|Monday, February 17
Updated: February 18, 8:49 PM ET
Iowa State coach says he'd contribute funds for athletes
DES MOINES, Iowa -- Iowa State basketball coach Larry Eustachy supports paying college athletes and would contribute some of his own salary to do it.
Under NCAA rules, a scholarship covers tuition, room and board and books. Various proposals have been floated to augment that by providing athletes with some spending money.
Proponents point out that while the NCAA makes millions of dollars from gate receipts and television revenue, none of it goes to the athletes who play the games.
Eustachy said paying athletes is an idea that should be explored.
"I think it's great,'' he said Monday on the Big 12 teleconference. "For some of them with their (economic) background, they hardly have enough money to eat properly. So I think they should (be paid).
"They create a lot of revenue. A lot of people get rich off them, including the coaches. To take a stipend out of a coach's check to do something like that, I don't think there would be a coach in the world that would be opposed to it. I know I wouldn't.''
A state senator in Nebraska, Ernie Chambers of Omaha, long has championed paying college players and last week introduced a bill that would require University of Nebraska football players to be paid a stipend if at least three other states in the Big 12 Conference passed similar laws.
Eustachy said something reasonable, such as $100 a week, would "go a long way'' toward helping athletes meet everyday living expenses.
"They're not a normal student,'' he said. "They're asked to do a lot of stuff outside the classroom.''
Eustachy, who makes $1.1 million a year, said he recognizes the athletic department has some pressing needs financially but believes money could be found for athletes.
"Start with the coaches,'' he said. "I read an article about Larry, open up your wallet. I'm not opposed to that at all. That would be great if you could form some kind of coaches' contribution along with NCAA money.''