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South Carolina Athletics Provides Alston Funds to All Student-Athletes
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South Carolina Athletics Provides Alston Funds to All Student-Athletes

by Brad Muller, Director of Content

Whenever NCAA rules are enacted or changed to benefit student-athletes, South Carolina Athletics has always been quick to respond and implement those opportunities to the fullest extent.

Following a recent Supreme Court decision in Alston vs. NCAA, the Southeastern Conference Presidents and Chancellors confirmed that each SEC member institution has the discretion to determine criteria and methods to provide education-related benefits and academic achievement monetary awards to their student-athletes.

Gamecock Athletics is among the first to direct academic achievement monetary awards to all its student-athletes.

“Our mission in Gamecock Athletics is to give our student-athletes a ‘championship experience’,” said Athletics Director Ray Tanner.  “The decision to offer the full amount of the Alston monies to all of our student-athletes is given with this in mind. These monies are as important to someone not on a scholarship as they are to someone who is on a full scholarship.”

The Alston decision gave universities the option to provide student-athletes with additional education-related benefits such as computers, science equipment and musical instruments, as well as direct financial support in the form of academic achievement awards, with a maximum of $5,980 per year.

“Coach Tanner always wants to provide our student-athletes with all the resources we have available,” said Senior Deputy Athletics Director Chance Miller. “He has been adamant that the student-athlete experience, and their well-being, are top priorities. That’s not just for certain student-athletes. That’s for all of our student-athletes.”

South Carolina has 537 student-athletes, of which 387 are on either full or partial scholarship, and 150 walk-ons. Gamecock Athletics was already providing assistance for educational items from the NCAA Student-Athlete Assistance Fund, which went towards additional class equipment, summer programming, study abroad, campus parking permits, custom suits for interviews and internships, and other benefits.

“The Alston decision now gives us the ability to provide each student-athlete with an additional $2,990 academic award per semester,” Miller said.

“There are many student-athletes who are not on scholarship and have to pay their own way to graduate, so having nearly $6,000 per year certainly helps them,” added Tanner. “This lessens the burden on a student-athlete and their family by reducing their educational costs.”

“It is our goal to be the best in the nation in supporting the goals and dreams of our student-athletes.”
– Ray Tanner, Athletics Director

Student-Athletes will have to meet specific academic and athletic criteria to receive these monetary academic achievement awards. Those who qualify will begin receiving the new academic stipend at the end of the 2022 spring semester. 

The Alston decision is just the latest of several actions in the last few years to provide assistance with financial needs and other opportunities for student-athletes.

“Things have changed so much in the last few years where we have provided cost of attendance stipends for student-athletes, and developed an educational and resource program for Name, Image & Likeness (NIL), which took effect this year,” Miller said. “We have made a commitment to provide for and develop student-athletes in every way, not just athletically.”

Gamecock student-athletes now have the benefits of a world-class nutrition program, access to numerous outstanding mental health professionals, increased staff and resources in strength and conditioning, athletic training and professional development services. 

The Beyond Sports summer internship program has been in place since 2017, placing student-athletes in real-life work experiences that has assisted them in achieving employment after their playing careers are completed.

“The Gamecock Student-Athlete Promise is the University’s commitment to developing our student-athletes in their sport, in the classroom and beyond,” added Tanner.  “It is our goal to be the best in the nation in supporting the goals and dreams of our student-athletes.”

For more information on the Gamecock Student-Athlete Promise, go to, click on Athletics on the Garnet bar and go to the Promise link.