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Discussion point: Should Northwestern give out $5,000 trust fund stipends?

Should NU keep up with everyone else and give out these stipends?

Jonathan Daniel

Last Friday, Judge Claudia Wilken changed the NCAA forever by forcing the organization to end its rules against schools paying players in two ways:

  1. The NCAA can limit how much money schools offer players while they're students, but they can't put that cap below the cost of attendance. Right now, the cap does not allow for athletes to receive stipends that account for the full cost of attendance.
  2. The NCAA cannot stop schools from offering recruits $5,000 per year to be put in a trust fund that they'll receive at the end of their eligibility.

So now we get to the part you care about — how does this impact Northwestern?

NU is certain to give out full cost of attendance scholarships since it has always supported those. But will it give out the full $5,000 trust per recruit per year that is allowed? The school hasn't had a comment on this and it's likely we won't hear one for awhile. But do you want them to?

I think most of you will be in agreement that money being put in a trust fund could not possibly hurt athletes in their scholastic endeavors. But I'm curious what you'd be okay with:

- Am I wrong, and are you not even okay with this ruling?

- Would you be okay with the NCAA changing its rules to not suspend athletes who are treated to dinner by boosters or given a little bit of money to do commercials?

- Are you okay with deregulating booster and school rules to allow schools to pay whatever they want to recruits? Or more likely, have rules that are bargained for between the NCAA/schools and the athletes, like a watered-down NFL collective bargaining agreement?

If I were in your position, I'd urge you to push the school to give out these stipends (at the very least) because you presumably want Northwestern to win football games, and because no matter what NU or the NCAA have told you, there is absolutely nothing inherently wrong with an athlete making money off of what they're good at. Nor does making money preclude anyone from also being a student. If it does, then SB Nation is a shameful organization that should stop paying me money to allow me to enjoy the "student experience," and work-study jobs shouldn't be allowed.

I'm not asking you whether you'll continue to watch NU sports if any of these things happen — as Wilken pointed out, people are generally bad at predicting their future behavior. I just want to know what you'd personally be okay with and why, other than the "they can only be students" reasoning, which I've pointed out above as extremely hypocritical.

Let's hear your thoughts.