I think we need to come to a realistic solution regarding our student athletes. Many of the top athletes in the nation deserve to be paid. The entire situation with Reggie Bush is really unfair to me, but it uncovers a serious issue. Players like Bush (I happen to remember Isaiah Thomas’ story from the 80’s) and countless others can sometimes come from humble beginnings. They get great educations at top schools for FREE (their “pay” for playing sports) and that is fantastic.
However, I believe that the players should earn tangible money in addition to their educations. Many of these players are broke and do not have much money. As college athletes on scholarship, their schedules are very demanding and they definitely do not have the time to get part time jobs. Playing ball and getting decent grades is hard enough! So you have broke players, who play for a coach who many times is earning millions per year. Imagine being a coach, who loves a hardworking player and knowing that even though you’re a multi-millionaire, you can’t give this kid a couple hundred bucks to help him out?
List of the top 25 highest paid College Football Coaches <—– everyone on this list is earning over $1.8 Million per year!!!
Here are a few quick examples for you:
- Bob Stoops, Oklahoma – $4.3 Million
- Urban Meyer, Florida – $4 Million
- Nick Saban, Alabama – $3.9 Million
- Les Miles, LSU – $3.751 Million
Next point, the free education. Let’s say the school the athlete plays at costs $30k per year (likely an over estimate). Playing 4 years = $120k for their education. That breaks down to $30k “earnings” per year, a low average salary. Compare that to what professional athletes are paid by their owners.
College Football stadiums will serve as my next example. Ohio State University’s football stadium is the 4th largest in the nation and seats over 102,000 people. Michigan’s stadium seats 109,000! The average price for an Ohio State football game ticket is between $30-70. Let’s lowball it and say all 102k people spent $20. $20 x 102k = $2 Million per game that the school brings in. This doesn’t count earnings from concession stands, jersey sales, etc. These schools bring in a fortune from these players, and have no salaries to pay aside from the coaching staff. The largest NFL stadiums are: Washington Redskins (91,000), NY Giants/Jets (82,500), Dallas Cowboys (80,000). Smaller stadiums, and these teams can obviously afford to pay their players millions of dollars per year.
I remember the story of Isaiah Thomas; he played basketball for Indiana University. He was the youngest of 9 siblings and came from a very poor family. After his 2nd season at Indiana, he came home to find his family at home with the power disconnected, no food, and roaches in the house. They lived in one of the poorest parts of West Chicago. Thomas felt so bad that he left school early and declared for the NBA draft so that he could help provide for his family.
I’m not saying that college athletes should be student millionaires, but they should at least earn decent yearly salaries to compensate for the profits that they bring their schools. Most of them never get the opportunity to cash in for millions at the professional level, so it’s almost unfair that they helped bring in millions to their respective schools and have nothing to show for it except for a degree and good memories.Advertisements