University of Texas student-athletes will begin receiving financial support from the school’s athletic department after a Supreme Court ruling in the Alston v. NCAA case, the school reported November 24.
Beginning with the 2022 spring semester, which starts in January, all student-athletes will receive the legally established maximum of $5,980 per year.
In the Alston v. NCAA legal case, the Supreme Court granted universities the opportunity to provide student-athletes with additional education-related benefits and direct financial support in the form of academic achievement awards.
“We’re excited to be able to provide our student-athletes with additional support, but as importantly, to continue to initiate programs that focus on their academic commitment and success,” said University of Texas Vice President and Athletics Director Chris Del Conte.
“Our student‐athletes have a wonderful opportunity to engage in a world‐class academic experience while pursuing athletic excellence at the highest level.”
All eligible Texas Longhorn athletes will receive $2,990 in the upcoming spring semester, with the second payment to be made in the 2022 fall semester. This money is payable on top of the assistance student-athletes already receive from athletic scholarships.
“This additional academic benefit will be another way to bring out the very best in our student-athletes,” Del Conte added. “I can’t thank President Jay Hartzell and our campus leadership enough for helping us make this happen.”
What determines whether an athlete is eligible to receive the payment depends on the criteria put in place by the school. In Texas’ case, the UT Athletics release indicates that it will only be for those that are already on scholarship: “Texas Athletics has worked with campus leaders to develop a plan and establish criteria to provide education-related benefits and academic achievement awards to scholarship student-athletes through the Academic Enhancement Benefits program.”
However, Sports Illustrated reports that Ole Miss athletes—who were the first to receive this payment—simply needed to meet academic requirements in the previous semester in order to be eligible, specifically noting that walk-ons were included.
This announcement has big-time implications in the grand scheme of collegiate athletics.
On the plus side, it’s a huge positive for the athletes, who now have some additional income to go along with scholarships.
From a school’s perspective, it’s great if you’re a major institution like Texas, which can afford to offer student-athletes this payment.
For other schools, they may try and keep up by offering the same, which could dig them into a financial hole. Over the last year we’ve seen how fragile athletics departments are after numerous program cuts due to financial issues caused by the pandemic.
This will also serve as a major recruiting tactic. Any school in the Power Five conferences that doesn’t offer this added incentive will likely fall behind in that respect.
The Big 12, SEC, ACC and Pac-12 have all announced that they will allow their schools to determine how much of this new benefit they would pay, so others could offer athletes a payment that’s not necessarily the $5,980 maximum.
Ole Miss was the first school to issue the $2,990 payments for the spring semester, SI reported on Nov. 20.
“Everybody is going to do this, for sure everybody in the SEC,” Ole Miss athletic director Keith Carter told SI. “We thought, ‘Let’s get ahead of this.'”
The Rebels will spend a reported $2.48 million each year on roughly 415 athletes, Carter said. Texas, which generated a reported $22.1 million in profit during the 2019-20 fiscal year, has just over 500 athletes, according to Hookem.com.