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11-01-2011, 11:39 AM
Ward Cornell
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Instead of another NCAA/CHL thread....

The Windsor Spitfires and Canadian Hockey League appear unfazed by changes the NCAA has approved for its scholarship program.

Long an opponent to paying athletes, the most notable change will see the NCAA allow conferences the option to pay athletes a $2,000-per-year stipend to cover incidental costs of college. That’s over an above the money paid out for scholarships, which can cover tuition, fees and books as well as room and board.

“I’m a little disappointed the NCAA felt they had to do that,” Spitfires goaltender Jack Campbell said. “You go to school because you want an education.”

NCAA president Mark Emmert said the move isn’t meant as a pay-for-play, but rather a recognition that athletes train year round and because of that cannot get a part-time job to cover some costs.

“Two thousand (dollars) will buy a nice laptop, but it doesn’t matter,” the 19-year-old Campbell said.

While the move wasn’t designed to specifically aid NCAA hockey teams in their battle with CHL clubs for talent, it’s hard to imagine schools won’t promote it as another benefit to a college education.

Campbell, who is from Port Huron, Mich., walked away from a full-ride scholarship to play at the University of Michigan in order to join the Spitfires last season and said the new NCAA stipend would not change that decision had it been in place at that time.

“Two thousand (dollars) might seem like a lot, but I came to the OHL in hopes of being able to make two million (dollars) in a couple of years,” said Campbell, who is a signed first-round pick by the NHL’s Dallas Stars.

It’s not the only move the NCAA took with its scholarship program. Schools now have the option of offering guaranteed multi-year scholarships to athletes rather than a year-by-year renewal.

“What motivates players to come to the CHL is the opportunity to develop on and off the ice,” CHL president and OHL commissioner David Branch said. “I don’t think anything being suggested (by the NCAA) will change that.”

With some schools offering scholarships to players at the age of 14, CHL teams aren’t expecting the daily battle for talent to be change and already have a weekly allowance program for players already in place along with an education package that comes with signing.

“We’re not worried about what everyone else is doing,” Spitfires president and head coach Bob Boughner said. “We’re trying to get the best players attracted to our program and our track record speaks for itself.”

“I went this way because I wanted to play for the Windsor Spitfires, play 60 games a year and a playoff schedule that’s like the NHL,” Campbell said.

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