Boise State's Kustra on proposed NCAA stipend: 'You're now paying students to play'

By Brian Murphy

Boise State President Bob Kustra has been a vocal opponent of an NCAA proposal to give student-athletes an additional $2,000 stipend. During an interview with American Public Media's Kai Ryssdal on "Marketplace," Kustra gave made his strongest comments to date about his reluctance to give the stipend.

In December, Boise State among the schools that tried to stop new NCAA proposals for a $2,000 stipend and another one allowing schools to offer multi-year scholarships.

Click here is a complete transcript from Kustra's "Marketplace" interview.

Among the highlights:

— Kustra said that full scholarships are "a great program" and that they have hidden costs, such as coaching, training table, academic support.

— Kustra said the $2,000 stipend would cross "the threshold from being an amateur athlete to being a professional athlete"

— When questioned about that comment, Kustra said, "I don't know where you stop. I think from there then you open up the fact, you realize the fact that you're now paying students to play. And once you pay students to play, why does it have to stay at $2,000?"

— Kustra said there should be a larger conversation within the NCAA. "Why don't you call this what it is? Why don't you open up the whole discussion? Why don't we take a look at Division I football and men's basketball and really ask ourselves how you can continue justifying these sports as amateur athletics."

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Coach Pete is going to make $2 million a years. Coordinators will make $200K+, Assistance with very little experience will make over $100K and they probably have a degree in communication. Now, how much does the school take in?

I agree with Kustra about pay to play. The question becomes, if it isn't okay for the players to get paid, then why are we spending so much money on coaches, facilities, etc. in light of the status as amateur sports? There is a big disconnect. Don't know too many professions where mentoring amateurs is worth $2 million a year. The players are the product. If they aren't getting paid in relation to the money coming in, then can't we at least acknowledge the gross inflation of athletic department budgets over the last 20 years and rethink how we do this? For what we have now, we might as well call it NFL development league and pay the players more and not give them a degree. It used to be called semi-pro. Now the NFL gets free training and development of coaches and players, and everyone makes money except for the people that draw the crowds.

Maybe college athletics should become a thing of the past in these times where scholarship money should be given on an academic/need basis alone.

I love my Broncos, but I am sicked by the money spent to sustain them.

Nice try

Pete's degree and Masters are both in psychology, not communication. And of the 2 GA's one is Communications, the other Kinesiology. The DFO, Business Administration. So your assumption falls flat.

BTW, you're trying to say the "Assistants", not "Assistance". If you're going to criticize the school, at least pretend like you actually attended it.

free education

They get their education for free. What else do they want? I played collegiate sports to pay my way through school. I am now using my education. Most of the athletes nowadays don't.


In this day and age what else can we do to make it easier on all athletes not just football
and basketball...if the ncaa requires pay to play stipends so be stipend was called monthly incidentals..all of $15 dollars a month..the year was 64 and 65..also worked two jobs to get through school at $1.25...and that was with a full ride at a major university..which happens to be the largest university in the USA the athlete's are not allowed to have a job and play college sports so where is the equality other than a measly can all the DI schools afford the stipend is beyond dollars won't get it..looks like we'll just have to suspend all sports that can not be self supporting...$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ it's just like the BCS....big name schools and the big money schools...nothing to do with a winning program...go broncos...


Duh! ya mean we gots to study to get a edudcution, I can play footsball real good, maybe I can gets a job as garbage mans

Umm, where

did you go to college again?

Yes I would like to see an Audit on the

Boise State Football Franchise....

How much money do they really bring in and what are the 'real' operational costs of the Boise State Football team....

Just out of curiousity....

Plus, the $2,000 for football isnt bad....

Stipend-(Bob being Bob hush and hush)

The head coach of the school disagrees with you.Bob-and you always be adressed as Bob-stop meddling in football business -and worry about your real job.

This is kind of pathetic

BSU got in trouble for giving kids a floor to sleep on and a couple cheeseburgers, but now the ncaa is ok with paying each player 2k?

