||36th NACDA Convention|
Salt Lake City, Utah
June 10-13, 2001
NCAA Division I - Breakout Session
Town Hall Meeting: Show Me the Money - Financial Aid Q&A
Tuesday, June 12, 9:00 - 10:15 a.m.
Good morning. It's time we realize that financial aid is a running threat through everything we do everyday as athletics administrators. Financial aid touches student-athlete welfare issues; it touches financial matters. We all know that financial aid takes a huge chunk out of our operating budgets. It affects gender equity concerns and it affects recruitment and, ultimately, our playing field. Nothing could be more important for our future in intercollegiate athletics than financial aid. The NCAA has a standing committee that reports to the AEC Cabinet. That financial aid committee is looking at a number of matters that will affect the future of intercollegiate athletics.
I'm so glad we have a panel here today to discuss some of these issues. Before we begin, I want to recognize Southwest Recreational Industries, who are our audio-visual sponsors. Once again, our Town Hall meeting this morning is Show Me the Money. Our panelists are Lee McElroy, director of athletics at the University of Albany; Judy Rose, director of athletics at UNC-Charlotte; and Amy Folan, who is a membership services representative at the NCAA. I'm going to turn it over to these people and I'll see you in a moment. Amy is going to start.
As you can tell from today's session, Show Me the Money, we thought it was important to show you this clip from the Jerry McGuire film in 1996. It epitomizes the importance of conception of sport in society. The idea is that it is big money and big business. As sports administrators, we know the reality is that on the days we have game days, your friends are in town, the stadiums are packed, there is money coming and everybody is happy. The reality is that we never have enough money. We never have enough money for scholarships, administrator salaries or facilities. It's a constant struggle to balance the social aspect of sports along with the financial aspects. Nothing is more apparent that the Knight Commission, looking at the big costs of intercollegiate athletics, trying to find ways to find relief for you in your budgets and revenue and see if there is something we can do to try to stop this never-ending, out of control, keep up with the Jones' mentality that has been going on for decades.
What the Financial Aid Committee has done is look at addressing this through the financial aid deregulation process. As you are well aware, the board charged different committees dealing with different areas in the NCAA Manual to simplify, clarify and bring consistency among some of the regulations. The Financial Aid Committee is hoping they may be able to find some relief and they have some ideas of how you can cut costs in the area of scholarships on your campuses.
Today's session is to get your feedback. The Financial Aid Committee has come up with concepts at this point, but that's all they are. They are not in legislative draft form. We want your feedback and to see if you think the committee is going in the right direction, or if we need to go somewhere else. Also, we want to make sure our ideas and concepts are reviewed. We do have a dynamic and diverse committee and they have added some members for the deregulation process to make sure all ideas and concepts could try to be reviewed. They know that realistically, with 10 people in any room, no matter how dynamic or how diverse, it's not going to hit everybody. The committee is going across the country for the next few years to look at your input. They will want to know if this will work on your campus. We find varied responses everywhere we go, but we want all of those responses so we can make sure we don't leave out anybody or penalize anybody. You will see some of the core values the committee has come up with.
We ask you today with the three topics we're presenting, that you tell us what you think are the benefits or drawbacks may be, as well as possible modifications. Please share those with us.
What the committee did, in being charged with deregulation by the board, is look at what we wanted to do with the process. They went big picture. First, they got with other groups also going through deregulation and asked them how they were going to tackle this, trying to find some plan to formulate the best way to go after Bylaw 15. They worked closely with Agents and Amateurism Subcommittee. Obviously, that's the only committee that has gone out in legislative form and tried to pitch their ideas. We asked them what worked for them, what was successful and what would they do again. If something didn't work, what would they go and do again? You see today, we're bringing you into the process earlier to get your feedback.
They also looked at commonly reported violations, secondary, majors, student-athlete reinstatement cases, all areas potentially problematic. Where are we finding a lot of problems? Where are there a lot of violations reported? Where aren't they being reported? There are not a whole lot of violations of Bylaw 15. One, the legislation isn't working or may people aren't applying it consistently. We'd like to think that everybody was out there is doing all in accordance with Bylaw 15, but it's cumbersome and has been pieced together over many years. It hasn't had as much attention as recruiting and eligibility and some things that you work with day to day.
