Some Murray State University men’s and women’s basketball players will receive a $3,400 stipend this school year to use as they wish.
The NCAA's power conferences passed legislation earlier this year allowing Division I schools to give their student athletes stipends to meet the full cost of attendance, which includes anything the student needs beyond tuition, housing and textbooks.
MSU athletic director Allen Ward says the school's financial aid office calculated the $3,400 amount based on the cost of living in Murray. He says he’s not sure how many or which athletes will receive the stipend this year.
“I think it’d be premature for me to say exactly how I’m going to allocate that,” Ward said. “I will just say that I want to make sure that my basketball team is in a position where we don’t have any disadvantages when we’re out there trying to recruit.”
Ward said some larger schools will be able to give all their student athletes stipends, but MSU will be focusing on its basketball program.
“We're certainly going to have to do something for men’s basketball because it’s already out there on the recruiting trail and if you do men’s basketball, from a Title IX perspective, we’re going to have to do women’s as well from gender equity," Ward said.
The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the University of Kentucky’s stipend will range from $3,330 to nearly $3,600, while the University of Louisville can dole out more than $5,200 to its student athletes.
Ward said he’ll decide on the allocations by the beginning of the fall semester next month.