The current trend in college sports has been a full embrace of the call to provide athletes with stipends in addition to their scholarships. Stanford coach David Shaw spoke out against this movement at PAC 12 Media Days, saying:
“If the NCAA does pass this rule, we will comply, but my big commentis we’re also giving these guys a $58,000 per year education andunbelievable contacts and summer jobs and great opportunities as well,and it’s our job to make sure that these guys take advantage of theseopportunities. I like to say that our job is to teach these guys how to make a living and not have them make a living in college.”
Shaw went on to call efforts to pay college athletes “disgraceful.” An “old school” coach, Shaw has done everything the right way since taking over at Stanford. The school has continued to produce great students and has stayed out of the headlines during the offseason. He made it clear that he hopes to preserve the traditional notion of a “student athlete” and also take an active role in developing young men.
The Cardinal’s coach got philosophical, adding:
“If the rule changes, great, but I was a college student-athlete once.These kids aren’t starving. They’re already getting room, books, board. Wealways have to remember that they are still amateurs. Give someone a fish and you can feed himfor a day, teach them how to catch a fish and you can feed him for alifetime. Throwing money at a problem isn’t solving a problem.”
Despite rejecting the more popular position, Shaw has strengthened the program left to him by Jim Harbaugh and has taken the predominantly academic school to a 23-4 record, two BCS berths, and a PAC-12 title over the last two seasons.
In the age where Twitter and recruiting services give young recruits a sense of entitlement and quasi-celebrity status, Shaw has managed to build a program through stellar coaching, system development, and appealing to recruits on an academic basis.
While Shaw seems to be standing alone as a leading coach opposed to stipends, his program appears to be built for long-term success. He has a proven ability to develop players, and his team has plenty of talent, largely from the #5-ranked 2012 Class, that should help the program compete for another PAC-12 title.