Kustra's Big Beef With Paying Athletes

The big problem with paying the players any amount is if they start doing that they lose their fig leaf of amateurism. College football and men's basketball aren't really businesses you know. Kustra and co. are just supporting the athletic programs out of the goodness of their hearts, to enrich those bright young fellows that want to come to BSU for an education.

I think what the NFL and the NBA need is to develop a farm system like MLB has done and get the big time sports programs out of college. That way kids who want to go on to be pro athletes can focus on that without distraction. Removing big time athletics from universities would put an end to all the cr@pola about stupid NCAA violations, booster-payoff scandals, cheating/special help for athletes in class... that are plaguing college athletics today.

I also think Kustra is afraid that paying players will cut into the margin BSU has on athletics and some administrators may have to take pay cuts.

Farm Systems

The NBA has a farm system - the D-League. The Idaho Stampede is a franchise of that system. It's done nothing to unburden colleges of their big time basketball programs.

The reason that the NFL doesn't have such a program is because the career of most players isn't all that long. Sure, the marquee players like quarterbacks, running backs and receivers can stick around for a decade, maybe a little more, but the guys on the line are going to be done sooner than that. It's a really tough game, much more so that most other sports, and it takes its toll. Put a guy in a farm team for a few years and by the time he's ready for the big league, he's only going to have a few years left to play.

But that even assumes that the purpose of the "big three" sports is to prepare players for the big leagues. It's not. Like the commercial says, they'll all be going pro in something other than their sport. Big athletics are big because we love football, basketball and baseball, not because of the NFL, NBA or MLB.

Its not just football

That stipend would have to go to all athletes. For schools with small budgets it could be quite an expense, maybe enough that they would need to cut some men's and women's programs. Either that or not offer the stipend. Schools with big budgets like Ohio State and Alabama would have no problem coming up with the money. This is just another ploy to give a recruiting advantage for the traditional BCS powers.

This was a good idea

that was badly thought out.

What do you WANT, Bob? My llama is deceased!


Websites: Everytime you get it the way you're comfortable with somebody gives a monkey a rock, bottle and a dollar.

bronco bob

is correct...if you start paying then where does it stop. this is why i think the bcs schools should just become a professional entertainment entity and become a feeder league to the nfl. then the rest of the ncaa membership can focus on the true mission of the ncaa.


The BCS schools aren't already?


Bob "Krusty" Kustra

Kustra epitomizes everything that is wrong with higher education in America. $$$$$ is the only thing he understands.


You might want to read the article, you look kinda foolish

Academic Schools

Every scholarship should be academic. Sports - play if you want.


discriminate much?

Heave Ho My Maties - Time to throw Bronco Bob off the train

Coach Pete - Pro $2,000 increase.

Bronco Bob - Anti $2,000 increase.

Coach Pete - Head Coach, BSU Broncos.

Bronco Bob - President, BSU Broncos.

Coach Pete - irreplaceable.

Bronco bob - a monkey could do his job.

Synopsis - Bronco Bob is around as long as Coach Pete can stand him - then it's "over the side Boys, we gotta get rid of some old rotten fish".

BAA Member #63799


Seriously, we're talking about 200k among budgets of (Alabama's is ~130 million) millions. ROTC students get stipends, athletes cannot have jobs, due to ncaa restrictions.


I think the concern is that some schools will be able to afford it, other won't. This would further the divide between the have and have-nots. It's almost a certainty that the U of I could not afford $200K added to their budget.

There are other concerns as well, such as TitleIX, no way the Government will allow something like this for men and not have it matched on the women's side.

I think everyone agrees that student-athletes could use a few extra bucks (not just football players)

It was also

reported yesterday that the NCAA is strongly considering lower the football scholarship max from 85 to 80.

Any bets the same schools that are for a "only if you can afford it" stipend, will be against this cost cutting measure?

Doing what they probably

should have done in the first place

athletes CAN have jobs

it's difficult because of their schedules, but during the off season they can, and do, have jobs. IJ worked for a local plumber and several of the Ohio St. players got in trouble, not for having a job but, for making too much for the work they did.



Websites: Everytime you get it the way you're comfortable with somebody gives a monkey a rock, bottle and a dollar.