The university gained a critical advantage for recruiting in men’s and women’s basketball as they will soon not only offer their athletes scholarships, but also stipends on the side.
Starting in the 2017-2018 season, Athletic Director Christine Rawak announced the basketball programs will offer players on scholarship up to a $1,500 cost of attendance (CoA) stipend. This will cover the extra costs scholarships do not, such as food, school supplies and the athlete transportation to and from home.
Delaware is not the first school in the CAA to offer this to their athletes –– UNC Wilmington, Charleston, James Madison and Towson do as well. The stipend was first introduced in the power-five conferences –– the Big 12, SEC, Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12 –– in January 2015 for the 2015-2016 season.
“To compete with the other schools we needed to do this,” Rawak said. “This will allow Coach Martin and Coach Ingelsby to talk to possible players about a full program now. We provide students with the academics and a great athletic facility, but this stipend was something other schools were offering and we were not. Now we have all that plus the CoA.”
A full scholarship covers costs of tuition, room and board and required fees and textbooks, but does not cover the other living expenses of being a college student. That is where the CoA comes into play. This stipend varies from school to school and ranges from around $1,500 to $5,000. Other schools in the CAA such as Towson offer about $3,200 and UNC Wilmington offers around $2,000 per player.
On average, Delaware provides male athletes on scholarship $17,929 and women, $12,316. Delaware’s athletic department consists of 21 varsity teams — 13 women and eight men. On top of the scholarships, Rawak felt basketball had the most pressing need to provide extra money to the scholarship athletes.
“We’re taking it a step at a time in terms of CoA across the board,” Rawak said. “We’re taking a step forward with basketball and keeping an eye on other sports. There’s going to be constant change and we’ll see what happens.”
Coach Ingelsby feels the CoA shows Rawak’s commitment to the basketball team. He said the first question recruits are asking is in regards to this stipend and for Delaware to now be able to say they do provide CoA is huge.
“It’s a great recruiting tool as well as great for the guys,” Ingelsby said. “It not only levels the playing field for us in our conference, but it shows the investment to the team. If they want to take a trip home now they’re able to do that.”
The players understand the weight of it all as well. Sophomore forward Eric Carter feels the stipend will help bring even more excitement to Blue Hens basketball.
“Looking at Delaware’s conference, not one team is the powerhouse every year,” Carter said. “That spot is constantly changing and is there to take so offering the CoA takes Delaware one more step in the right direction.”
For the women’s basketball team, the CoA adds a competitive edge as well as a change to shake up the 2017-2018 season. The program in the past couple of years has not made it as deep into the CAA tournament as their history precedes, falling to William & Mary in the quarter-finals this past season. The stipend provides athletes looking at Delaware basketball the security of knowing how serious the program is and will continue to be taken in seasons to come.
“Young people are still looking at the academics of a school and the location and scenery,” Martin said. “But there’s other factors athletes are taking into play. I’m excited to say we offer this now. It’s necessary and a major move for Delaware basketball.”