The Big Ten released a statement today calling for an adjustment of the NCAA model, in the wake of the testimony of conference commissioner Jim Delany last week in the Ed O'Bannon trial.
Signed by presidents and chancellors of the Big Ten's 14 member schools, including interim Ohio State president Joseph Alutto and outgoing Michigan president Mary Sue Coleman, the statement called for guaranteeing four-year scholarships for student-athletes, a standing scholarship if a student-athlete turns pro before graduating, providing consistent medical insurance for student-athletes and that scholarships cover the full cost of a college education.
The statement also addressed the issue of paying college athletes.
"If universities are mandated to instead use those dollars to pay football and basketball players, it will be at the expense of all other teams," the statement read. "We would be forced to eliminate or reduce those programs. Paying only some athletes will create inequities that are intolerable and potentially illegal in the face of Title IX.
"The amateur model is not broken, but it does require adjusting for the 21st century. Whether we pay student-athletes is not the true issue here. Rather, it is how we as universities provide a safe, rewarding and equitable environment for our student-athletes as they pursue their education."
The O'Bannon antitrust trial is in its 12th day in Oakland, Calif., and seeks to decide whether college athletes should be paid for the use of their likenesses.