Just over a year ago, the NCAA lost the O'Bannon trial. One of the results was that power conference schools could now offer a cost-of-attendance stipend to athletes for up to $5,000 -- a subject we discussed at length with regards to Syracuse. Back then, we said that Syracuse either had to provide the full $5,000 or deal with the consequences of failing to do so. Well... today it seems like we're looking at the latter situation.
Based on figures published by the Chronicle of Higher Education late last week, Syracuse has the third-lowest cost-of-attendance stipend of any power conference school at a mere $1,632 per year. Only USC ($1,580) and Boston College ($1,400) have lower stipends. BC was also the only dissenting vote when the measure passed, citing a struggle to keep up with that number in terms of recruiting. Obviously that could now come to fruition for both the Eagles and us.
Some notable items coming out of the stipend numbers:
- Just three of the schools with top-10 total scholarships costs were able to offer more than $2,500 per year. Those were Vanderbilt ($2,780), Miami ($2,780) Stanford ($2,625). There's at least something to be inferred from the relationship of the overall cost of attendance vs. the ability to provide large stipends, given the inverse relationship for many.
- Seven of the 15 schools offering $4,000 or more in stipends have overall scholarship costs of less than $20,000. TCU is the only school with a $50,000 or more scholarship cost offering over $4,000 in stipends. The Horned Frogs are also the only private school in the top 33 stipend-figure universities.
- Syracuse has the second-lowest stipend figure in the ACC (only to Boston College), but 11 of the ACC's 15 members are able to offer less than $3,000 in stipends per year. A likely result of the private-school effect we've mentioned above.
- Several schools (Tennessee, Auburn, Louisville, Mississippi State and Texas Tech) are offering more than $5,000. A) Curious how that works out and B) Anything to be implied about the overall value of degrees or perhaps a muted cost of scholarship prior to now?
So on the one hand, you can look at this as a real difficult road for private schools going forward. Even the well-funded programs like Notre Dame and USC struggle to put up competitive figures, and the lesser programs like SU, Wake, BC, etc. aren't even on the map based on these figures.
But at the same time, you can't tell me that USC and Notre Dame are going to struggle to pull in talent. Especially the Trojans, who are here in L.A. (a desirable place to go to college) and are already firing on all cylinders with recruiting now that the NCAA sanctions are gone.
For now, we can be slightly worried about Syracuse's ability to compete. But at the same time, the number that may -- at some point -- matter most to recruits is that "overall cost of scholarship" number. When it comes to that, SU is 10th overall, and one of 12 universities with a cost of scholarship above $50,000. We can argue the merits of that forever (and as a Syracuse alum myself, I have my own thoughts there...), but that HAS TO count for something, right?
But what do you think? Are the Orange screwed now (especially in football)? Or can prospective recruits see the overall cost and make their own positive inferences about what they're getting for four years? Share your thoughts below.