The uncapped year launched nearly three months ago. With it came the expiration of the league’s obligation to fund the Tuition Assistance Plan.
Established by Article XLVIII-B of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Tuition Assistance Plan provides up to $15,000 per league year as reimbursement for tuition, fees, or books to any player who earns an average of “C” or better per semester.
Though eligibility seems to be limited to players who are active or only recently retired, at least one player who has been out of the game for more than a year has nevertheless had his request for reimbursement rejected based on the arrival of the uncapped year.
Said the player, “This is BS! I played a long time. If the owners and current players want to fight I don’t see how it changes my status. I’m not going to get a percentage of the new CBA.”
It may not be enough to prompt retired players to align behind the current players in the labor battle, but in the effort to win the hearts and minds of the former players, every heart and/or mind counts.
And if players who have been out of the league for more than a year aren’t eligible for the Tuition Assistance Plan, they shouldn’t be told that they’re ineligible due to the uncapped year.