Emmert: Stipend not a lean toward 'pay for play'

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HOUSTON (AP) -- NCAA President Mark Emmert says university leaders across the country are "adamant" about never allowing student-athletes to be paid for playing.

Emmert spoke Thursday to the Houston Economic Club, a week after the Division I Board of Directors approved a set of sweeping reforms. The move included an option to add $2,000 annually to scholarship offers.

Critics view the stipend as the first step toward eventually paying student-athletes to compete. Emmert said the money is simply meant to close the gap between a scholarship -- which only covers tuition, room and board and books -- and the "full cost of attendance," which include other expenses incurred by athletes during the season.