Pay for play? Pay for play! What in the world is wrong with the colleges today? Let me rephrase this why are some conferences, coaches, and power schools agitating for pay for the student athlete? The answer is simple they have the resources and prestige at the moment and will strive to maintain their positions; no matter the cost to education.
First, if any college athlete is paid for playing in any college sport then every college athlete in every college sport should be paid.
Second, at the least for every male sport played there should be a female sport. Optimally there should be a rough parity between the number of male athletes and the number of female athletes. This means that if there are three hundred male athletes there should also be three hundred female athletes. If this means more sports for one sex than the other then so be it.
Third, to prevent one conference or one school from gaining too much power the NCAA should severely limit the number of scholarships available. For example take football; eleven on offense, eleven on defense, and two kickers, for a total of twenty-four players. College is a four year system so that means six players a year are needed. So limit colleges to at most ten scholarships a year for football. Fourth admit that the purpose of college is to educate the student body not abuse them for the sake of the athletic department. This means that there should be more scholarships for academics than for sports.
Personally my opinion is that there should be at least about fifty academic scholarships for every athletic scholarship. Fifth stop the enabling and coddling the athletes, hold them accountable. Their courses should be as rigorous as non students and tutors should be available for all not just athletes. Now there are tutors available for students but are they used to the same extent and method as the ones who help the stars? Sixth a scholarship is payment, not money but a thing of value none the less. Scholarship athletes receive free tuition, books, room and board, trainers, and other services. This is a form of payment and is worth quite a sum of money. Also the student athlete is given a showcase to help in entering the world of professional sports, this is also a thing of value, and above and beyond what help is given the non athletic student.
All things considered today’s student athlete is paid and paid well. Also add in all the free traveling a college athlete gets. Tournaments across the country, bowl games, these broaden and enrich the athletes life experiences. Oh and let us not forget the privilege of being cheered on by many and in the case of football thousands of fans turn out for games and many, many, more watch on television. Do not tell me this does not open doors to other realms outside playing. So yes college athletes are being paid now but not in cash. Seeing as how athletics in college is an amateur affair this is proper. Besides if you pay one you should pay all, and by all that means all scholarship students not just the popular sport ones but all, even to the academic scholarship holders. Well that is it for this week, so until next week may you have fair winds and a following sea.
ROY POKLADNIK, is a teacher and problem solver welcomes comments and suggestions for topics . He may be reached at : firstname.lastname@example.org.