Thursday, November 11, 2010
College Athletes Should be Paid!
Now the NCAA says that it’s legal to sell them because the student-athlete’s name isn’t on the back of it. So their defense is that they aren’t selling the kids likeness. Um, I wonder how many #2 jerseys were sold in Ohio before Terrell Pryor showed up in Columbus? Now my problem isn't with schools making money. It's comes down to how they distribute it. I just believe that the student-athlete should see some of it in the form of a monthly stipend of let’s say $150 to $200.
I also believe that a percentage of all jersey sales should go directly to the student-athlete when he or she either graduates or leaves school early for any reason. Lets face it, some students have no intention of graduating from college when they enroll. A prime example would be players like John Wall that played at Kentucky last year. He was only in school because the NBA told him that he had to show up for a year. The Wildcats made a fortune in jersey sales with his number on it. That's not fair to the kid or his family even if he is a millionaire today. What if he hadn't been drafted for whatever reason. There are plenty of kids that were standout players in college, have graduated and were never drafted; but their jersey's were sold for four years. Don't even get me started on the video games that depict the players likeness.
I can hear the naysayer’s now, “They’re on scholarship are you kidding me! It’s a free education!” Well is it? Sounds more like a job to me. The other students don’t have to manage the load of going to class and practice. Most importantly, the student-athlete is making the university rich. It isn't the students tuition that builds all of the fine structures on campus. It's money generated from the athletic departments that allows the schools to flourish. Tuition simply pays the bills. When was the last time 100,000 people paid $78 per ticket and $20 to park to see a kid take a Chemistry test. Have you ever seen the schools Rhodes Scholar's button down and pocket protector sold in the bookstore.
Let’s look at what a full athletic scholarship really is. It pays for tuition, books, room and board. Sounds like enough, right? Wrong. What happens when the student-athlete needs clothes, a pair of shoes, toiletries or something as simple as pizza money on a Saturday or Sunday evening when the cafeteria is closed. The average student can go get a work study job etc. Ballplayers can’t because it’s an NCAA violation for him or her to work during the school year. Even if they could work, when would they find the time? I can hear you saying, “that’s when they should call their parents”. Well, not everyone has that luxury.
Some kids come from very poor backgrounds and their parents simply don’t have the money to send them. Many times the parents think that the university is taking good care of their child. The coaches did tell them that they would look after of their baby boy or girl during the recruitment process didn't they? I realize that the coaches do as much as they can for these kids but their hands are tied to some degree by the NCAA. So now what?
Well, that’s when the “hundred dollar hand shake” comes into play. For those of you that aren’t familiar with that term. It’s when a big time booster or alumni of the university shakes a players hand after the game and the kid walks away with a folded bill or bills. Now I’m not saying that by paying the athlete we will stop the illegal exchange of money all together. However, I do believe that we would see a decline in kids getting involved with agents or shady boosters because very few of these kids are looking to get into trouble. They have simply gone into survival mode and many of them feel like they are being taken advantage of. What’s your opinion?
Posted by Jay Graves at 8:46 PM
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