They also looked at bringing in additional members. Specifically, they brought in a financial aid director from a private institution. They also had one from a public institution. Financial aid, as many of you are aware, depending on which side you fit on, private or public, there are many problems that you run into. This varies from institution to institution. We made sure we got both sides of the coin in there to debate issues. You can come up with very different responses.
Additionally, they took involvement of outside groups because they knew they couldn't do this on their own, at least to hear it once. They have a timeline for the next three years. It has everything from NCAA News articles they will use to be able to hear from all the different members. They have laid the groundwork for their big project and how to tackle it. Then, they asked how they would get to the meat of this. What will they do to simplify, clarify, to make Bylaw 15 more consistent?
The committee came up with what they call "Foundation Topic." Basically, they went through Bylaw 15, took out all of the core concepts in Bylaw 15 and asked when we have all of these regulations, what are we getting at? What is the meat of Bylaw 15? In taking these foundation topics, they came up with 12. There are seven up here.
They did not use the Manual. They took a philosophical approach. They threw out what they know now and wanted to find the perfect way to regulate Bylaw 15. They took each concept as we will do today. You can put yourself in their shoes and give us what you feel is good and bad about where they're going. You will see the maximum institutional limitation by sport has been tabled quite a few times. The committee has sent out surveys to the sports community liaisons of each sport in the NCAA as well as the coaches associations. That is an area where, if you have feedback or suggestions, please give them to the committee. Again, it doesn't mean there will be changes, there may or may not. We're trying to go through the process and make sure, since we have this one opportunity to clarify and make it simpler and consistent for all schools, we want to look at any possible way to achieve this.
The committee has touched upon but has not solidified any concepts on aid to freshmen athletes and summer financial aid. The last five rounds out the 12. The committee will be meeting again on July 16 and 17. They may start on some of these again. Any comments you have will be greatly welcomed.
The committee then said they would go through the chunks of Bylaw 15. They wanted to find a way to re-regulate. We need some guiding principles, what they call their core values. We didn't want to lose site of what the committee was intending to do so, we're going to take these core values and apply it to every idea and concept we come up with and see what the best concept is. They came up with three. The first one is student-athlete welfare. You'll see this in the handouts, which are up front here. You can grab them before you go. I don't want to read them to you verbatim. They are a bit wordy. Basically, they wanted every student-athlete to have the ability to receive their cost of attendance. Cost of attendance is a federal financial aid figure for the maximum a student-athlete can receive in a given academic year. It includes their transportation costs, their entertainment, basically, what it would cost a student-athlete to attend your institution for a given year. They wanted student-athletes to receive that.
They wanted them to be able to receive the maximum amount of aid possible. They didn't want them to be penalized for being student-athletes. They wanted students and student-athletes to be treated the same. Besides athletics aid, they asked, why are some students that achieve academically having to return back aid because they are on an athletics team? They really struggled with that idea. Student-athlete welfare was one of the core principles the committee adopted.
Another principle the committee adopted was competitive equity. They wanted to insure that the regulations that were put in place promote a selection of institutions based upon academic and athletics choices. They really didn't want to put anything in place that would have somebody weighing what one place costs compared to another place. They want to take that out of play. With the federal financial aid regulations, cost of attendance, realistically, is going to vary. If you put a dollar figure on tuition, they do vary from institution to institution. But, with the federal regulations, that's just a reality and the cost of attendance is actually giving something, the same components in the same package whether they go to institution A or institution B. The committee didn't want to put any concepts opposite that. They want to make sure they maintain competitive equity when they put forth any regulations.
The final core value they adopted was institutional welfare. Basically, they took Constitution 2.16, which is the principles governing the economy of the athletics program. They want to make sure that with balancing the social aspects and financial aspects of sport, they didn't do anything that would put more of a burden on you financially or socially that would not allow you to do the thing that you constantly deal with day-to-day. They adopted these core values and went through each of their concepts to determine which one fit best with these core values. I'll turn this over to Lee and he will take you through the individual limit and how the core values apply in those areas.
Thank you Amy. When we were in Indianapolis, we met with the Student-Athlete Advisory Group and they talked about some of the issues. As we go through these, I hope you get some understanding as to how some of these young people look at these concepts and what that may mean down the road.
The first one is the individual limit concept. It talks about the individual limit for cost of attendance as Amy indicated. The second one is the individual limit, which would take the full grant and other need-based aid up to the need of that particular student-athlete and his or her economic background. The third concept has to deal with the individual limit that takes into consideration the full financial aid, the non-athletics aid, up to the cost of attendance. You will hear a lot about cost of attendance this morning.
