Jim McElwain is now the head football coach at the University of Florida, so one would not think that his decision to head to Gainesville would cause him to be in Colorado State news five months later. However, things are about to get quite a bit better for Rams student athletes.
Per a report from Matt L. Stephens of The Coloradoan, McElwain’s $7 million buyout that Florida is paying CSU will go towards cost of attendance at the university over the next two to three years. Per new NCAA legislation, schools can provide “cost of attendance stipends” to student athletes. In this case, in-state students on full scholarship will receive an extra $2,400 a year while out-of-state ones will receive an extra $3,100.
For those unfamiliar with the subject, full scholarships cover basic college essentials like tuition, books, room and board, and other fees. The stipends will give students funds to finance cell phones, laundry, transportation and the like.
One particular Rams student athlete is happy with the news.
“For the majority of sports, we’re supposed to be working out, taking classes. With the athletic and academic responsibilities, it’s tough to have a job. I’ve personally never had a job and I know a lot of my teammates haven’t, so this is a big help,” said Joe De Ciman, a senior guard on the CSU men’s basketball team. “It’s exciting, but the first thought that comes to mind is (president) Tony Frank and his support of athletics. And (former interim AD) John Morris, Joe Parker and even (former AD) Jack Graham who set a great standard for CSU athletics.”
Assistant basketball coach Ross Hodge further elaborated.
“It’s definitely a topic of conversation that parents ask in the recruiting process. Even if they don’t fully understand what it encompasses, they’ve heard about it,” said Ross Hodge, assistant coach and lead recruiter for the CSU men’s basketball team. “To be able to say ‘yes, we’re doing cost of attendance,’ doesn’t put you at a disadvantage where another school could do something for the student athlete that you can’t.
“It’s obviously a tremendous benefit in the recruiting process, but the most exciting part is that you get to take care of your own. You get to take care of your student-athletes once they get here and are already in the fold.”
That said, thanks to McElwain leaving Colorado State for Florida, student athletes in Fort Collins can now look forward to breathing a little easier on the financial side. Money is always a tough area for most student athletes, and this new legislation is a step in the right direction so that they can focus more on academics and their respective sports.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to Getty Images