This story is four days old but didn't get a thread or mention on the front page. Earlier this week I posted about OSU introducing legislation allowing schools to pay for a bigger share of player's parents travel expenses for the College Football Playoff, and the NCAA managed to temporarily resolve the situation in two days.
There's now a pilot program in place to allow the CFP to reimburse up to $3,000 and the NCAA to reimburse mens and womens Final Four participants family's up to $3,000 with an additional $1,000 for championship game participants. No other sport is affected by this pilot program, and it needs to be codified before becoming perminant.
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith then quickly made a push on Twitter saying he would seek NCAA legislation to make it happen. On Monday, Smith and Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens got calls from the NCAA about trying to make the reimbursements happen this year. By Tuesday, the CFP announced it would provide $2,500 per player's family in reimbursement money as a pilot program and the NCAA would provide a similar amount for the men's and women's basketball Final Four.
In less than 48 hours, the NCAA found an interpretation in its bylaws to make this happen, blunting the blow of the optics of more Ohio State parents publicly complaining about their travel costs compared to the money being made off the backs of their children.
“I was shocked,” Smith said of the speed in which the NCAA acted. “I was frankly shocked when I got the call from the NCAA office. Then I have to always step back because (NCAA president) Mark Emmert gets it, (NCAA vice president) Mark Lewis gets it, the staff gets it, so they were responding to the needs and the cries of an institution that was crying for help. I don't know where they found the interpretation. The interpretation is back from the 1960s, I'm sure.”