It was much ado about nothing.
The Internet blew up earlier today when Texas athletic director Steve Patterson’s comments about paying his school’s athletes $10,000 a year were misconstrued.
Several websites reported that Texas was about to start paying its athletes a yearly stipend to cover expenses and the use of their likeness.
Texas has no plans to begin paying its athletes. Patterson was only responding to what it could cost colleges and universities per athlete should the NCAA lose its appeals related to the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit.
Here’s the Dallas Morning News story in which Patterson talked about the situation at a forum on the business of college sports on Tuesday.
If the NCAA loses the O’Bannon appeals, many other schools will join Texas in paying student-athletes.
Texas, Patterson said, would be able to afford the annual payments, but some schools won’t be able to keep up, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Chris Plonsky, director for women’s sports at Texas, said the school already employs 350 workers to coach and care for the students who play in Austin. The money for all of those jobs, she said, comes from just two sports, football and men’s basketball.
“If we begin to (further) remunerate the participants, that’s going to break that model,” Plonsky said.
Former Maryland basketball player Tom McMillen, also a former U.S. representative and a panelist at the forum, said: “We’re in for a period of dynamic change. The system has to change. The money needs to be handled differently.”