It’s time to give college athletes a small slice of the pie

col-tbuzz (2)
Everyone from university presidents to network executives, and from ticket scalpers to bookies, seem to be getting rich on college athletics – except the athletes themselves.

The ones who put their health and hard work on the line to fuel the money-making machine are the same kids who have to bum rides from friends and eat Ramon Noodles after the cafeteria closes – far from the glamorous lives led by the beneficiaries of college sports.

The growing disparity between the dollars being made while the athletes go unpaid has sparked a needed debate over whether schools should pay student-athletes a stipend – not enough to give the players professional status, but some “walking-around money,” as the kids say.

The NCAA’s old party line is that college athletes are amateurs who are being rewarded with a college scholarship, which is worth thousands in real dollars and perhaps millions in future earnings potential. Athletes should be treated like the rest of the student body, even though they are risking their own bodies to represent their schools.

Yes, they get room, board, textbooks, and those things are great. But you can’t eat a textbook when you get the late-night study munchies, and you can’t drive your college scholarship to go shopping. And if you can catch a ride to the mall, there you might see your jersey for sale at a clothing store, priced well beyond your ability to buy one. That’s Nike and the university’s money.

Not to sound like your grandparents reminiscing about the good old days when a Coke was a nickel, but I know a little something about being a broke college student. Before I got a job and worked my way through school, I got $20 a week for walking-around money, but you can’t walk very far with Andrew Jackson. A load of laundry, a late-night pizza and that’s about it.

Now consider that college athletes spend more than 20 hours at practice alone, even more when you factor in games and travel. With a full-time class load and a sport that requires more time than a part-time job, how is a kid supposed to earn money? Just something as simple as a cell phone or a haircut are beyond the reach of many of the poor kids recruited by schools.

Thanks in part to proponents like South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, that is finally starting to change. College athletics is undergoing major changes that will include a small stipend for players so they can live above the poverty line. It’s the very least they can do to reward the athletes who are generating huge revenues for their universities.

Even a modest gesture like $50 a week would be a step in the right direction, but eventually it would be nice to see the establishment of emergency funds to help college athletes who are injured to the point that it jeopardizes their future careers, whether in sports or the real world. There are a lot of kids with concussions or back injuries who also go overlooked.

The most important thing is to bring some equity to the status quo and let the workers share in the benefits of their labor. Maybe then we will hear less about the poor student-athletes who get caught stealing groceries and more about the kids who go do well in school because they don’t have to try to fit a part-time job into their hectic schedules. They already have full-time jobs making money for those who never step on the field.

Comments

comments

Seahawks lay goose egg against Rebels in opener

Seahawks lay goose egg against Rebels in openerWhen the Myrtle Beach High football team went to Byrnes [more]

QB battle remains up in air as Chants prep for kickoff

QB battle remains up in air as Chants prep for kickoffThe Coastal Carolina football team held its final scrimmage of [more]

Local volleyball teams make deep runs at CF Invitational

Local volleyball teams make deep runs at CF InvitationalSaturday's Carolina Forest Invitational featured 15 of the top teams [more]

Alamo hits three homers to lead sweep for Pelicans

Alamo hits three homers to lead sweep for PelicansThe Pelicans' offense slugged five home runs, including three from Tyler [more]

Chants, Herd play to draw in winless exhibition slate

Chants, Herd play to draw in winless exhibition slateCoastal Carolina men’s soccer team ended its exhibition season with [more]

Sharks' comeback bid falls short in wild one with Loris

Sharks' comeback bid falls short in wild one with LorisThe St. James High football team went all last season [more]

Illing's five TD passes lead Braves' blowout of Trojans

Illing's five TD passes lead Braves' blowout of TrojansEveryone knew going into the 2017 season that the Socastee [more]

Chiefs ride defense to big road win over Timberland

Chiefs ride defense to big road win over TimberlandIt's not often a team commits six turnovers and wins. [more]

Tigers overcome turmoil, blast Bulldogs in opener

Tigers overcome turmoil, blast Bulldogs in openerWet field conditions forced the Conway High football team to [more]

Panthers, Sharks warm up for preseason tournament

Panthers, Sharks warm up for preseason tournamentThe Carolina Forest volleyball team got one last tune-up Thursday [more]

CCU soccer hosts Marshall in final exhibition contest

CCU soccer hosts Marshall in final exhibition contestThe Coastal Carolina University men’s soccer team will host its [more]

Pelicans score season-high 13 runs in win over Dash

Pelicans score season-high 13 runs in win over DashZack Short reached base five times and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans' [more]

Week 0 Previews & Picks: Conway in coaching limbo

Week 0 Previews & Picks: Conway in coaching limboFor the first time in 35 years, a local high [more]

Kickoff Countdown: Price has right recipe for Sharks

Kickoff Countdown: Price has right recipe for SharksFirst-year St. James High head coach Joey Price put a [more]

Coastal takes regional TV spotlight for UAB contest

Coastal takes regional TV spotlight for UAB contestThe UAB Department of Athletics and Raycom Sports have announced [more]

Pelicans' win streak ends; playoff tickets go on sale

Pelicans' win streak ends; playoff tickets go on sale Mike Rucker struck out nine batters over six innings on Wednesday [more]

Kickoff Countdown: NMB looks to ride momentum

Kickoff Countdown: NMB looks to ride momentumThe North Myrtle Beach High football team enters the 2017 [more]

CCU caps brutal exhibition schedule against Clemson

CCU caps brutal exhibition schedule against ClemsonCoastal Carolina’s men’s soccer team took on another top-10 ranked [more]

Kickoff Countdown: Braves riding quality over quantity

Kickoff Countdown: Braves riding quality over quantityIt's safe to say that Socastee High football coach Doug [more]

Pelicans work extra innings to net third straight victory

Pelicans work extra innings to net third straight victory The Myrtle Beach Pelicans won their third straight game for [more]

Pelicans sweep past Dash for fifth consecutive victory

Pelicans sweep past Dash for fifth consecutive victoryStrong starts from Ryan Kellogg and Casey Bloomquist in Tuesday's doubleheader [more]

Kickoff Countdown: `MB's Got Talent' hits TV this fall

Kickoff Countdown: `MB's Got Talent' hits TV this fallMyrtle Beach High football coach Mickey Wilson has heard all [more]

Kickoff Countdown: Tigers have skill to fill roles, holes

Kickoff Countdown: Tigers have skill to fill roles, holesNext man up. It's not only a philosophy the Conway [more]

Chants fall to Tar Heels in exhibition, eye Tigers next

Chants fall to Tar Heels in exhibition, eye Tigers nextCoastal Carolina men’s soccer team opened the 2017 season with [more]

Pearson's blast lifts Pelicans to rare back-to-back wins

Pearson's blast lifts Pelicans to rare back-to-back winsTyler Pearson's two-run home run and Kyle Miller's pitching Sunday [more]

Seahawks lay goose egg against Rebels in opener

Seahawks lay goose egg against Rebels in openerWhen the Myrtle Beach High football team went to Byrnes [more]

QB battle remains up in air as Chants prep for kickoff

QB battle remains up in air as Chants prep for kickoffThe Coastal Carolina football team held its final scrimmage of [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2017 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach