Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Texas A&M recently paid Cedric Ogbuehi more than $50,000. The star offensive tackle said that he would have fled to the NFL had the school not come through with the money to pay for the costly insurance premium. Ogbeuehi said he cannot afford the insurance that would cover a drop in draft position because of injury.
Although no NCAA bylaws were violated and the money came from a Student Assistance Fund set up by the association, the problem becomes defining the fine line that between paying for playing. “We can argue about the word ‘paid,’ but Ogbuehi was awarded that money because he’s an athlete. It was given in good faith and ostensibly to keep the kid in school, but it was there because he’s a highly skilled player.
This may be a recruiting advantage available to other schools, but for now it is an advantage that A&M has gained better than anyone. As some onlookers have pointed out, a recruit could demand insurance coverage out of the Student Assistance Fund as a condition of signing. It then becomes a case of how the school parcels out its recruiting promises.
See Dennis Dodd, Texas A&M Paid Star Tackle $50k to Stay in School; What Could Go Wrong? CBS Sports, July 21, 2014.