Midlands Fans React to NCAA Autonomy Vote

Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Both the Gamecocks and the Clemson Tigers play in two of the conferences that will be immediately impacted by an NCAA decision.

The decision promises to add some restricting to Division I athletics and fans shared their reaction to what they think it will bring.

When it comes to paying college athletes, many college sports fans have said it's something long overdue. Now that it's one step closer to happening, some of them are applauding the NCAA's decision.

"Scholarships don't pay bills, they pay tuition," said Ryan Vannatter, a 23-year-old college student. "College is a struggle, money wise, and you have no job," he said of many of the athletes that often play Division I sports.

He added that because of the time commitment, that "with (those) guys, there's no chance of them ever being able to work a part time job."

It's along those lines the NCAA Board of Director's based their decision.

An aspect of eventual rules is expected to include allowing athletes to be able to pay for the full cost of tuition. That includes funding that moves beyond paying for the cost of room and board alone.

The 16-2 decision also potentially clears the way for insurance benefits for players, and the relaxation of restrictions on player contact with agents.

"I'm so glad the NCAA approved all this stuff so that now they can get paid, and they have the ability to support their families, allow their families to go to the games," said Maurice Gibson, who was at the Carolina Ale House on Lady St. in The Vista having dinner with a group of friends Thursday evening.

Some smaller conferences, usually with smaller budgets, could choose to opt-into the changes the decision will bring.

"They're playing. I think there should be more regulations for smaller conferences as well," Gibson said.

However, not everyone agrees with the decision -- even between friends.

Gibson's friend, Chris Kompier, was also out to dinner with Gibson and a group of friends.

"The way I look at it, it's going to ruin the game; it's going to ruin the purity," Kompier said. "To belong to a team should be enough."


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