The fourth takes the student-athlete's individual limit before grant and aid at a set dollar amount. Obviously, that would be a difficult amount for all institutions to agree upon, but there has been some work done in that area. The final concept talks about the individual limits, which are basically what we have now, tuition, room and board and fees and books. I'm going to go through each concept briefly. At any point along the way, if you want to comment on it please let me know.
Concept number one is the individual limit. The formula is the student-athlete's individual limit and the student-athlete's cost of attendance. We looked at both the pluses and minuses on these. You can maximize the financial aid a student-athlete can receive. It also standardizes or makes constant the method for administering aid, which can be complex at times, as we know. The negatives are that it will provide additional institutional expense. The cost of attendance varies from school to school. The additional expenses could have an impact on their participation.
The second concept has to do with the student-athletes' limit before grant-and-aid, plus other need-based aid based on demonstrated need. Some of you who worked in the Ivy League know they don't give financial aid, but they do get it through the need-based aid and it gets to be a very interesting way to assess that. The positive concept in number two is that a student-athlete's demonstrated financial need would be met. The competitive equity would not be effected. It will allow an institution to provide the student-athlete with additional resources. The downside of this concept is that the timing and determination and dispersement of need-based financial aid and the federal aid process make it very cumbersome. Also, student-athletes are required to fill out forms. We all know that student-athletes love to fill out forms.
The third concept has to do with the student-athlete individual limit. This would be equal to a full grant-in-aid plus any none athletics-based aid and up to the cost of attendance. This is one that a lot of people had a great deal of discussion about, both on the committee and the student-athletes. They thought it should be looked at very extensively.
The foundation topic for individual limits has to do with the individual student-athlete's limit and the full financial grant-in-aid plus the set dollar amount. Again, as I said, the set dollar amount is problematic, even though there has been some research done on this at the NCAA level. The upside of this is that it aleviates potential abuses and it simplifies the methodology. The negative, as I said previously, is the difficulty in determining the set dollar amount and the student-athlete could not accept aid above the set amount, which would limit the cost of attendance fees. The final piece of the downside is that it does not take into account the variance of the costs of attendance.
Concept number five is the student-athlete's individual limit. That's what we're now using. The positive is that it's no change in what we do; there is no increase in the athletics department's costs other than what you may get from the state level or what you may get if you're a private institution. The negatives of that is that it's fragmented, it's difficult to monitor and there are unfavorable consequences to the student-athletes who are achieving academically or have demonstrated need.
I would like to talk a moment about concept number three, which has been favored by the committee. The student-athlete's individual limit would be equal to a full grant-in-aid from athletics sources plus any non-athletics' aid and outside financial aid up to the cost of attendance. We feel you could get more money into the hands of the student-athlete. It's a plus in terms of the student-athlete's welfare and from the input from the student-athletes, they feel this concept has a lot of validity to it.
The individual limit rationale means the student-athlete with high academic credentials would benefit by the ability to accept academic scholarships above and beyond a grant-in-aid and not have it count against the team limits. There is also the potential decrease in athletics department costs by the ability to utilize alternative sources and it simplifies the methodology for administering financial aid. Finally, the potential to increase the amount of scholarships dollars awarded would not adversely affect team limits. As I said, those of you dealing with coaches in the equivalency sports and student-athletes in equivalency sports know this has always been an issue.
I want to review the individual limits. The current maximum student-athlete limit, the athletics accountable aid up to the value of tuition, room and board, books up to a full grant-in-aid and the exempted government grant and the NCAA student-athlete special assistance fund are currently what we have in place. The deregulated maximum student-athlete limit would involve athletics-related aid up to the value of the regular grant, which is what we have now, and exempted government grant plus student-athlete special assistance fund.
I will now give you some examples of the individual limits. If you look at the current maximum, it talks about the full cost of attendance at $25,000, a full grant-in-aid, or a $20,000. Then it's broken out based on athletics aid and institutional grant. It includes the Pell Grant and the NCAA Assistance Fund, which is exempted. If you look at the deregulated formula, you can see the student-athlete would be able to gain up to the cost of attendance, which again, gives additional dollars to the student-athletes. We're talking about money into the student-athletes' pockets, which is not a bad thing.
