The Norman Transcript

Sports

June 6, 2014

Stoops sees merit in NCAA changes, but asks to proceed with caution

TULSA — College athletics has gone through many changes over the last four years. Starting in August it will go through another. Athletes on scholarship will receive full cost of tuition in addition to unlimited food.

The NCAA’s decision to change the rules regarding both expenses was based on a push from the five power conferences (ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC) and the massive increase in revenue they’ve seen over the last decade.

OU coach Bob Stoops was asked on Thursday at the Sooner Caravan stop at the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa campus if there’s still a push for the major conferences to simply form their own division within the NCAA.

“There’s legitimate reasons for it, maybe,” he said. “It’s like a lot of things. Everything evolves. Morphs into certain, you know, what people want. What everybody else feels is the right thing to do for our student-athletes. For what the public wants. So we’ll see.

“There’s some legitimate reasons it makes sense. But again, I think the amateur model in what we’ve been doing for such a long time is incredibly positive. Look at our TV ratings. So let’s be careful in how we proceed.”

The amateur model is something that’s being heavily debated. The NCAA is currently in court fighting a legal challenge brought forth by former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon that argues players are entitled to compensation for use of their likeness and image during their college days.

The schools in the major conferences — and Notre Dame — have the financial means to pay more money.

Stoops is on course to make over $4.5 million this season and sources have told the Transcript he will receive a raise and extension later this month.

Yet, his salary is $2 million per year less than the deal Alabama announced its coach, Nick Saban, has signed.

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