- Edward Aschoff, ESPN Staff Writer
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DESTIN, Fla. -- Steve Spurrier's idea to give football players an extra stipend had little traction at last year's SEC spring meetings, but that didn't stop him from bringing it up again this go round.
"It's very similar to last year," South Carolina's coach said of his stipend plan Wednesday. "We're trying to get extra money for living expense, academic expense, game-related expense to our players because of the tremendous amount of money -- billions -- they're bringing (in)."
Spurrier said he proposed giving more than the $2,000 stipend the NCAA is still mulling over. He'd like to give football players and other athletes in revenue-producing sports, such as men's basketball, "approximately $3,500 to $4,000" for the entire year to cover most college expenses.
"We as coaches believe they're entitled to a little more than room, books, board and tuition," Spurrier said. "Again, we as coaches would be willing to pay it if they were to approve it to where our guys could get approximately get three-, four-thousand bucks a year. It wouldn't be that much, but enough to allow them to live like normal student-athletes.
"We think they need more and deserve more. It's as simple as that."
Like Spurrier's proposal last year, in which he wanted to pay players a $300 stipend for each game, there would still be hurdles his idea would have to leap over and it's unlikely that it will get much further than talks during spring meetings. For starters, there would be obvious Title IX implications and not every school nationally would be able to pay student-athletes as much. Plus, football and basketball couldn't be the only sports to pay student-athletes. It would have to be a national plan and it would have to be a plan for all collegiate sports.
SEC coaches seem to understand the issues surrounding the idea, but Spurrier said all 14 SEC coaches agree with the idea.
"We recognize that the income producers are both the football and basketball programs, period," LSU coach Les Miles said. "So there's a want to say with this extra income we would like to provide cost of education and cost of expense stipends to those players. We recognize that it's going to be difficult for every team on every campus -- volleyball, gymnastics, baseball, etc. -- to come up with the same number.
"What we're saying is the revenue-income sports, certainly football, would need in a possibility of sharing the income that's being produced, paying it back to those guys.
"It would be a difficult task putting it to work, but I think it's something we all want to push forward."
And it likely will strike up even more debate when it comes to paying student-athletes.
Vanderbilt coach James Franklin said he's for the philosophy of helping players out financially, but he understands the difficulty that will come with it, especially with a proposal that only pays athletes in revenue-producing sports.
"It's one of those things as coaches that we're constantly fighting for kids and doing everything we can to help them," he said. "And I really appreciate that. I'm the same way, but on the same hand, I also know it's more complex than we maybe think it is and there's a lot of things that go into it. You have to be aware of that.
"Yeah, it's easy to just talk about football doing it, but if you're going to do it, you can't just do it for football and basketball. You have to do it for all the sports and it can't just be for schools in the SEC. It has to be all over the country."
3dSam Khan Jr.