With the largest collegiate athletic conferences pushing to allow extra financial benefits for players, smaller schools like WKU are wondering how such changes would impact their bottom lines.
The issue of increasing compensation for college athletes is being discussed this week at an NCAA summit in San Diego. A group of high-profile conferences wants the ability to grant stipends that would pay for costs not covered by athletic scholarships.
NCAA President Mark Emmert recently said he believes such a stipend plan will soon become a reality.
WKU athletic director Todd Stewart says nothing is set in stone yet about how such stipends would be used.
WKU athletic director Todd Stewart comments Thursday about Bobby Petrino's departure
Despite reports that WKU could be close to naming a new football coach, the school's athletic director is refusing to address such speculation.
In a phone conference with reporters Thursday afternoon, WKU's Todd Stewart said he wanted to focus on former coach Bobby Petrino, who was introduced as the new coach at the University of Louisville Thursday morning.
Stewart was asked if he tried to keep Petrino from leaving WKU after only one season.
"Certainly the Louisville job, with where their program is, with what they've achieved in recent years, and with them heading into the ACC--that's a big-time job. I don't think there's anything that we could have done here that we weren't already doing that would have persuaded him to turn that down and stay here," Stewart said.
Multiple media outlets have reported that Stewart has met with WKU offensive coordinator Jeff Brohm about the Hilltopper head coaching job.
WKU President Gary Ransdell told the Courier-Journal he considered Brohm the leading candidate for the job and planned to interview the former U of L quarterback Thursday.
WKU Athletic Director Todd Stewart has issued a statement regarding football coach Bobby Petrino's decision to leave the school for the University of Louisville head coaching position.
Petrino was officially introduced Thursday morning as the new Cardinals head coach, his second stint at U of L. Petrino led the Cardinals from 2003-2006 and gained a reputation as one of the nation's most creative offensive innovators.
Here is the statement released Thursday by WKU Athletic Director Todd Stewart:
Kevin's interview with WKU Athletic Director Todd Stewart
WKU’s athletic director is predicting there will be changes coming to the organization that governs collegiate athletics. But Todd Stewart doesn’t think the country’s most powerful conferences will break away from the NCAA and form their own organization, as some have suggested.
Stewart will attend a summit in January called by NCAA President Mark Emmert in response to pressure by big-revenue generating schools who want more say in how the NCAA is run. Some large schools want to increase compensation for collegiate athletes beyond what is currently allowed—something opposed by many smaller schools who say they couldn’t afford it.
Stewart came to the WKU Public Radio studio Wednesday to discuss the upcoming NCAA football summit, the future of college football, and his approach to putting together future WKU football schedules.
WKU Public Radio: WKU has been invited along with all the other Division I football schools to attend a Jan. 16-17 summit in San Diego that coincides with the NCAA’s annual convention. From what you understand so far, what’s going to be discussed?
Todd Stewart: A lot of things are being discussed right now, and I think what President Emmert wanted to do was get everybody in the room and hopefully come out with some form of solidarity. Because you have what people refer to as the “power five” conferences—the SEC, ACC, the Big 10, the PAC 12, and the Big 12—and there are some reforms they would really want to see.
The WKU football team is hoping to continue the momentum established last weekend when they host Southern Mississippi Saturday night. The Hilltoppers are 2-1 following their win at Kentucky, and a big crowd is expected to watch the first-ever meeting between WKU and the Golden Eagles from Conference USA.
When WKU beat Kentucky for the first time ever in football Saturday, the significance was not lost on Todd Stewart. He was part of the WKU athletics department when the Hilltoppers lost 26 straight games, including a winless 2009 season.
Up until now, college coaches from all sports have been forbidden from sending messages to recruits via text, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. They’ve also been limited to how many phone calls they make to recruits.
WKU forward Michael Bradley has been denied a hardship waiver by the NCAA that would have made him eligible to play this fall for the Hilltopper basketball team. Bradley is a 6'10'', 225 pound native of Chattanooga, Tenn., who transferred earlier this year from Connecticut.