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NCAA puts $2,000 stipend on hold

INDIANAPOLIS – The NCAA is putting its $2,000 stipend on hold.

The governing body said Thursday the number of schools seeking an override had reached 125 – the necessary number to suspend the rule until it can be reconsidered by the Division I Board of Directors at January’s NCAA convention.

The board passed legislation in October to give some athletes an additional $2,000 toward the full cost-of-tuition, money that would go beyond tuition, room and board, books and fees. Some schools expressed opposition because they believe it violates the NCAA’s philosophy on amateur sports. But most are concerned about compliance with Title IX rules requiring schools to treat men’s and women’s sports equally, or the budget hit athletic departments will face with incoming recruits next fall. NCAA President Mark Emmert says he believes the concerns can be addressed.

The board has three options when it meets: Rescind the stipend and operate under previous NCAA rules, modify the rule or create a new proposal that would go back to the schools for another 60-day comment period, or allow members to vote on the override. It would a take five-eighths majority of the roughly 350 Division I members to pass.

Some conferences already agreed to start giving out the additional money, and NCAA vice president David Berst acknowledged Wednesday that many of the 1,000 or so student-athletes who have signed national letters of intent did so with the expectation of receiving the additional money. Those athletes will get the stipend, the NCAA announced in a statement.

But unless the override measure fails or the board passes a modified version, athletes who sign with schools in February or April would be prohibited from receiving additional money.