Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston's premium for "loss of value" insurance reportedly will be paid out of the school's Student Assistance Fund, much like Texas A&M is handling the payment for offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi.
Tomahawknation.com, a FSU-centric website, reported Friday that Florida State will pay Winston's insurance premium. The same type of situation recently came to light at A&M. News that Winston had purchased a loss-of-value policy broke in late June.
Yahoo Sports reported that policies the size of Winston's can carry a $55,000 to $60,000 premium payment per year, "which industry sources say most players have to obtain by financing." Yahoo also reported that Winston is the first returning Heisman winner since former Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford to purchase this type of policy; numerous players routinely purchase disability coverage.
The NCAA-funded Student Assistance Fund allows schools to help athletes in financial need, but Texas A&M's use of the fund for Ogbuehi was the first publicized case of the SAF being used in that manner. "I don't think many schools know about it," Aggies associate athletic director Justin Moore told FOX Sports. "It's a game-changer."
Critics of the fund's use in this manner pointed out that the SAF was intended for true financial hardships and that A&M's decision is not for a hardship but rather risk-aversion reasons.
The NCAA sponsors a disability insurance program; it does not provide loss-of-value coverage. The upcoming so-called "autonomy vote" regarding the "Power Five" conferences likely would change things in that regard, at least for the "Power Five" schools.
In the 2013-14 academic year, the NCAA said it sent $73,514,000 to Division I conference offices for the SAF. The SEC, for instance, allotted $350,000 to each of its members for the fund.
Mike Huguenin can be reached at email@example.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.