Texas flags

Texas will soon begin paying each of its student-athletes $10,000 a year to cover cost of attendance and likeness rights, athletics director Steve Patterson revealed at a Big 12 college sports forum in Washington on Tuesday.

The $10,000 will be split evenly, $5,000 apiece, between cost-of-attendance and payment for the University’s use of the athlete’s name and likeness (the figure U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken set in her O’Bannon trial ruling in August). (Cost-of-attendance, of course, varies from school to school and, thus, no uniform figure has been set since schools gave themselves the ability to provide COA stipends.) The total for all UT athletes adds up to $6 million a year.

“If we begin to [further] remunerate the participants (over and above this figure), that’s going to break that model,” Texas women’s athletics director Chris Plonsky said.

Considering that Patterson has been perhaps the most outspoken athletics director against the quote-unquote professionalization of college sports and stated previously that Texas doesn’t have as much money as the public assumes, consider this as a down payment against the future.

Though it is assumed every Power Five program will be making similar payments to its athletes, the Longhorns are the first school to formally stick their toes in the water.

This Dallas Morning News story does not set a date when UT will actually begin cutting these checks, though one would believe it would have to be soon if the Longhorns were willing to announce it.

After speaking with an individual who attended the panel yesterday in Washington, it appears to us that there are a few things that need to happen before the actual checks can be cut… First, “Autonomy” has to be passed, giving the Power 5 conferences the authority to approve these “cost of attendance” payments. That approval is scheduled for January at the earliest is what we were told. Furthermore, the mechanism to make the “deferred compensation” / “name and likeness” part of this isn’t in place either. Additionally, court challenges / appeals (related to the “name and likeness” part) are still ongoing.

That all leads us to believe these payments are being budgeted now (for 2015); but won’t likely be made until next school year (Fall 2015) at the earliest. Just our opinion though. Will update if we learn more.

National columnist - Zach joined the staff in 2012...and has been attempting to improve Doug and Scott's writing ability ever since (to little avail). Outside of football season, you can find him watching the San Antonio Spurs reading Game of Thrones fan theories.