Billy D: NCAA should reiumburse family travel for whole tournament

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The NCAA announced earlier this week it will pick up the travel tab for families of student athletes that are competing in the men’s and women’s Final Four.

But Florida coach Billy Donovan said he thinks the NCAA should go a step further.

“They should do it for the whole tournament,” Donovan said. “You’ve got a Selection Sunday at 6 o’clock and some team gets picked to play on Thursday at noon, well that’s a pretty expensive flight going somewhere for a parent for a Sunday to Thursday flight. That might not be realistic.”

According to the plan, the NCAA will pay up to $3,000 in travel costs for families of athletes of Final Four participants and up to $4,000 those athletes reach the NCAA Finals.

Donovan said he wonders if this will open the door for the NCAA to pay to family travel for other, non-revenue sports. The NCAA is making $11 billion in a 14-year deal with CBS and its television partners to televise the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

“In a lot of ways those athletes deserve the same kind of thing as football and basketball,” Donovan said. “I understand money and revenue are getting generated by those two sports, but there’s a lot of other parents that have invested a lot of time with their kids that are out playing competitively across the country that would like to go see their kids play. ”