There was previously quite a bit of uncertainty surrounding the issue of Cost of Attendance stipends at Texas State and whether they would be offered to Bobcat student athletes in the future, but that uncertainty is now over. Texas State head coach Dennis Franchione took the mic on Monday at the Sun Belt media days and announced the good news.
This just in: #TXST head coach Dennis Franchione announces that the Bobcats will offer a cost of attendance stipend in 2016.— Joe Vozzelli (@smdrjoe) July 20, 2015
As per Vozzelli, Texas State athletes will now have extra money to cover food, travel, and incidental expenses. The amount of the stipend is fairly consequential as well.
Each athlete at TXST will receive about $3,000 in stipend money per year.— Joe Vozzelli (@smdrjoe) July 20, 2015
UPDATE 10:40 PM: Texas State has released a statement with more details about how cost of attendance will be funded.
"We have always planned on providing scholarships with cost of attendance," Texas State athletic director Larry Teis said. "We have taken the time to thoroughly look at every effect that providing cost of attendance will have on our department and institution, and ensure that the information we provide to our student-athletes and coaching staffs about this change is accurate."
"Texas State has always provided our student-athletes with a quality education, and to include financial assistance while they are pursuing their degree. We are already leaders among many of our peers in what we are providing our student-athletes in scholarship funding to include summer school funding and fifth-year funding. When you look at what we have recently completed in new facilities and what is planned with future projects, we will offer student-athletes an educational and athletic experience with which very few institutions can compete."
The ability to fund the initiative is greatly enhanced by the increased profile of the Bobcat Club, which has grown exponentially every year. Last year the Bobcat Club surpassed $1.2 million, a new benchmark for the department. The projected cost for all Texas State student-athletes to receive the full cost of attendance is around $400,000.
Bold is emphasis mine.
This move should help dispel many concerns about Texas State's long term commitment to its student athletes. Offering cost of attendance stipends should also dissuade any concerns about Bobcat recruiting being negatively impacted in the long term, although there are questions about how much of a negative impact there really would've been in the first place.
Per cost of attendance, UL Lafayette HC Mark Hudspeth, whose program will offer CoA, says it hasn't come up one time during recruiting.— Joe Vozzelli (@smdrjoe) July 20, 2015
Another side story is that this move can only help the reputation of Texas State athletic director Larry Teis.
For as much criticism as he gets, Teis stepped up huge with getting cost of attendance for the athletes. #TXST— Ishmael Johnson (@Ish_46) July 20, 2015
Credit where credit's due. For now it looks like Texas State will be able to keep up in the college athletics and the Sun Belt arms race, and that can only be a good thing.