Big Ten rejects pay-for-play, supports NCAA plan for changes

The conference cast another wave of support for proposals floated earlier by the Pac-12 and the Big Ten itself.

The Big Ten officially rebuffed a pay-for-play system of any kind Tuesday, voicing its unwavering support for an NCAA structure that is evolved but not radically different from today’s landscape.

As a trial featuring former college basketball star Ed O’Bannon continues in Oakland, Calif., challenging the current NCAA model, Big Ten presidents and chancellors reiterated the need to take on the challenge of improving athlete welfare within the universities, rather than in courts.

“The amateur model is not broken, but it does require adjusting for the 21st century,” a statement from the presidents and chancellors read. “Whether we pay student-athletes is not the true issue here. Rather, it is how we as universities provide safe, rewarding and equitable environment for our student-athletes as they pursue their education.”

Within the statement, the conference cast another wave of support for proposals floated earlier by the Pac-12 and the Big Ten itself during the presidents and chancellors summit earlier this month. Among the changes the Big Ten desires:

• Guaranteeing the four-year scholarships, regardless of whether an athlete is injured or leaves early for a professional career.

• Providing improved medical insurance for student-athletes.

• Ensuring that schools cover the full cost of the college education, as defined by the federal government.

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