Coyle will not allow Spring sports to give extra scholarships to athletes with extra eligibility

MplsGopher

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https://www.startribune.com/ncaa-to...hletes-another-year-of-eligibility/569239642/

"
Tough choices ahead as NCAA gives spring athletes another year
But the decision will force coaches and players to make tough choices.

When the NCAA Division I Council voted Monday to give student-athletes in spring sports a second go, many felt it was the right thing to do.

But that doesn’t mean it was easy.

“It’s not perfect,” Gophers baseball coach John Anderson said. “But there is no perfect answer here.”

The coronavirus pandemic forced college athletics to cease two weeks ago. To rectify that, the NCAA decided to allow schools to give additional seasons and eligibility extensions for spring sports that had only just begun their seasons. Winter-sport athletes, who missed just their postseasons, are not included.

How this decision actually will play out, though, is complicated.

It’s unclear how many of the more than 30 Gophers spring sports seniors might choose to return, since individual schools can decide to match the scholarship each athlete had in 2019-20 fully, partly or not at all. So some athletes might face an increased financial burden to play again.

The NCAA removed barriers such as roster and scholarship limits while also letting schools use the league’s Student Assistance Fund to pay returners’ scholarships. But Anderson said in a meeting that Gophers athletic director Mark Coyle held with spring-sports coaches Monday evening, they learned that the fund would be reduced by 70% because the NCAA lost revenue from this year’s canceled men’s basketball tournament.

Anderson also said Coyle, who could not be reached for comment, informed coaches they can’t exceed their scholarship limit, which is 11.7 in Anderson’s case. Anderson has only one senior on his roster, fifth-year infielder Jordan Kozicky. Anderson said he can’t even figure out how much financial aid he will have to disburse until this summer’s MLB draft, which could be shortened from 40 rounds to as few as five, meaning Anderson could lose far fewer than the four to six players he expected.

...

He’s also worried about parity, as his team of 35 with 11.7 scholarships could end up facing teams of 45 with 15 if they bring back 10 seniors because either the schools or the athletes had the financial means.

“The haves and the have-nots get farther apart here for a while,” Anderson said.
"
 

MplsGopher

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Terrible decision by Coyle.

In order to continue awarding even the same scholarship to a spring senior who now wants to come back for the extra year, that amount of scholarship (equivalencies) will have to be taken away from elsewhere in the roster, including possibly incoming (true) freshmen.
 

2nd Degree Gopher

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Terrible decision by Coyle.

In order to continue awarding even the same scholarship to a spring senior who now wants to come back for the extra year, that amount of scholarship (equivalencies) will have to be taken away from elsewhere in the roster, including possibly incoming (true) freshmen.
It will be interesting to see how Coyle explains this. If the NCAA fund had the money to compensate for the extra scholarship expense, it would seem to make sense to allow the coaches the ability to offer everyone the opportunity to come back at last year’s level. These are mostly athletes who aren’t pursuing their sport as a potential vocation, so those who are ready to graduate might well be ready to move on with their lives.

My guess is this is just an example of the many, many decisions to come where the athletic department will be making choices based on the pending budget deficits they will face over the next year or two.
 

MplsGopher

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It will be interesting to see how Coyle explains this. If the NCAA fund had the money to compensate for the extra scholarship expense, it would seem to make sense to allow the coaches the ability to offer everyone the opportunity to come back at last year’s level. These are mostly athletes who aren’t pursuing their sport as a potential vocation, so those who are ready to graduate might well be ready to move on with their lives.

My guess is this is just an example of the many, many decisions to come where the athletic department will be making choices based on the pending budget deficits they will face over the next year or two.
Sadly, I don't think the decision comes down to much more than "baseball, softball, and track don't pay bills around here. So you don't get to spend more of our money."
 

Livingat45north

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Terrible decision by Coyle.

In order to continue awarding even the same scholarship to a spring senior who now wants to come back for the extra year, that amount of scholarship (equivalencies) will have to be taken away from elsewhere in the roster, including possibly incoming (true) freshmen.
It's a financial decision. Athletic budgets are going to take a big hit with no attendence, and they'll be doing a lot of cost cutting overall. Adding costs to the budgets isn't going to happen at very many schools. Curious, how many credits does it take to be eligible to play on a team? These repeat seniors are most likely players that have already graduated. Can they take a single class and be eligible?
 

