From Maurice Clarett to Terrell Owens to Antoine Walker, the stories of former college and professional athletes going broke is not a newsflash. Despite the belief of some, monitoring their bank accounts won't stop this occurrence.
Greg Bishop of The New York Times recently wrote an article highlighting Ohio State University's new policy to monitor the spending of student-athletes. It also forces these specific students to open up bank checking accounts.
The university told Bishop that it sees this approach as one in teaching financial education. All the school is really trying to do is make people forget about a year that was filled with sanctions and embarrassment for Ohio State's premier sport program.
Assistant professor David Ridpath told the Times reporter he understands the school's reason, but added: "the flip side is it’s pathetic that we have to do this. I don’t like the Big Brother aspect of this. Do we have to monitor everything?"
No Mr. Ridpath, we do not; nor should we.
The point of college, regardless of whether you're a Division I or Division III athlete, is to get as ready as possible for what's next. College is supposed to prepare you for the real world, whether that means heading to the NFL draft or running for political office.
Monitoring checking accounts a school forces students to have is not only very "Big Brother," it's the exact opposite of helping. If for some reason this idea actually saw success on any level, those same student-athletes would end up just like Owens and Walker.
Learning how to manage money is something that you can learn in the classroom, sure. It's not something anyone is going to want to learn with someone telling them what to spend and what not to constantly.
Being able to effectively manage your money because someone is showing you how to is not the same as doing it on your own. That strategy goes back to the whole "teach a man to fish" analogy.
Sure, when the student-athletes are in college, they'll be fine because someone is giving them fish. Once those people graduate and are no longer under monitoring, they won't be as successful at the task. They won't know how to fish on their own.
College athletic directors at big-name schools like Ohio State need to realize there are no real solutions to the student-athlete money problem.
If you pay them, you run into the issue of monitoring what those students spend their money on and what trouble they might get into. If you don't pay them, they're still going to find ways to get free things and potentially blow that money on the same harmful things.
Student-athletes and money has been an issue in college sports for quite some time and it's not an easy one to fix. Attempting to babysit a massive amount of college kids and their bank accounts is not the answer, however, much to the dismay of the Ohio State University.