At this point, we're going to get into the accountable aid discussion. If there's anything we've gone through that you'd like to comment on further, there are some forms that you can provide this information on in the room. It's important for you to realize we're at a stage where we're formulating ideas, formulating concepts. We've got a year in which to gather this information and then get it to the people who will make the decisions. That is you and your bosses on the campuses, along with the student-athletes. Please feel free to keep your minds open as we go through this process.
The second concept we're going to review today is accountable aid. The committee looked at changing the definition of accountable aid. I just want to reiterate what Lee said, there are handouts here in the front, basically, for the power point presentation along with the surveys in the back on each of these concepts asking for your comments. It will be especially helpful if you want to take them back to your campus and talk to your compliance people and some of your coaches. Please feel free to do so.
Accountable aid, basically, if you have ever doubted why you went into athletics structure if you ever had the joy of working in compliance or if you never did, you'll know why. Figure 15.1 is up here and also in your manual. If you can see all of this little print from the back of the room, there are many sources of accountable aid. Basically, this is something your compliance people deal with on a daily basis and it's not an exhaustive list. The committee looked at why we have all of these sources of aid and why we are having people track these down. There are some situations where student-athletes achieve academically, but they have to give it back because they are actually getting an athletics scholarship. If they accept that, they will go over their team limit. We don't think it's fair if we say achieve as a student-athlete and they do so. Then, we have to explain to these parents why they have to give the money back. They looked at what the current aid limitations were and looked at the problems. Basically, they said that athletics-related financial aid, institutional or outside sources should be the only accountable source of aid, which you can see, varies a lot from all the different sources that we currently have in place.
Again, all sources of aid will be accountable in the student-athlete's limit. If you go up to the cost of attendance, the financial aid will count any dollar a student-athlete receives in their individual limit. But again, that's all they can receive under federal guidelines. Any dollar they get will count in their individual limit, but it's not going to count in your team limit. It means they can only get up to cost of attendance. Anything they accept will be looked at up to cost of attendance. The only thing that's going to count is an athletics scholarship, which would be institutional athletics aid or outside aid in which athletics participation is a major criterion. Right now, we have major criterion. A major criterion says that in order to get the award, you have to be an athlete. Or, if they're getting an award and there are two components and 50 percent says they have to be an athlete and the other half is academics, they have to be an athlete to get it. It is a major part of that award; therefore, it would have to count as a major criterion.
To give you another example is that the minor criterion is the merit scholarship where student-athletes qualify by taking their PSATs and if they score very highly and get these scholarships, on there they list they participated in extracurricular activities. That's a minor criterion. If they are recruited and they can only get that up to a full grant-in-aid so a lot of times they have to go ahead and give that back. Those are the types of awards the committee was discussing. They asked why they counted.
Another one was tuition waivers. You all know that's institutional aid. If someone gets a tuition waiver because they live in a neighboring state, when they accept that, that counts in their team limits. They can't accept it because it will put them above and beyond a full grant-in-aid if they're in a head count sport. The committee asked why they should be penalized for being student-athletes. That has nothing to do with athletics. With the federal financial aid guidelines being more stringent than they were when that regulation was put in place to make it accountable institutional aid, maybe we let kids go ahead and accept that. This will not only impact the high academic achievers, it could also impact some kids that might get a tuition waiver or some grant that is totally unrelated to athletics. Anything unrelated to athletics, they said should not count. Again, you're going to still have the regulations in place that people try to put in awards to stockpile and things of that nature. The committee is still looking at that with the team limits, etc. Basically, they said we are penalizing a lot of kids that don't need to be penalized. They think the regulations can be put in place to safeguard against the potential abuse.
To give you an example of how this might look going off of Lee's previous example, you'll see on the left-hand side, if they take all of their sources that equals a one equivalency. If you take the right-hand side, the deregulated amount, it would only be a point five equivalency, because an institutional grant does not count. Now, a student that currently is a counter would only be a point five equivalency. This could benefit in two ways. One, depending on where the institutional limits go, you could be giving less scholarship dollars. You could actually trade off the amounts and possibly be spending less money on athletics scholarships or, two, you could leave what the limits are now and your student-athletes could be getting more money. If you're actually creative, you could find sources out there in scholarships and go out and find ways to say, "hey, why don't you apply for this scholarship? You could qualify. It's based on academics." Right now, they couldn't accept it and you don't do that because it would count. It would put your team over the limit or them over the limit. These are some ways you can be creative.
