UND paying hockey players but remains in wait-and-see mode for other sports – Grand Forks Herald
UND men’s and women’s hockey players on full scholarships will receive $3,400 this season in additional money after the NCAA approved the measure last year. The additional money is set aside to cover costs outside of tuition, fees, books and housing.
If an athlete is on a 90 percent scholarship, he or she will receive 90 percent of the $3,400 and so on.
Many of UND’s top rivals in men’s and women’s hockey also are instituting the payments. UND athletic director Brian Faison has long insisted he will make sure the hockey programs are able to offer perks similar to their rivals.
UND didn’t have to deal with that in other sports until Thursday, when rival North Dakota State announced it would institute payments in 2016-17 to all of its scholarship athletes in all sports.
This includes sports where UND and NDSU go head-to-head for recruits such as football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, volleyball, soccer, golf, and track and field.
“Obviously, it’s something we knew that was potentially out there for everybody to at least take a look at,” Faison said. “Up to this point, there wasn’t much conversation among the Big Sky to take this one on. I suspect that might change now that NDSU is doing what they’re doing.”
Faison said UND is constantly monitoring the financial numbers to implement the full amended grant-in-aid across the board.
“Scholarships are always a priority for us,” he said. “As we move through this process, it will continue to be a priority.”
UND football coach Bubba Schweigert found out about NDSU’s plan to offer the stipends when he was on his way to afternoon practice.
“At this point, it’s an administrative question for us,” Schweigert said. “We will probably be asked about that question by administrators, but at this point in time, our focus is really getting ready for Wyoming. But that’s going to be for our administrators to discuss and see what direction our university wants to take.”
While it’s yet to be determined whether UND will join NDSU in offering full amended grant-in-aid across the board in all sports, the men’s and women’s hockey teams have already started offering the extra benefits.
UND recruits against Big Ten schools such as Minnesota and Wisconsin — both of which said they will offer the extra payments in all sports. Nearly every team in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference — home of the UND men — also has said it plans to offer the extra payments to players.
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