Chad Scott wrote a good piece on the head scratching math that goes into the NCAA's new cost of attendance policy. The money is supposed to be related to the cost of living in that particular area for a student, not related to tuition or already covered room, board and books. In the current world it is more costly to attend the University of Tennessee ($5,666) than Boston College ($1,400). In the spirit of the new rules, Tennessee would be able to hand out more than $4,000 to a student athlete than BC would be able to offer to the same athlete. How do you think that is going to play out?
Scott noted that these numbers were not cooked up by some scheming SEC Football recruiter, but by each university's office of financial aid and collected by the Department of Education. That explains why school that would seemingly be inline with one another (USC and UCLA) or (Auburn and Alabama) are so different.
The good news is that this calculation won't last. Forget the bad math and worse logic behind Knoxville being more costly than Chestnut Hill. The reason this won't last is that the SEC won't allow one school to have a leg up on another. I expect that eventually there will be a flattening of the cost of attendance stipend and all schools will offer the same thing.
When BC voted against the pay players plan, they never mentioned this issue. They were thinking big picture and where the paying players will creep, but they should have included this aspect of the issue in their protest. It might have generated a little more support and slowed the movement down.