Tuesday, October 25, 2011

College athletes: Give us cash

The NCAA on Thursday will consider allowing college athletes to be paid $2,000 a year on top of their scholarships.

NCAA President Mark Emmert wants the NCAA Division I Board of Directors to support the proposal at its meeting in Indianapolis on Thursday. He argues that even with “full-ride” scholarships, players incur out-of-pocket costs and – because of the demands of their sport – can’t work a part-time job to cover those costs.

One study conducted by Ithaca College researchers last year found that the typical Division I athlete winds up paying almost $3,000 a year for costs not covered by scholarships.

Emmert’s proposal doesn’t go far enough for hundreds of players who have signed a petition demanding a piece of the TV revenue pie, worth billions to the big conferences.

Both sides of the paying-players debate make good arguments. On the one hand, conferences, colleges and coaches make millions on the backs of athletes, who are paid nothing. On the other hand, these athletes are already getting a free education, free room and board and other benefits to play the sports they love. Should they get bigger grants while schools are cutting budgets and professors are being denied raises in tight times?

Under Emmert’s propsal, the $2,000 grants to players would be allowed but not required. The biggest conferences could afford to do it, while some of the smaller ones might not be able to. That could further separate the haves from the have-nots in college athletics.

We’re OK with players getting the extra $2,000, a relatively small amount for many schools. The student-athletes don’t have time to work jobs, and their talents benefit their schools. We also think players should continue to receive their full scholarships even if a career-ending injury keeps them from playing. Giving them a cut of the TV contracts, though, professionalizes amateur sports and is a step too far.

What do you think? How much is too much when it comes to paying college athletes?
-- Taylor Batten


sanfordjames said...

Pro sports teams need to foot the bills for college athletics - these are farm teams for the pros - students and their parents are struggling enough as it is trying to pay for the real students educations - it is not fair for them to have to pay for those thugs so they can run up and down court or up and down the football field.