CFP to help with travel costs

Thanks to a timely waiver granted by the NCAA on Tuesday, the College Football Playoff will help with travel costs for the parents or guardians of the players participating in the College Football Playoff National Championship presented by AT&T on Monday.

The CFP is able to provide up to $3,000 in travel expenses for families of each competing student-athlete, according to the NCAA, but the playoff announced its reimbursement will be capped at $1,250 per parent or guardian.

Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff, said that when the reimbursable amount was determined, the playoff didn't yet know what the NCAA limit was, and the "details are yet to be finalized."

"The intent was to do what was allowable," Hancock told ESPN.com. "We thought the NCAA limit would be closer to $2,500 and we checked with the people at Oregon about the likely costs. Now that we know the NCAA limit, I'm sure the management committee and board of managers will look at that issue as we all continue to work through the details."

The NCAA's waiver was announced in conjunction with a pilot program it is using this spring to help cover expenses for players' families traveling to the men's and women's Final Fours.

The announcements by both the playoff and the NCAA came within hours of Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith saying the College Football Playoff failed by not providing financial assistance for players' families to attend the inaugural games.

"We know how expensive travel can be, so we're pleased to provide assistance to parents or guardians who want to see their sons play in the first College Football Playoff National Championship," Hancock said in a statement. "It will make the game even more special for the student-athletes to know that their family members are receiving this benefit."

The reimbursement will cover expenses for hotel accommodations in North Texas and travel reimbursement and meal expenses for a maximum of two parents or legal guardians per athlete.

The NCAA also said member schools and conferences can adopt new rules to provide these family travel expenses on a permanent basis or for other championships.

"Every little bit helps," said Ohio State linebacker Joshua Perry, whose parents traveled to New Orleans and are going to Dallas. "A lot of families will definitely appreciate it.

"This whole thing goes off the players. There wouldn't be the games and there wouldn't be the TV contracts without the players. So we definitely appreciate that they're doing something to help out our families."

Oregon coach Mark Helfrich said the Ducks have been working to try to help families get to games.

"We want to try and do everything we can for these guys, and certainly there's a huge financial sacrifice on families to get to one game, let alone two games," he said. "We have a bunch of guys from all around the country, and that's something that we've been very fortunate to do in terms of getting our guys home for Christmas, back to the bowl site, all that travel we can take care of from a budget standpoint, and then it's from a legislation standpoint of how we have to get over that next hurdle. But we're absolutely working toward helping the direct family as much as we possibly can."

ESPN.com's Brian Bennett and Chantel Jennings contributed to this report.