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It's a financial decision. Athletic budgets are going to take a big hit with no attendence, and they'll be doing a lot of cost cutting overall. Adding costs to the budgets isn't going to happen at very many schools. Curious, how many credits does it take to be eligible to play on a team? These repeat seniors are most likely players that have already graduated. Can they take a single class and be eligible?
No. They have to meet the minimum requirements of a full time student.
 

rugger14

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Terrible decision by Coyle.

In order to continue awarding even the same scholarship to a spring senior who now wants to come back for the extra year, that amount of scholarship (equivalencies) will have to be taken away from elsewhere in the roster, including possibly incoming (true) freshmen.
How is that a terrible decision? Coyle has to do the right thing for the entire athletic department. Football and Basketball money pays the bills. Spring coaches have to make tough decisions about their rosters. With March Madness canceled and some uncertainty about the football season, 2020 could be an awful year financially for the athletic department.
 

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It's a financial decision. Athletic budgets are going to take a big hit with no attendence, and they'll be doing a lot of cost cutting overall. Adding costs to the budgets isn't going to happen at very many schools. Curious, how many credits does it take to be eligible to play on a team? These repeat seniors are most likely players that have already graduated. Can they take a single class and be eligible?
NCAA has rules about degree progress that had to be made each semester to be eligible for the (spring) season. I assume you’re not allowed to have completed all your undergrad credits and then just take underwater basket weaving. Guessing you have to start a masters degree and make progress, which is a full time student, which costs the same (probably a bit more).
 

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I get the budget and tough decisions.

Here is why it’s terrible: a) how many extra scholarships are we actually taking here?? Wild guess: less than 30 total. That’s peanuts compared to the total budget. Peanuts
b) keeping a level playing field with the PAC, SEC, Big XII, and ACC. I have little doubt those schools will fully fund all extra seniors over the next five years in these sports. Track, baseball, and softball are very important to these schools.

Our track and baseball teams probably aren’t going to be nationally competitive, sure. But softball is! So it’s terrible to hamstring that team nationally, even within the Big Ten.
 

Livingat45north

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I get the budget and tough decisions.

Here is why it’s terrible: a) how many extra scholarships are we actually taking here?? Wild guess: less than 30 total. That’s peanuts compared to the total budget. Peanuts
b) keeping a level playing field with the PAC, SEC, Big XII, and ACC. I have little doubt those schools will fully fund all extra seniors over the next five years in these sports. Track, baseball, and softball are very important to these schools.

Our track and baseball teams probably aren’t going to be nationally competitive, sure. But softball is! So it’s terrible to hamstring that team nationally, even within the Big Ten.
If I were in the position of being a graduated senior that can now go to grad school for free on a scholarship versus try to get a job in this market, I'd absolutely go for the free scholarship.
 

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If I were in the position of being a graduated senior that can now go to grad school for free on a scholarship versus try to get a job in this market, I'd absolutely go for the free scholarship.
Doesn't that speak to more of these spring seniors indeed wanting to come back for their extra year, to play next season? Or what were you getting at?
 

Livingat45north

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Doesn't that speak to more of these spring seniors indeed wanting to come back for their extra year, to play next season? Or what were you getting at?
Just a random thought that if Coyle did offer full rides to all the students that could come back for another year, I think a large percentage of them would take him up on the offer. It's still probably a rather small number of scholarships, since it's only the spring sports.
 

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Yes probably. At least, this year. The players who were seniors, scheduled to play their last season this spring.

Everyone on down also gets the extra year, if they want it. But hopefully this stuff gets fixed and maybe they'll decline it moving forward.


But regardless, they're (especially the ones this year) going to have to decide if they want to foot their own bill to come back, because Coyle has burned them.
 

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Just curious, can alumni/boosters fund scholarships for a specific sport or specific players in a sport? In other words, could a "GoFundMe" type campaign be used to fully fund the seniors on the softball team (e.g. Fiser & Partain) or baseball team if those seniors chose to come back?
 

rugger14

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I get the budget and tough decisions.

