Troy University student-athletes will now be able to receive cost-of-attendance stipends starting this semester, Athletic Director Jeremy McClain announced last week.
As of last year, the NCAA announced that it would allow universities to pay athletes in order to cover costs of living not covered by athletic scholarships.
According to McClain, student-athletes at Troy will be offered $3,000 per year to cover these costs, with the money being divided into two checks per semester for a total of four. McClain said that the decision has been one that he and his staff have been working on since his arrival at Troy back in August.
“We felt it was important for a lot of reasons,” McClain said. “No. 1, it’s an opportunity to assist our student-athletes, and then secondly from a recruiting standpoint—we want to make sure we put our best foot forward and giving our coaches a chance to be successful.
“It was a front-burner issue, an issue I’m excited we got to the finish line.”
While some universities offer their out-of-state student athletes more funding to help with travel expenses to attend school, McClain said that this would not be the case at Troy. He said that while all athletes will receive stipends, some sports that only offer partial scholarships, like baseball, will have more flexibility to decide how the money is distributed.
According to McClain, the money to fund these stipends will add an extra $600,000 to the Troy athletics budget. Fortunately for Troy, the money needed for the program did not require any additional funding from the university.
“What I’m really proud of and happy to say is that we didn’t ask for any extra funding to do it,” McClain said. “We did this within the athletic budget.
“Our coaches sacrificed in some areas. We reallocated some dollars in some places because we felt it was that important. Then, we used some of our external revenue streams to supplement it as well.”
Coaching staff at Troy are also excited about the strides that Troy’s athletic program is making. Mark Smartt, head coach of Troy baseball, expressed his excitement for what the future holds with the new funding.
“I’m really pleased with the level of concern our administration has displayed with this,” he said. “It speaks volumes. This will help us identify players with more needs. Because of our partial scholarship system, it’ll help us reward more players who are deserving of it.”
For baseball and other sports, the decision helps to expand recruiting opportunities not only to potential in-state athletes, but out-of-state athletes as well.
“Our in-state kids will always be central to our roster,” Smartt said. “Our neighboring states are very competitive in baseball. We’re going to be recruiting in those states … and this may help land some top talent in those states.”
According to McClain, students will receive financial education classes in addition to the stipends.