Doug Gottlieb of ESPN.com Insider ($) with a piece on paying college athletes that covers all the reasons I think they shouldn’t be:
As [Joe] Paterno points out in his column, while college players are not paid directly, they receive a tremendous amount of benefits that aid them during, and after, their time on campus. It starts with “comped” campus visits in high school and continues with tutoring, preferred class registration, choice housing arrangements and, of course, the ability to walk away with a degree and without an ounce of debt to your name. That’s something that can’t be understated since, per this article, overall student loan debt is actually greater than credit card debt in our country.
This is just the beginning. I could have quoted the entire article.
I worked 10-15 hours a week, had some scholarships and still walked away with nearly $50,000 in debt to go along with my degree. To attend Ohio St. University, with out-of-state tuition and room and board, I would have to assume it’s easily over six figures. They recruit 20-some players per year, meaning that if those guys finish school, Ohio St. is “paying” these players north of $2 million per recruiting class1. I realize that it doesn’t cost the school that much, but that is the value the players are getting.
The argument that the football program makes millions of dollars is immediately counteracted by the fact that pretty much every other sports team loses hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars. Should we cut those programs instead?
The next time someone tells you that college players should be paid, I can show them student loan bills that shows the players are already paid.
- It’s got to be close to $3 million [↩]