Jin WooContributor IMay 12, 2008

The current collegiate system allows universities to profit in ways that is basically extortion of players in the college ranks. So many great players aren’t able to get the education they need to set themselves up for life after sports due to financial family hardships. Athletes enter the draft after their freshman year because of the potential they have to become a first round pick in many sports that guarantees them millions of dollars. Yet in the college ranks, many athletes are given housing and food but unable to even hold part time jobs due to a demanding training schedule. Meanwhile, universities fill 90,000+ stadiums full of beer guzzling fans to make millions yet not even a stall stipend is offered to compensate athletes for the toll it takes on their bodies. Although it’s recognized that coaches help athletes position themselves for improved draft status, not compensating athletes is like slave labor. Even the bookies are profiting. It’s not even on the level of an unpaid internship since interns in a good program learn tools to help them figure out career goals and the tools of the trade while contributing administrative assistance. Players in the college ranks deserve a little more than a tutor that takes their test. They deserve to get paid.

Collegiate sports are big business and top athletes puts butts in seats and deserve to get compensated. Now whether they should be compensated based on the sport or other factors is open to debate.

Colleges and universities can only educate student athletes on the potential impact of violations of NCAA rules and advise against such activities for the sake of the program. These student athletes are grown men and women who must be held accountable for their own actions. However tempting, student athletes must stay within guidelines and let their action on the field build their resume for a successful pro career.

Neither foreign nor American sports have the athletes’ best interest in mind. On one hand, professional sports leagues in the US are moving more towards encouraging high school athletes to go to college first yet the motivation seems to be a cost cutting move so the pro teams wouldn’t have to develop talent.

The real crooks are the wannabe agents who feel they just need to gain an advantage by landing a blue chip star to launch their business yet when a partnership doesn’t pan out as expected, they becoming backstabbers and blow the whistle out of revenge and hatred. If collegiate athletes were to strike for a year, I could only imagine how much money the colleges would lose. It’s time to make a change for the betterment of the game and these athletes futures.