By Stephen Tsai
Joe Blow is planning a business trip to the mainland, in which he will leave on a red-eye flight on Monday night, arrive on Tuesday morning, then depart for the return trip on Thursday morning.
The company approves his travel budget of $1,160 — $700 for the round-trip airfare; $100 for the rental car; $240 for the hotel ($120 per day), and $120 for food ($20 per meal).
As it turns out, Mr. Blow has to pay $25 per way for his check-in suitcase. Another $60 is added to the rental-car bill for taxes, GPS device, collision insurance and gas. It's another $20 at the hotel for taxes, maid tips and Internet use. Tack on another $30 for taxes and tips for the meals. The extras add up to $160.
In this analogy, the approved travel budget is the value of a full athletic scholarship. The so-called "cost of attendance" would be the total of the budget and the extras.
FBS conferences, including the Mountain West (of which UH is a member), have been meeting this week to discuss whether scholarship athletes should be compensated for the extras, which include money for laundry, gas for the moped, etc. Scholarships are based on a school's tuition and average room and board. MWC officials have estimated that if scholarship athletes receive a flat annual stipend of $2,000 for the extras, it would amount to more than $300,000 for each school.
Figures are still being debated and maybe a resolution is near. Maybe not.
But it appears the cost of doing college-sports business could be going up.