In January 2015, the 65 schools in power conferences voted for the allowance of cost-of-attendance compensation for student-athletes. The measure allowed for schools to supplement athletic scholarships — that cover tuition, room and board, books, fees and supplies — with money for travel, personal and other expenses.
"This was a really important day in the NCAA’s journey, and a significant step," said then-executive associate commissioner of the SEC Greg Sankey, who is now the commissioner.
Cost-of-attendance payments are set by each university — and vary for in-state and out-of-state students — therefore the amount is different for each school. For the 13 public universities in the SEC, the highest average cost per scholarship student-athlete is different for each school (as of 2015-16). The University of Kentucky ranks 12th with an average of $3,598.
CBS Sports reported that the additional payments equal $1 million in new costs for the university, and with revenue barely eclipsing total expenses ($116.5 million in revenue in 2015-16 to $115.1 million in expenses, according to USA Today), UK joined many schools in seeking additional revenue sources to pay for the cost-of-attendance stipends.
More than two years later, the university has found a big revenue source. On Monday, they became the first SEC team to sell naming rights of their football stadium, Commonwealth Stadium. The 44-year-old on-campus stadium will now be called Kroger Field after the Cincinnati-based supermarket chain purchased naming rights.
How much money will football players receive from the new deal?