Before the NCAA is called back for another routine check up in Knoxville, however, Tennessee fans will be relieved to hear that this payment is completely legal.
After an act was passed by the NCAA in January allowing schools to cover “full cost of attendance,” a report from The Chronicle of Higher Education says that Tennessee will lead the nation in terms of extra aid, doling out as much as $5,666 dollars per athlete to cover a wider range of day-to-day expenses.
The extra money is based on a nine-month academic schedule. Players who attend summer school are eligible for even more. In total, it will add over $600 per month to the players’ total aid.
While Tennessee leads the nation with the figure of $5,666, several SEC programs, including Auburn and Mississippi State are giving similar bumps to their aid. In total, seven of the top 20 schools in terms of additional aid come from the SEC.
A USA Today report from January says there’s “considerable leeway and subjectivity” when it comes to how schools determine what their total cost of attendance is. That report also notes that some have concerns about how it will affect recruiting, but, at least for the time being, that seems to be something that will work in Tennessee’s favor.