I've reviewed some of this, but do you have any comments? Again, we do have the handouts for you. If you have any thoughts, let us know. Now I'm going to turn this over to Judy for her comments.
I'm the only one up here who is not on the Financial Aid Committee, so bear with me. Three years ago, if you will just refresh your memory a bit, we were in a room similar to this at the NACDA Convention and we were discussing student-athlete employment. We were probably over reacting to the legislation that was getting ready to be enacted. A year later, we went back in a similar room at the NACDA Convention with another panel on student-athlete employment and we were scared to death. At that time, I was the moderator so, Rocky look out, two years down the road, you'll be on the panel.
At that time, we were really concerned on how we were going to monitor student-athlete employment. Many people left the room, went out, created elaborate brochures on how we were going to deal with it, only to find out that was illegal, we couldn't do it and they were taken off the shelves. Again, it was simply an over reaction. What we're trying to do is put more money in the pockets, make it easier for our student-athletes and to do it legally.
If you'll look at the slide up now on student-athlete employment, you'll see some major changes that, hopefully, will be adopted. Any employment earnings a student-athlete receives shall be exempt from individual and team limits for working on or off campus. First-year students shall be permitted to work. Academically eligible student-athletes may work and student-athletes would be allowed to work in any department on campus with our without intercession from athletics personnel.
The next one is the employment requirements. The student-athlete would be compensated at a rate commensurate with the going rate, whether working on or off campus. They will be compensated, again, only for work they actually performed. The compensation may not include value for what the student-athlete may have from the employer because of his or her fame or for being a student-athlete. Compensation will be reviewed in an annual audit required by Constitution 6.2.3 and that would include the hours worked and the wages they were compensated. There is a paper trail here to take care of the concern about abuse in this matter.
The last one is the employment rationale. This encourages employment opportunities in an area that may be relevant for a career path for our student-athletes. It does not penalize those student-athletes who are on partial athletics scholarships. It greatly enlarges the potential pool of student employees for an athletics department. Student-athletes will have the same employment regulations, privileges and opportunity as all students on our campuses. It eliminates the majority of the administrative paperwork that we were also concerned about years ago.
There are some common themes through this that made us scared initially when we think about de-regulation when it comes to employment. The major overriding thing that scares all of us is abuse. We looked years ago at what happened when we decided to change to cover something that had more rules and regulations. That was put in because people felt it was abusive or there was a great amount of abuse that was taken.
The time constraints on the student-athletes, the amount they have to put into their sport, hinders the abuse to begin with. They don't have time, many of them, to work. That has shown up over the past three years when we thought we were going to be inundated with all of the paperwork from students working. We have not been inundated and there have been very few violations of this. The majority of the violations have been with the process. We're not sure if abuse is taking place and we just don't know about it and they're not reporting it. If that is true, that would just continue as is. We're not changing anything in that regard.
These are the issues that are before you right now for employment. We would like you to consider those. Again, you input is imperative. You gave us tremendous input two or three years ago and we value your input very much. Thank you.
All of those harsh stories we heard about employment a few years ago, at this point, haven't been documented. There are some things that are still out there and, as a committee, we're going to look at them. In talking to the Student-Athlete Advisory Board, and in talking to the members of the Financial Aid Committee, they are a very diverse group of people from different sectors of our community. They have some thoughts on aid to professional athletes. For example, the summer of financial aid, some of that came out of the Basketball Issues Committee.
The renewal process and procedures will keep the student-athletes' welfare at the top of the list in terms of institutional financial aid. A lot of people are talking about going back to the old days of the four- or five-year grants in eligibility at the Division I level. That is also out there.
The conditions of institutional financial aid and what that means in terms of federal involvement and also student-athlete involvement is being discussed. The reduction or cancellation of financial aid, as to who is getting run off and who is not getting run off, you all hear that on your campuses. There have been some great stories about that in the media on certain issues, especially when new coaches come on board.
The increasing financial aid during the academic year is being discussed. The existing rules address that. Should we open up? Should we be looking at some various avenues to be created in that area?
Where do we go from here? As I said, we're two years out from coming to a successful deregulation process. The Management Council will get a first review in October 2002. They will get a second review in April, 2003. Hopefully, our bosses will consider this in April 2003. The people who are on this committee are outstanding people. You know all of them. You've either worked with them or you know of them. They are very creative and they are very bright. They work very hard. Please, if you aren't comfortable sending something in writing to us, then contact one of these people you know, who you've worked with in the past. They'll get the information back to the committee and we'll look at it to make sure things are being done in the right way.
