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D-I athletic directors slam 'pay-for-play' support

(Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Morgan Burke, president of the Division 1A Athletic Directors' Association, is against pay for play. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Groups representing Division-I college athletic directors released a joint statement Wednesday affirming their commitment to improving college athletics and slamming the support for a "pay-for-play" model.

A record 120 members of the Division 1A Athletic Directors' Association attended this week's Division 1A AD's meetings, where members discussed options of how to improve the overall product of intercollegiate athletics.

"As a group, the athletics directors are engaged in developing recommendations that will improve the governance and operation of intercollegiate athletics," said Morgan Burke, president of the Division 1A Athletic Directors' Association and athletics director at Purdue University.

But one issue that wasn't supported by the group was student-athlete compensation. Mike Alden, president of NACDA and athletics director at the University of Missouri, said the country's athletic directors are unified in a stand against compensating players.

The athletics directors are chiefly concerned with public dialogue that does not accurately reflect the true value of intercollegiate athletics to student-athletes.

"Pay for play has no part in the amateur setting," Burke said, noting that the value of a full scholarship and direct support services at Purdue has a value in excess of $250,000. Plus, student-athletes with a full scholarship have no loan to pay back, an expense that could run upwards of $200,000 at Purdue.

Instead, because of "public dialogue that does not accurately reflect the true value of intercollegiate athletics to student-athletes," the group opted to focus on revamping "governance and operation."

Realizing that differences exist among the 351 Division I programs, Burke said, "Changes need to reflect such variances, while preserving and building upon areas of common interest."

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