Here is why it’s terrible: a) how many extra scholarships are we actually taking here?? Wild guess: less than 30 total. That’s peanuts compared to the total budget. Peanuts
b) keeping a level playing field with the PAC, SEC, Big XII, and ACC. I have little doubt those schools will fully fund all extra seniors over the next five years in these sports. Track, baseball, and softball are very important to these schools.

Our track and baseball teams probably aren’t going to be nationally competitive, sure. But softball is! So it’s terrible to hamstring that team nationally, even within the Big Ten.
It is far more than their scholarships. Extra roster slots mean extra plane tickets, hotel rooms, meals, etc... If you add that up across the spring sports for a few extra golfers, tracksters, softball players, and baseball players, that is a lot of extra money. When Gopher Softball went to season tickets there was actually discussion about the cost of printing and mailing the tickets. The non-revenue sports don't bring money into the department so spending more on them is a difficult sell.
 

MplsGopher

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Just curious, can alumni/boosters fund scholarships for a specific sport or specific players in a sport? In other words, could a "GoFundMe" type campaign be used to fully fund the seniors on the softball team (e.g. Fiser & Partain) or baseball team if those seniors chose to come back?
I feel like any aid provided to an athlete that isn't available (with equal probability or merit) to the student body has to count as scholarship equivalencies. Otherwise, Alabama boosters could easily fund all "walk-ons" in all sports. You get the idea.
 

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It is far more than their scholarships. Extra roster slots mean extra plane tickets, hotel rooms, meals, etc... If you add that up across the spring sports for a few extra golfers, tracksters, softball players, and baseball players, that is a lot of extra money. When Gopher Softball went to season tickets there was actually discussion about the cost of printing and mailing the tickets. The non-revenue sports don't bring money into the department so spending more on them is a difficult sell.
The plane tickets, hotel rooms, meals, etc. will be the same, because the NCAA is allowing the rosters to expand. So those players will be on the expanded roster, and making the trips.

It's just if they get to keep a scholarship or not.
 

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I feel like any aid provided to an athlete that isn't available (with equal probability or merit) to the student body has to count as scholarship equivalencies. Otherwise, Alabama boosters could easily fund all "walk-ons" in all sports. You get the idea.
From the article referenced above, it sounds like the NCAA removed the scholarship limits and is now allowing the schools to keep scholarships for existing 2019-20 students (plus scholarships to new freshman/transfers). In that case, the number of scholarships provided next school year could theoretically increase by the number of senior scholarship athletes...if the school is willing to fully fund them. The UofM is not willing to fund the increase per Coyle's comment.

So, my question is whether boosters could fund the difference for specific teams or players (similar to when boosters funded the golf program years ago when it was going to be eliminated).
 

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The plane tickets, hotel rooms, meals, etc. will be the same, because the NCAA is allowing the rosters to expand. So those players will be on the expanded roster, and making the trips.

It's just if they get to keep a scholarship or not.
By not granting the scholarship money, some more players may decide not to come back which will save a lot of money.
 

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From the article referenced above, it sounds like the NCAA removed the scholarship limits and is now allowing the schools to keep scholarships for existing 2019-20 students (plus scholarships to new freshman/transfers). In that case, the number of scholarships provided next school year could theoretically increase by the number of senior scholarship athletes...if the school is willing to fully fund them. The UofM is not willing to fund the increase per Coyle's comment.

So, my question is whether boosters could fund the difference for specific teams or players (similar to when boosters funded the golf program years ago when it was going to be eliminated).
Boosters can not provide scholarship money. They can donate to fund improvements to facilities (like locker rooms, the volleyball performance center, etc.) or donate to a discretionary fund. For example, the softball team used their discretionary fund to finance the January training trip to Florida.
 

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the number of scholarships provided next school year could theoretically increase by the number of senior scholarship athletes...if the school is willing to fully fund them. The UofM is not willing to fund the increase per Coyle's comment.

