When the Power Five overthrew and set up a puppet government inside the NCAA, the first order of business was to push Cost of Attendance, a measure voted on and approved by a committee comprised of "the 65 schools of the power-driven leagues" and a panel of 15 student-athletes. (The measure was approved 74-1, with lone hold-out Boston College submitting the nay.)
As the Power Five conferences exchanged high-fives, some wondered if this added financial wrinkle would prevent Group of Five programs from competing.
So far, most Underdogs are committed to playing ball. Only 13 Underdog programs have stated that they are not offering a COA stipend this year (including six from the Sun Belt). Among the Group of Five aggressively competing with COA is Arkansas State.
"All our 16 sports will receive COA funds," says Jerry Scott, Assistant Athletics Director for Media Relations for Arkansas State. "We're providing $4,533 for our head count sports, and equivalency sports with each receive a pool of COA funds from a $816,000 budget."
According to a CBS survey, Appalachian State, Idaho, New Mexico State, Georgia Southern, Georgia State and Texas State are not offering the COA stipend this year. Per the survey, Appalachian State, Georgia Southern and Texas State plan to come aboard the COA train in 2016.
"I think (A-State is) pretty competitive on a national scale," says Scott, "Against both high resource and Group of Five programs."