First and foremost I am very pro-school spirit. I enjoy staying late, being loud and awkwardly complimenting the players on their wins. However as much as I love college sports I do not love the idea of N.C.A.A. student athletes getting paid to play.
Joe Nocera of the New York Times even drew up a plan of why and how student athletes should be paid. For the most part he only promotes football and men’s basketball. I thought Misogyny in sports ended with the Hollywood classic ”A league of their own.” The Islanders women’s teams wake up to practice before the sun rises and still manage to look good in class. No one is talking about paying them. I’m sure even if they did end up being paid it would only be 75% of what the male athletes make.
The whole idea is ridiculous. If a student athlete can’t maintain their grades and play their sport they should never have accepted the responsibility. It is not the responsibility of the university to make sure an athlete can afford to be there. So a university uses their photos as a promotion on a flyer or the school website, so what? You don’t see lab students getting $40,000 a year for helping a professor publish a paper. You don’t see single mothers getting paid to make 4.0s and raise their children right. Life is hard. The athletes get rewarded with the glory of a win and respect and recognition from the student body. What happened to playing for love of the game?
Athletes are given the same advantages as students, on-campus tutors, scholarships and academic advising. Perhaps student athlete only scholarships should be awarded (if they are not already). Sure there are college coaches who make way too much but that is their career; athletes aren’t born, they are made. When they graduate they can become anything they want, just like everyone else. I believe if you want something badly enough, you’ll find a way to get it. There was talk about a health care plan for athletes and frankly I think that America in general is looking for an answer to health care. I just don’t think paying athletes, especially only football and men’s basketball players, will help college athletics. It certainly won’t help school spirit and forget about unifying the student body. The system is garbage, we can all acknowledge that but treating certain students differently is not the way to reform. Throwing money at certain student athletes is just a band-aid for a bullet wound.