It's important that you at least get the information to us. If you come up with a great idea to produce less work for you and still benefit student-athletes, let us know. We're not trying to give you more work, we're trying to give you less work. We're trying to make our business better for our student-athlete participants, which has been the theme at this conference.
Rod Phillippi and Amy Folan are two people on the NCAA staff in this area. They will always get back to you, usually the same day. Amy might send you a quick e-mail and get back with you through that venue to respond to your needs or your questions. Let us know this now so we can get it into the hopper.
I'm John Parry, Butler University athletics director. In the topics to be still considered, one area I would like to add is access to the special assistance fund. I've been a component of saying if everybody's on the squad, anyone who has unmet need ought to be eligible. Unfortunately, right now, you have to be either a Pell Grant winner or on scholarship. If you think about the equivalency sports, maybe half your roster is on scholarship. I can tell you the other half has unmet need. Since it's administered in a separate process than the annual renewal grant, I would like to see everyone eligible if they have unmet need. It keeps getting bounced back because there isn't enough money. I can tell you, in a number of conferences, all of the funds aren't being used and I'd like the ability to use it by institution.
Amy is noting that. The other piece to that, John is that the population of our international student-athletes is growing within Division I, Division II and Division III. They also have had limited access to the special assistance fund or it has not been uniformly been administered. That's another piece we're looking at. That's a very important point.
Are there any other questions we have or have not covered?
Don Kaverman from Southeast Missouri State University. You showed a slide earlier about a formula whereby a student-athlete could receive institutional aid, both athletics and non-athletics related, and the non-athletics part would not count against team limits. I'm wondering how that would impact the NCAA grant-in-aid passed through the institution. It appears that you'd only be, in some cases, awarding half an equivalency where before you were awarding a full equivalency. That would, obviously, impact revenue distribution.
That would also have an impact on the numbers you would have. We mentioned the participation. Amy is doing some work on that.
They know that will be some of the after effects and we are going to consider that. It's still in the conceptual phase, so where that will come out or how they would adjust that is still being discussed. We know that will have some impact. Obviously, we will play that through so it wouldn't be a detriment. Any ideas you have, and as we formulate these, more and more we know we have to go back and recalculate or reformulate to make sure we work out all of the kinks that maybe fell from some of the ripple effects that we did not anticipate. We do have that on the radar screen. We're just setting up these concepts, so they're really not in draft form yet. That's a good point and we do have it on the radar screen for you to note. If you have any ideas how to support that or if you have a different idea, we'd be open to hear them. That is something we do not have in the final stages, but we know it's out there.
Joe Castiglione from the University of Oklahoma. I'd like to ask if the committee has considered scholarship limits, particularly in those sports that many institutions sponsor. In light of recent legislation that we have tried to push through requesting the NCAA to expand scholarship opportunities particularly in women's sports, I know you're talking about deregulation from a slightly different angle, but has that been a topic that has been discussed with the committee in any shape or form?
It has been discussed. Your conference, Joe, put a very thorough and comprehensive proposal with regard to increasing scholarship size. The Big East also had a very comprehensive and creative look at how to increase scholarships dealing with gender equity.
The other piece we've looked at, just in discussion phases, has been the whole equivalency versus head count issue on the table, which some people from the equity conferences feel puts them at a disadvantage, in terms of numbers. We're looking at that as well. It's on the table and it's being discussed. If you have some ideas on that, have your people shoot them to us and we'll look at it. It's one of the key topics.
We are sending out surveys to the committee liaisons of each of the sports, as well as the coaches' associations. It seems a lot of people have ideas or thoughts on that matter. Any change brings about a lot. We're looking to exhaust every avenue. Like Lee said, we really haven't gone down any path because we're not experts in every sport. Title IX takes on so many things. They really want to look at it, but we need information from all of you before we can sit down and make any formulated concepts. We want to be educated enough to try to start thinking of ways to change things or simplify or clarify that.
It would seem to me, in an area where cost containment is a phrase that people talk about but few want to embrace, we have growing interests on all of our campuses, particularly in certain sports. That can be said regardless of I-A, I-AA or I-AAA, and we hire coaches, build facilities and see the interest on our campus and can't meet it because of the scholarship limits. We're almost defeating ourselves in trying to comply with equity plans and Title IX plans, etc. While that is a slightly different tact for this committee, I would encourage that you continue to ask for dialogue in view of this, because it's a common sense proposal. That's usually the reason why a lot of these things don't fly.
