My answer is that we already do! First of all not every college athlete plays a sport where the school is making millions of dollars off their name in their prospective sport. How would we decide what sports would be allocated cash versus those not given the allocation? Would lesser sports at a school have their athletes still given the stipend for fairness? There are so many questions involved with whether or not a student should get paid for being an athlete. For now, I am just going to focus on the average college student versus someone who plays a sport that might allow them a professional career making millions of dollars and make a comparison.
I am a 30-something college graduate. I spend much of my day talking to other 30-something college graduates. We talk about our educations, student loans, and the values of both. Each 30-something person in the US was told that they needed a college education to be able to make something of themselves. We flocked to it in droves. Some of us went to state funded schools while others opted for private educations and honestly the money wasn’t that different when you figured in all the extras for a state funded education at some places. We took into account how much we were going to get in scholarships and pell grants. We calculated exactly how much we’d have to pay back in student loans, and we thought it was all doable. It was doable, because we had the promise of a good job when we graduated. Where did that promise go? I know tons of 30-somethings that don’t have great jobs, and it wasn’t for lack of looking. When we graduated college the market was not good. Some of us went on to further our education in hopes of finding something during that time, but we still weren’t able to find it. Now, I want you to take a look at the cost of your education, the amount of loans you have to pay back, and the amount of money you make annually. Does your income equal millions of dollars? I didn’t think so. Are your student loans in the tens of thousands? I thought so. Do you make about $40-$60k annually? I didn’t until about last year. Don’t get me wrong though I had more than enough money to be able to pay my monthly bills and have food to eat as a one person household.
|Ronald Martinez, Getty Images|
Now I want us to take into account someone like Ronald Martinez who clearly is a shining star at a top notch basketball program. Hell, they’re national champions this year, which definitely helps his NBA draft stock. Does he have to pay back money for his education? No, he’s on a full scholarship to play basketball. According to freebase, the education alone is worth $30k. That doesn’t take into account that his first year of employment as an NBA star would be as much as $3million. I’m not saying that college athletes don’t work hard. I know that they have a lot of practices and that they don’t really own their bodies. You always have to eat right, exercise right, and be aware of your image in the public eye. The same goes for players in the NBA. Yet, I know that none of that $3million dollars is going to pay for their education. They may or may not even give back to their schools alumni fund.
His claim though is that there are nights he goes to bed starving. Do I want that for anyone? No, I don’t. I don’t think that anyone wants to think of another person going to bed starving, but I don’t think that he goes to bed starving because UCONN doesn’t offer him enough options for food. I think that especially in a corrupt NCAA system, he is receiving money from boosters or at the very least things. I think that he is offered a meal plan with unlimited access to food when any cafeteria is open on his campus, according to uconn.edu.
How many of you finished college without eating Ramen for a month? During my college experience, I did this frequently. I’d run into basketball players from the University of Kentucky around town driving brand new Cadillac SUVs, and I’d think that there is no way they paid for that. So there is no way that I believe the system doesn’t help a basketball or football player at any given university out in this country. Are they eating Ramen? Apparently not. I think that even Ronald Martinez could find $.50 in a couch cushion somewhere and buy a pack of it, but he instead goes to bed starving. Am I supposed to feel more sorry for him than any other kid going to UCONN? UCONN is making money off of all of them, right?