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Saturday, November 26, 2005
Feds look to tighten loophole in system

A number of college athletes, including several football players at the University of Iowa and other Top 25 schools, are living in apartments set aside for the poorest Americans.

OTL investigates full-scholarship college football players who are living in housing intended for the poorest of Americans. (ESPN, Wed., 12:40 a.m. ET/9:40 p.m. PT).
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ESPN's Outside the Lines will explore the subject on Sunday (ESPN, 9:30 a.m. ET).

The investigation found some of the most successful programs in college athletics have players living in subsidized housing, including Virginia Tech, which has 19 players living in Cambridge Square apartments, a federally-subsidized Section 8 complex in Blacksburg paid for by the government to house needy people.

Section 8 refers to federal code that includes subsidized housing.

As first brought to light by the Des Moines Register, dozens of full-scholarship Hawkeyes players, who received money for housing, paid little or no rent to live in the housing. Among them was offensive lineman Brian Ferentz, the son of Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz, who was found to be living in an apartment subsidized by taxpayers.

Federal regulators have since tightened requirements for student athletes, many of whom receive a housing stipend intended to cover room and board expenses as part of their full scholarships. The stipends are based on what it would cost to live on campus.

But Outside the Lines, led by reporter John Barr, found students at Nebraska living in Section 8 housing as well.

College athletes receive a housing stipends intended to cover room and board expenses as part of their full scholarships -- stipends based on what it would cost to live on campus.

The NCAA says scholarship athletes are free to live off campus and spend their housing stipends however they want.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development, which oversees federal housing, says scholarship athletes who get housing stipends can still qualify, in some cases, for low rent or no rent apartments.