said. “But two, the craziness in the building. Our people are nuts. They’re crazy. There will 25,000 people there. The crazy thing people are going to buy tickets to scalp the game on Sept. 13. Are you crazy? They’ll be scalping tickets. Only at Kentucky.”

Tickets for the alumni game will go on sale to the public on Aug. 14, at 10 a.m. All seats are reserved and priced at $50 and $100 (premium lower level), $25 (lower level), $10 (premium upper level), and $5 (upper level).

Tickets can be purchased at the Rupp Arena box office, online at Ticketmaster.com, at any Ticketmaster Outlet or by phone at 1-800-745-3000.

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Morehead State’s women’s basketball team won both of its games last week during a trip to the Bahamas. In Friday’s 111-59 dismantling of the Bahamas All-Stars, junior forward Shay Steele poured in 40 points.

Coach Greg Todd’s team was to return to Morehead early this week.

“We are certainly glad to have a player like Shay on our team,” Todd said. “She responded well after not making a field goal the night before. These games have been very valuable for us moving forward. We know what we need to work on and where our strengths are after this week. We are also grateful to Sean Bastian (Bahamas Summer Madness organizer) and the people here in the Bahamas for letting us visit and have a wonderful time.”

Steele managed just two points on a pair of free throws in the first quarter but erupted for 19, including her team’s first 10, in the second period. She also contributed 12 in the final stanza.

Sophomore forward Brooke Todd (the coach’s daughter) finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and a team-best six blocked shots She scored the team’s 100th on a jumper in the lane early in the fourth period.

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