Open Mic: They're Athletes and the NCAA Should Pay Them
I can't say that there is much substance to my feelings on NCAA players being paid under the table or illegally by agents and schools. I can't say that I have direct contact with the impact that it makes on the lives of friends, family and fans. I can't say that, because I just don't care.
There are some athletes out there that take the gift that they are given in the form of a scholarship and use it to better themselves and get educations that will serve to help themselves and others while showing the next generation that education is more important than statistics on the field. There aren't many, but they are out there.
Then, there are athletes that are being bred and groomed to be professional athletes—not that much differently than horses are breed and trained to race, make money, and be put out to stud.
I don't care if college athletes get educations. I'm not interested in the Gopher football team's GPA. I just want them to win more than one game this year.
If a kid wants to get an education to provide for their future, great! More power to them.
However, if they want to put all their eggs in one basket and hope for the best, fine—get them in and out as fast as possible to make room for students that are actually paying to be there and learn.
Give the All-Americans a few extra bucks. Their performances are helping to earn the program hundreds of thousands of dollars in bowl games and tournament berths. What difference does it make? Odds are the bulk of the student body isn't going to benefit from the money.
Tuition and book prices go up every year regardless of hope much the sports teams bring in. So give the money to someone.
If the kids want to be athletes, let that be their major. Let them look at their registration and major in blitz packages 101, power-play kills 210 and boxing-out for grad students. Let them spend all their time studying to make their team better, and stop worrying about making them better human beings—it probably won't happen.
They are making the school money and no one else gets the rewards. I don't give a damn if they get a few hundred or ten thousand under the table. Just start looking at whether or not having these guys slide through classes with substandard grades is making it more difficult for legitimate students to be taken seriously.
Give them the training, show them the skills, let them play then put them out to pasture. It is all they want, so give it to them. If someone isn't willing to put their education first when it is being handed to them, then who cares about them?
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