So explain to me again how not paying halfsies on rent will lose you your eligibility? In the latest example of the long running NCAA reality show, "How We Are Out of Touch.", they strip USC wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett's eligibility, until he applies for reinstatement, because records show he paid less then half of the nearly $4k a month bill.
Now, if you will forgive the sidebar here, what mansion was Jarrett and former QB Matt Leinart living in that cost the princely sum of $3,866 a month to begin with? These kids could not work, under the current rule and that would be one hell of a work study job to earn that much. Landscaper at a sorority perhaps?
So we bust a kid instead for not coming up with the not so cheap share of the rent money. That makes sense now, doesn't it. If we aren't going to pay these boys beyond a scholarship, then should room and board be fully covered? Is USC the only program that has their athletes not stay on campus? Why cannot there be a block grant that pays for housing, food, and some pocket money for these kids. If you are going to micromanage every nickel and dime these kids can or cannot get, lets give them some legal leeway and move away from the evil booster "wink, wink" money that has been around forever.
The aspiration of amateur athletics is indeed very noble, and yes, most that play will never play for a paycheck. But, if you insist on keeping these archaic rules in a time when college sports are big money and none of the $80 I would spend on a USC jersey would go into that players pocket, then lets give these kids the breathing room that a med student has at 21.