So, my question is whether boosters could fund the difference for specific teams or players (similar to when boosters funded the golf program years ago when it was going to be eliminated).
Doh! Of course, that makes perfect sense. Ok, then I hope Coyle would allow that to happen, if boosters can raise the actual dollars. (y)
 

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Boosters can not provide scholarship money. They can donate to fund improvements to facilities (like locker rooms, the volleyball performance center, etc.) or donate to a discretionary fund. For example, the softball team used their discretionary fund to finance the January training trip to Florida.
I don't think this is correct. My NDSU buddy says they have a booster club that has donated millions of dollars to the school since it moved DI, and that helped to fund the extra scholarships for football.
 

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By not granting the scholarship money, some more players may decide not to come back which will save a lot of money.
Getting rid of the athletics dept altogether would save even more money. Is the point of having athletics, to save money?

The whole point of the thread is that saving money alone is not a valid justification for the decision that was made, in my opinion.
 

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Boosters can not provide scholarship money. They can donate to fund improvements to facilities (like locker rooms, the volleyball performance center, etc.) or donate to a discretionary fund. For example, the softball team used their discretionary fund to finance the January training trip to Florida.
Right and they have the locker sponsorship for many sports.
 

rugger14

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Getting rid of the athletics dept altogether would save even more money. Is the point of having athletics, to save money?

The whole point of the thread is that saving money alone is not a valid justification for the decision that was made, in my opinion.
Ok. So we just completely disagree. That's cool. Coyle does not have a blank check.
 

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Boosters can not provide scholarship money. They can donate to fund improvements to facilities (like locker rooms, the volleyball performance center, etc.) or donate to a discretionary fund. For example, the softball team used their discretionary fund to finance the January training trip to Florida.
The U collects a lot of money from season ticketholders under its scholarship seating donation program in a variety of sports. Where do you think that money goes? If I donate $1,000 and say that I'd like it to be used to support team travel for the men's tennis team, new training equipment for the softball team or to help endow a scholarship for team football team, that is all okay as far as I understand the rules. I can't donate specifically to fund a scholarship for Amber Fiser, but they will happily, and legally, accept a donation for the softball team's scholarship fund.
 

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Terrible decision by Coyle.

In order to continue awarding even the same scholarship to a spring senior who now wants to come back for the extra year, that amount of scholarship (equivalencies) will have to be taken away from elsewhere in the roster, including possibly incoming (true) freshmen.
Revenue vs expense. Only adds up to one thing -- budget cuts. Less revenue means scholarship cuts need to happen. This is a first step. Next step is cutting sports. This has to happen. It is an option to have sports at a college. It is not a necessity during the greatest downturn in the economy since the dawn of industrialization.
 

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The U collects a lot of money from season ticketholders under its scholarship seating donation program in a variety of sports. Where do you think that money goes? If I donate $1,000 and say that I'd like it to be used to support team travel for the men's tennis team, new training equipment for the softball team or to help endow a scholarship for team football team, that is all okay as far as I understand the rules. I can't donate specifically to fund a scholarship for Amber Fiser, but they will happily, and legally, accept a donation for the softball team's scholarship fund.
Agreed. I'm quite certain that anyone can donate money to the athletic dept, and that money can then be used to -- properly -- fund the scholarship of any athlete.


Now, you can't give an envelope with cash in it to an athlete, to congratulate them for a good game.

That, of course, is an impermissible benefit. And that's how it should be.
 

MplsGopher

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Revenue vs expense. Only adds up to one thing -- budget cuts. Less revenue means scholarship cuts need to happen. This is a first step. Next step is cutting sports. This has to happen. It is an option to have sports at a college. It is not a necessity during the greatest downturn in the economy since the dawn of industrialization.
To me, that is a separate discussion altogether. And a valid discussion.

I'm talking a very specific thing here. I'm saying, in the spring of 2021, that the U of MN softball team will be at a competitive disadvantage to other top teams in the country from out west and down south, because those schools agreed to fund the extra scholarships of seniors who decide to return for the extra year.

If those schools can do it ... and I'm not talking only about super powerhouse football schools either ... then there is no reason the U of MN can't do it.

That's my opinion.
 
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