Barry Alvarez supports NCAA plan for 'Big 5' autonomy

Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez (right) with Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald before the Oct. 12, 2013, game at Camp Randall Stadium. - Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has an interesting collection of perspectives from Wisconsin's athletic director covering "Big 5" autonomy, stipends, extended healthcare for student athletes and more.

In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez touched on a variety of topics pertaining to the ongoing debate regarding "Big 5" autonomy in college athletics. The interview is well worth your time, particularly to see how Wisconsin tries to aid student-athletes as much as possible under current rules and conditions.

Here are some snippets from the interview, touching on topics that are bound to remain noteworthy even after the NCAA's board of directors votes on the new plan for increased autonomy in August.

Alvarez on more autonomy for 65 schools

These include schools from the "Big 5" conferences -- the Big Ten, SEC, Big 12, Pac-12 and ACC. SB Nation has a nice rundown of what exactly "more autonomy" entails, but essentially, it boils down to the ability for these five conferences to approve rules pertaining only to themselves. Scholarship funding, healthcare for student-athletes and more would also be up for debate.

"Whatever we can do for the kids I'm in favor of. Whatever we can do for the players, within the rules, I am in favor of."

Alvarez on student-athlete stipends to help cover full cost of attendance

These stipends could begin at $2,000 annually, according to Potrykus.

"I think it is fair," Alvarez said of the lower figure. "I think everyone thinks it's fair."

Alvarez on extended healthcare for athletes who suffer lingering medical issues after they've left school

Alvarez cautioned that will be a complicated issue to address.

Do athletes who require knee-replacement surgery decades after they stopped competing have the right to bill their former school?

"I don't know if you can do that," Alvarez said. "I don't have an answer for that. I don't know how you put a finger on that.

"I don't know how you determine whether it was related to just the time they were in school."

Again, Potrykus' whole interview is well worth your time. Alvarez also touches on UW's current methods of aiding student-athletes, such as money from the NCAA that allowed then-senior Tyler Dippel to travel home to California last season due to a family emergency.

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