UNT coach Dan McCarney was a popular guy at Conference USA media day this week. He took a minute or two to shoot a video with me. We talked a little about the upcoming season and where the Mean Green is at as the beginning of two-a-days on Aug. 5 looms.
I wrote a story and a notebook for today’s paper on what went down at media day.
The big topic of the day was the changing landscape in college athletics and full cost of attendance scholarships. Conference USA will go in that direction, one that will provide players more money to live than they have in the past.
That issue ties in with the top five conferences in college football potentially being granted autonomy from the rest of the schools in college athletics. It’s going to happen — likely in a couple of weeks.
We covered both topics in today’s main story.
The key point when it comes to full cost of attendance scholarships is that schools are going to need a whole lot more money to cover the added expense. How much depends largely on the school, but the rough estimate we settled on in the media room after talking to everyone is schools will need $345,000 and $1.15 million more per year, a figure based on a rough estimate of 230 student-athletes receiving an additional $1,500 to $5,000 more than their current scholarships provide.
I am like a lot of other UNT fans out there who wonder if the school deciding to sell beer at football games right about the same time the higher-cost scholarships come into play is more than a coincidence.
The bottom line is that there is a whole lot of money flowing into college athletics. A lot of people, including some of the players on the field, are becoming more and more disenchanted with a system that only provides the basics of room, board, books and a small amount of money on the side.
A lot of college coaches and fans believe that should be enough, but people in that camp are quickly becoming the minority. The argument of playing for the glory of the green or the orange and white or the crimson and cream is quickly becoming an antiquated notion.
Full cost of attendance scholarships are another step in that direction.
As far as the top conferences potentially being granted autonomy, the move is another step that will widen the divide between top schools and the ones with lesser resources chasing them.
McCarney and his players talked about wanting the opportunity to play teams like Texas. McCarney is a big advocate of the bowl system and wants to maintain it in a time when a college football playoff is set to begin.
Our notebook covers a few items, including the development of a new team personality, the status of UNT’s suspended players and how UNT is handling being a favorite this year. We also checked in with Florida Atlantic coach Charlie Partridge, who hired former UNT great Chris Hurd for his first staff. He had a lot of good things to say about one of the cornerstone players from UNT’s New Orleans Bowl run that began in the early 2000s.