Cost of Attendance: You Know, Boston College Has a Point

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Apr 6, 2014; Arlington, TX, USA; NCAA president Mark Emmert, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, Wake Forest president Nathan Hatch, California chancellor Michael Drake, and Kansas State president Kirk Schulz speak at a press conference before the national championship game between the Kentucky Wildcats and the Connecticut Huskies at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday, the NCAA’s power conference schools voted on the proposal recently offered to grant full cost of attendance scholarships to student athletes. Every school supported it and the overall power conference vision, except one.

That was Boston College.

79 schools in favor, one against, and we happen to be the “one.”

The idea behind the cost of attendance scholarship is to further accommodate the student-athlete by covering various other ancillary expenses he or she may occur during the school year. It takes the notion of the athletic scholarship “free ride” to its logical conclusion.

After the results of the historic vote, the first thing that every knowledgeable sports fan should do at a time like that is consult with the frothing hordes of Twitter. Many from outside Boston College seemed to be outraged that our school could take such a stand on cost of attendance scholarships and by extension the power conference autonomy proposals.

“Kick BC out of the ACC,” they said. “Send them to FCS,” they said. “So much for their recruiting,” they said.

The sight of people speaking ill of my alma mater irritates me. I could not believe Boston College would put themselves in such a position, and did not see why they could. I was concerned about the bad optics that would result from voting down the cost of attendance and what kind of “negative recruiting” blowback might result. It had the mark of a small-time athletics program that was too timid to join the rest of the power conference schools and take a step forward.

Then I read the substance of Boston College’s objection.

”The consequence of such legislation could ultimately hurt student-athletes if/when programs are cut. This legislation further segregates student-athletes from the general student population by increasing aid without need-based consideration.”

Then one realizes that perhaps Boston College took a stand on principle.

It is probably not going to elicit widespread support, but out of both points Eagles Athletics raised, neither was wrong or way out in left field, as they say.

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