The new non-profit Collegiate Running Association was announced on Nov.20 that plans to give American college and university athletes in the NCAA a chance to compete at a national championships where they can win prize money.
In recent years it has been a hot topic in the sporting world about if NCAA athletes should be allowed to make money from their sports. In bigger spectator sports such as football and basketball, the NCAA makes large sums of money off of athletes who compete for free. On the other hand, many of these athletes, albeit certainly not all, are getting a free education from their sports through scholarships
Until last August track and field and cross-country athletes in the NCAA were unable to accept prize money beyond their own expenses for the event from a race. That has been changed to allow them to accept prize money covering their expenses for an academic year, which allows much more potential for runners in the university system to take home some dough from races outside the NCAA if they choose to.
The program is founded by Steve Taylor who has been the cross-country coach at the University of Richmond for 20 years. It will feature national championships for road, trail and mountain races, which are not contested in the NCAA. The events will take place at well-established races around the country. This also allows for graduate students who have exhausted their eligibility but are still in school and part-time students to compete.