ALEXANDER CITY, Ala. — Bruce Pearl isn’t about to debate the worth of a college scholarship.
He’s been in the business for 37 years, and in that span, he’s seen the value of a student-athlete’s scholarship — which usually covers tuition and cost of attendance, in addition to meals — increase. But the veteran coach thinks there are still steps to be taken by the NCAA to make things “more realistic.”
“I think it’s a great thing in the sense that, listen, to the victor go the spoils,” Pearl said before his annual “BP Fore the Children Golf Classic” in Alexander City. “But not as much when it comes to the student athletes.”
Pearl said he can remember NCAA Tournaments at previous coaching stops where parents and families of players traveled by bus to the regional sites, unaided by the NCAA in terms of lodging. And if Pearl’s team lost, they were stuck in that city until the bus route worked its way back.
“We should be able to travel families in the postseason and provide that more realistic scholarship,” Pearl said.
Pearl said he's on board with the NCAA forming a working group to consider ways to compensate college athletes for their names, images and or likenesses. The current rules forbid student-athletes from receiving money or benefits off their names or likeness — which would primarily stem from advertisements, endorsements and autographs, all of which have gotten popular college athletes into trouble in the past.
But Pearl thinks the NCAA could benefit from taking the changes a step further.
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“In addition to being able to have student athletes to benefit from their own likeness would be the idea that the longer you stay and perhaps even the better you perform, having some kind of annuity, some sort of stipend, some sort of a trust,” Pearl said. “I think we need to treat student-athletes fairly."
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