When watching college athletes participating in their sports, does it ever cross one’s mind that the athletes getting paid? “The NCAA establishes rules and regulations for universities to follow and one of the most important rules is that student athletes should not receive any money with the exception of scholarships towards their tuition and housing” (Winn). In 1999, the Chronicle of Higher Education surveyed atheletes’ statistics on “graduation rates for scholarship college athletes in the NCAA’s top Division I.
Fifty-one percent of football players and 41 percent of male basketball players graduated in six years (Meggyesy). NCAA Chief Operating Officer Dan Boggan stated; “before the eligibility standards, some student-athletes including minority student-athletes, were brought onto campuses solely for their athletics ability, with little chance for them to graduate” (quoted in Reith). This makes me really disappointed that some schools take sports to be more serious than academics. The schools are willing to dish out a couple of hundred dollars to get the best athletes so that they can get a championship victory at their schools.
That is just not right. Another thing that makes me very angry is that the media and fans want basketball and football players to leave school early because they have the talent to go straight to the pros. But when they do choose to do so, the media has something to say about them not finishing school. I guess sports is not about education anymore; it’s just all about the entertainment. Nobody made a big deal out of Tiger Woods, leaving Stanford early to begin his career in golf. Another athlete, Kobe Bryant, who plays for the L. A.
Lakers, went straight out of high school to the NBA. The typical high school/college athlete is distracted by all the glitter of things and money that schools are offering to the athlete rather than being consured about the education the schools can offer. Let’s say an athlete named Edward Thomas is rated number one in the nation in high school basketball. He has every big time college (university) wanting him badly, even a couple of NBA scouts are checking him out. Thomas even has a couple of highlights on Sports Center already.
Now he has it in his head he can go straight to the league in the pros and get paid and finish school later. Thomas thinks that he can go to college for two years to develop better skills, and then he would stack up his paper by playing the pros, making $100,000 a year without a college degree. Not too long ago Michigan University was caught for paying their athletes. This incident happened ten years ago, and finally the University got caught . Ed Martin was the head men’s basketball coach at U of M.
Martin was caught paying his players to play for him and win a championship. After they won many championships, he was fired because the school found out what he was doing. But the NCAA found out about it, and they are taking some serious action about it. Now he has to watch his program get embarrassed, take down the championship banners, return $450,000 to the NCAA, and most of all erase the universities’ victories like they never even existed. Chris Webber was one of the players who was involved. Now he plays in the NBA for the Sacramento Kings.
Webber quoted, “they use me, I use them,” which means that the school wanted him so badly for his talents so they could get a championship that they were willing to do whatever it took to get him to sign right after high school. Webber just took advantage of the situation and was getting paid cash on the side to spend on whatever he wanted (Albom). There is a solution to all of this; the people in charge need to look into the paying of student athletes. As I was doing my research, I read an article about colleges starting a “Pre-Pro Sports Program.
It would be kind of like a financial counseling and mentoring program. This would prepare college athletes for the real world. “It’s like pre-med or pre-law; it would set the ground work for the future” (Donutron). This program would be training athletes about managing money, dealing with the media, speaking public, and educating on health, sex and drugs. This would also prepare them for coaching, broadcasting, athletic training, and etc”I’d mandate this training, freshman and sophomore year in place of liberal arts basket weaving electives” (Donutrun).
In other words, yeah the rules are laid out to the athletes and they sign documents that say they won’t accept any money, but, of course, a student athlete who is offered money to live college life in luxury will accept it. I don’t think this should be allowed at all. Getting one’s tuition, books, room and broad, medical attention, and top of the line equipment paid for is more than enough. Think of the regular students who have scholarships for their academics. I am sure they would love to receive some of the luxuries athletes receive. I still feel strongly that college athletes should not get paid while in school.