So, Should College Athletes Be Paid?
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With revelations of Johnny Manziel and now South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney apparently signing with the same autograph broker, it brought up the same question that is always brought up around this time every year:
Should college athletes be paid?
ESPN NCAA basketball analyst Jay Bilas caused a Twitter meltdown when he posted on his feed that the NCAA is making money off elite athletes, and yet the athletes themselves can't.
Today, ESPN college football analyst Todd Blackledge made a comment on his Twitter feed about the same subject, but he took a different take. His view was that coaches have it much harder than athletes. He then asked a legitimate question: Have we forgotten why these kids are supposed to be doing at school, which is to get an education?
To a certain extent, I see both sides. Bilas's point is these guys do make a lot of money for their universities, but on the other hand, how do you fairly pay any of them?
You can't pay the football team and not pay the softball team, even though revenues generated by the football team is most likely covering the softball program's expenses. It's still neither feasible nor fair.
I agree with Blackledge. If you are a student-athlete on the University of Alabama or Oregon campus, you are living the life. Check out their facilities and you'll see what I mean. Alabama has waterfall pools for its athletes, and Oregon has a state-of-the-art training facility that astonauts would envy.
They get to eat anything anytime they want, live away from the other students on campus (or at least, a good number of them do), plus their education is paid for.
Now, I understand the argument that many student jocks don't have money for simple things like the movies or dining out, but they get a stipend. As well, some of these athletes come from good homes where mom and dad can send them money.
Do I think the NCAA is a gang of hypocrites for profiting off of student-athletes? Yes, but until or unless the rules change, everyone is obligated to follow them. Even Johnny Manziel.