From the Desk
Among college sports fans, the argument about compensation for college athletes has persisted. Following a landmark decision made Saturday, Jan. 17, fans can finally see what the top NCAA schools think about the issue.
According to a Bleacher Report article, representatives from the five major conferences — which include 65 schools — voted 79-1 in favor of increasing the items covered in athletic scholarships for Division I athletes at the annual NCAA convention.
In addition to tuition, room, board, books and fees that were previously covered in scholarships, athletes will also be given a stipend to cover transportation and personal expenses, according to ACC Senior Associate Commissioner for Internal Affairs Brad Hostetter. The stipend will be based on each individual school’s estimate for typical students’ costs. The change is effective Aug. 1, 2015.
While many people across the nation will probably respond with indignation, I side with the 79 who voted for the new policy.
Sure, athletes do receive what amounts to thousands of dollars for playing sports. But what they do consists of more than just putting on a uniform and stepping onto the court or field on game day.
During the season, athletes wake up at 5 a.m. to practice or lift weights before heading to class later in the morning. Later in the afternoon, they assemble with their teams again to watch film. When they are not in class or practice, they can use the few hours they have left during the day to complete the papers and homework they have for regular classes. Then, of course, there is all the time they spend during games and traveling for road matches.
Their jobs do not end when the regular season does, however. In the offseason, athletes work on their conditioning for nearly as many hours as the regular season. Many athletes often make appearances at local schools or volunteer at nonprofit organizations as well.
Additionally, consider what athletes do for their universities and for the NCAA. Major sports such as men’s basketball and football — as well as several other sports — bring in millions of dollars for both the schools and the NCAA between merchandise and ticket sales. Without the athletes, there would be no games. There would be no need for jersey sales. There would be only empty stadiums.
Although I would love to have my college costs covered like these student athletes now will, I definitely do not get up every morning at 5 a.m. for practice, and I do not exactly possess the athletic talent either. I also know I do not bring in thousands of dollars for my school.
NCAA student athletes deserve the little bit of extra money to cover the cost of necessities. The work student athletes put in is equivalent to a full-time job — on top of working to earn a degree. I think it is safe to say that they probably do not have time to pick up another job to cover the cost of gas. Additionally, they deserve to get some compensation in return for the millions they make for the NCAA and their schools.
Good job to all those who chose to do something to support, rather than exploit, the student athletes.
BROWN is the editor-in-chief