U Of I’s AD Weighs In On Big Ten’s Suggested Reforms
By Jeff Bossert
The University of Illinois’ athletic director says he expects college athletes to have a say in reforms to their scholarships and health insurance.
Mike Thomas’ comments come after administrators of Big Ten Schools issued a statement Tuesday, asking theNCAA to approve greater protections for athletes, while opposing student-athlete unions or financial compensation.
Thomas said Big Ten leaders have been discussing their proposals for years.
And he said even a failed proposal, like the N-C-double-A board’s rejection of a guaranteed $2,000 stipend for college athletes - has a silver lining.
He said that idea evolved into the Big Ten’s proposal that athletic scholarships be guaranteed to cover the full cost of attending college.
“But I think what it says is – is if you look at that particular situation, that was really an opportunity – had it passed- to start to go down the path to do things for student athletes, and several of them are spelled out in this document," he said.
Thomas said there’s a lot of support among administrators for student-athletes having more of a voice in the NCAA governance structure, as reforms are put together.