ESPN personality Colin Cowherd has gained plenty of attention over the years for his controversial sports opinions, and he is once again under fire for his comments regarding the pitfalls of paying college athletes.
There is perhaps no bigger hot-button issue in sports right now than the topic of whether collegiate athletes should be compensated. Cowherd made his stance quite clear Friday on The Herd.
Speaking on ESPN Radio, Cowherd said he is against paying student-athletes due to the notion that they wouldn't spend the money wisely (via Black Sports Online):
I don't think paying all college athletes is great, not every college is loaded and most 19-year-olds (are) gonna spend it—and let's be honest, they're gonna spend it on weed and kicks! And spare me the "they're being extorted" thing. Listen, 90 percent of these college guys are gonna spend it on tats, weed, kicks, Xboxes, beer and swag. They are, get over it! They're not gonna budget it efficiently, they're not going to invest it, they're not gonna shop for the best interest rate for their moped. No they're not, they're 19, they just got a fresh Honda, there's a cute girl in chemistry class, they're gonna get some new kicks. That's what they're going to spend it on.
Of course, Cowherd made some sweeping generalizations, but that is the nature of the beast oftentimes when it comes to sports talk radio. The goal is to get people talking, and Cowherd certainly did that.
Ashley Nicole of Black Sports Online agreed with the premise of Cowherd's argument but didn't see why the spending habits of college athletes should factor into the decision of whether to pay them:
Black Sports Online lead college football writer Greg Smith echoed those sentiments:
Plenty of vitriol was being spewed in Cowherd's direction even prior to these comments. Kyle Tucker of The Courier-Journal recently blasted Cowherd's journalistic style:
Even if there is some truth in what Cowherd said, he comes off as a disgruntled parent who is trying to control the way his kids spend their money.
There is no question that plenty of college athletes aren't particularly mature, and many of them would undoubtedly spend frivolously if armed with a fat paycheck.
The same can be said for young professional athletes, though, so the argument falls flat. Regardless of the arguments on both sides, paying college athletes is an issue that will continue to pop up as time progresses, with the discussion sure to take many more twists and turns before a resolution is reached.
There are definitely some logical reasons why paying college athletes might not be the best idea, but where that money goes after it reaches their hands is totally irrelevant.
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