Jamie Pollard from the University of Wisconsin. Was there any discussion in light of our discussion on rising costs yesterday? I can't imagine 50 percent (example) would be saved because they'll have programs that coaches will want to reuse on another athlete. The lessor programs will be forced into a situation where they'll need, not only to have to fund the equivalencies, but expand the financial aid that's available for other students, mainly student-athletes that still have the unmet need.
I want to make sure I understand your question. You're talking about the new accountable aid, it would take from a one equivalency to a point five and you're saying that it won't save you money because they are still going to want to put that point five somewhere else?
I can't imagine a coach in the country that wouldn't want to come back and say that he still needs to fund at the maximum level of equivalency. So, they'll use that other point five, which will essentially have cost us one point five at an institution.
Right. I think that's where it's getting into the team limit to come into play. Will those need to adjusted? The accountable aid will benefit the student-athlete and it could benefit you because it may be institutional funds and it may not. It may be something that they just can't accept right now for their student-athlete. You're right, they probably are going to want to send it somewhere. That's where we're asking what do you want to do as a membership? Is this something you want to embrace? Do you think it's a good idea? Do we want to bring the numbers down, because this is really going to double your team equivalency if you have kids that are getting institutional aid. Some schools take that money and still count it as accountable aid, but that saves you money in athletics department dollars. This is opening that up more because it can receive more sources of accountable aid, but we don't have any interest in that right now and that's why it's in the conceptual phase. If you think through it and let us know what would work on your campus, help us with what works on your campus. We haven't formulated any concepts in that area since we want to hear from you.
Betsy Stephenson from UCLA. I'd like to follow up on what Joe said and suggest that the committee, in the discussion related to head count and equivalency sports, consult the student-athlete advisory on one point. That is, on the women's side of the equation and I don't have a Title IX solution for this, but the numbers of scholarships that have grown in the head count sports have created an unintended consequence and we have loaded up women's teams with head count. Scholarship athletes, who sometimes the format they play in the regular season in the championship structure doesn't even allow them to play, they are sitting at home because we can't afford to send them, but they've got a full scholarship and they have an expectation that they are coming to an institution and they're the 15th women's basketball player and our coaches are trying manage how to motivate those student-athletes. It is a culture issue. It certainly is not a dollar and cents issues. I don't have the answer on how to balance it with the Title IX requirements for financial aid. The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, if they really dug into it, would find that it's been an unintended consequence of increasing our head count sports on the women's side.
I think she brings up a good point. The committee went back and looked historically at how these limits came about. As you all know, when the AIAW came into the NCAA, the more popular sports at the time were the head count sport. As time has evolved, people are saying what you're saying, there's a lot of scholarships in the head count sports, but people aren't using them. A lot of coaches don't want three teams deep sitting on their women's basketball team. That was part of the importance of having the surveys sent to the coaches' associations, as well as the sport committee liaisons, hoping that they will be able to give us some ideas.
I can tell you that the committee is hesitant because, generally, any changes and taking away scholarships from a certain area, as you know, is something that people will have a negative rumbling about, but they are trying to take a realistic look. Is it conducive to the environment now. The only way for change is to let you know the feedback and comments from you. We've looked at ways, in a general sense, and say these don't seem to add up and people have brought up their exact sentiment. Where they would go and how they would change that is where we are struggling now. If you do have ideas and comments, again, we are in the room doing the same thing, but you may have something that would help. This is the one time that we'll be able to go back and change the regulations that are outdated or don't apply anymore. The only way to do this is if you say there needs to be change. This has to be a collective membership-driven action.
Well, as you can see, this is going to be a major undertaking and a huge task. I want you all to put on your thinking caps, call your committee members. As you heard many times this morning, we need your input. I want to thank our panelists today, Lee, for your work on the committee and for being here; Amy, for your great staff support; Judy for pinch-hitting at the last minute. This was not an easy task, following Tommy LaSorda, I assure you.
There are handouts up here in the front. Please come up and get one. The staff has done an excellent job of putting the handouts together. I encourage you to come back. The next session is Recruiting, Selecting and Training Coaches and Staff. Thank you all.