College Athletes

Today, I bring you an issue that I didn’t even realize was an issue until I stumbled upon the following article.  Greedy NCAA exploits athletes. The article, to the best of what I could surmise from it, states that collegiate athletes should be paid for playing at their colleges.  I have a few things to say to this.

First, in many ways – they do get paid.  This article states that they don’t get paid enough, proportionate to the amount that they bring in to the school.  In my experience (and my experience is not the broadest experience or the most diverse) and through my lens of the experience, college athletes get paid pretty well to play for the schools.  None of them have to pay fees to use the facilities.  A lot of them have some form of scholarship, possibly in addition to their academic scholarships that they were able to receive.  Yes, athletes bring in a lot of money to schools – especially schools that have big athletic programs or athletes that are in the news.

Another thing the article brings up is that these athletes have schedules that are too hectic and crazy.  Schedules that don’t allow them to complete their education in four years.  Let me bring you back to my experience at school.  I would rarely see an athlete miss a big night out.  Yes, they have very intense schedules and they are often out of class for reasons that relate to their sports – and those absences become excused and are not held against them.  Let’s look at the life of a non-athlete.  The life of another type of college student.  I took at least 15 credits every semester (sometimes more).  I made Dean’s list every single semester.  Beginning my sophomore year, I was an RA for 3 years.  And I participated in Student Government – a club that took up a large portion of my time and that I was not compensated for at all.  I volunteered at local schools for at least 20 hours each semester.  And those were just the main things that I did.  I was not paid anything extra because of money that I might have brought in to the school by mentioning it to people.  I was not paid anything extra for my work in student government, which was for the students.  It all comes down to time management – and these athletes have to know how to manage their time so that when they can no longer be an athlete, they can manage that time.

Also, the article talks about the coaches and compares their salaries to how much the players get paid.  The coaches are a completely different beast.  They are employees of the school, not students at the school.  That is something that the coach and school administration need to take up and figure out.

Finally, the students that play sports in college are referred to as STUDENT ATHLETES!  Any college will emphasize this and you will notice that STUDENT comes first.  Yes, they are playing a sport.  Yes, they are doing the best they can to enjoy school and forge new relationships.  However, they are students first and foremost.  And because of that, they should be treated like any other student.  And other students don’t get paid to go to school, they have to pay to attend the school and for the education that they are receiving.  And student athletes should be no different.

What do you think?  Should student athletes be paid to play at the school that they are attending?  If they are paid, should they be held to higher standards?  Do you think if they were paid they would care about the education aspect of their education?

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