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Gary Williams says collegiate athletes should be paid

Gary Williams might be outspoken and controversial at times, but he's usually right, or at least somewhere in that vicinity. Such is the case with his public call on Wednesday for college athletes to be paid.

As the NCAA overlords continue to sit in diamond-encrusted bathtubs while scrubbing their calluses with gold bullion, collegiate athletes continue to get busted for receiving even minor sums from agents. I can't imagine many reasonable people who don't have a stake in the NCAA seeing this as fair and equitable, and Williams agrees.

"These guys don't receive anything except room, board, books, tuition and fees, which doesn't put any cash in their pockets,'' Williams told Jerry Coleman on Baltimore's 1370, via David Steele. "And some of these guys are pretty poor coming here, and a lot of college students have some money. You feel out of place, you don't feel competitive academically sometimes, and I think it could do a lot of good.

"Plus, hopefully, it would keep away some of the unscrupulous people that do hang around the great athletes, where an athlete wouldn't befriend a guy just because a guy gave him 100 bucks or something like that.''

Via Steele, Williams said this topic is frequently discussed by college coaches, and that when he was a college athlete, he received $15 a month spending money, well before the NCAA became a billion-dollar entity. Which is why he wasn't buying the argument that there just aren't enough dollars to give a seat to the dollar-producing athletes on the money train.

"That's what the NCAA will tell you,'' he said, "but if you did pay the revenue-producing sports athletes, you would still have that money coming in that they exist on now. There's plenty of money off the men's basketball tournament that you can pay men's basketball players, football players, whatever, the revenue-producing sports, and still have enough money to run your other sports. And I think that's why a lot of people (believe) they should be paid.''

Agree agree agree. Read the full comments here.

(And of course, CNBC's Darren Rovell has to be the voice of reason, arguing that Title IX would mandate you pay all athletes if you pay any.)

By Dan Steinberg  | September 23, 2010; 8:14 AM ET
Categories:  Media, Terps  
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Comments

"Room, board, books, tuition and fees"...most college students would kill to have all that paid for. Athlete-students also receive free equipment for their sports, pretty much all transportation paid for and if you're a high profile sport athlete you get a lot of social perks. What more do these guys (and gals) need? Plus let's not forget that the only 2 college sports actually make money, men's basketball and football.

There is no reason to pay college athletes. None. Stop blaming the NCAA when players can't follow the rules.

Posted by: Fitz157 | September 23, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

You don't need to pay them. But you do have to allow them to get jobs - just like other scholarship students. Getting bused to games hardly constitutes getting all your transportation paid for. And when you are away from home you have needs beyond room and board - clothes etc. I played with kids who had none of the things I took for granted, like supportive parents and siblings.

Posted by: geotherm21 | September 23, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

In addtion to the "Room, board, books, tuition, and fees" add in tutoring, medical care, and clothing as well.

Yet there are complaints because they don't have any "walking around money." What do they need the money for???

What bout the student who can't take a full-time class load because they have to work two jobs to pay for the things these athletes get for free? They don't have much in the way of "walking around money" either. Is that fair? Who should we fleece to make sure those people from poverty are "taken care of" and "have every other advantage that others have."

Hades, how many of your "average college students" have money falling out of their pockets to begin with?

And when you consider that many schools, Maryland being one of them, allows their athletes to return to school on scholarship after they've exhausted (or forfieted) their eligibility to complete their undergraduate work; the deal these guys get is even sweeter.

Take for instance one of Gary's current assistants and former player Keith Booth. Booth's own Bio tells you that he played from 1994-1997 but didn't get his degree until 2003.

http://www.umterps.com/sports/m-baskbl/mtt/booth_keith00.html

You can be assured that none of his NBA Salary was used to complete said education.

This whole "pay college atheltes" thing is a crock and another prime example of lefties going after other people's money.

Posted by: CapsNut | September 23, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I agree, an athlete with a full scholarship to school is getting plenty. But I don't see why they can't get jobs. Sure, schools will have to make sure that the star player isn't getting $50 an hour to bag groceries because the store owner is a booster, but I think that's probably manageable.

Posted by: tomsing | September 23, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

The NCAA's rule about not letting athletes-who-happen-to-be-students get jobs should probably be changed, but let's not pretend that these guys are paupers (not saying you are, geotherm).

My good friend's brother was a walk-on TE at New Mexico about 6 years ago, and the amount of free stuff he got as a player was obscene. This at a modest school with a historically bad football program in a mid-major conference. He was given frontline access to tutors, medical treatment, academic advisors, etc.

Posted by: Fitz157 | September 23, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

CapsNut, the reason that these athletes should get "special treatment" that regular students don't get is because basketball and football players bring into the school an incredible amount of money. How many students bring the school the millions of dollars they can get from going to a bowl game or the NCAA tournament?

I feel like it's time we stop pretending that many of these athletes are in school to be students, especially with the NBA's age rule that forces players with no interest in going to college and earning a degree to go to classes for a semester while probably breaking 100 NCAA rules. Revenue producing athletes should receive some percentage of the revenue that they create.

Posted by: nibars16 | September 23, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

room, board, books, tuition and fees....

That's about $250,000 at some schools. State schools like Maryland it's closer to $100,000.

Posted by: frigate32 | September 23, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

"Revenue producing athletes should receive some percentage of the revenue that they create."

They do receive a percentage of the revenue that they help create. It's called room, board, tuition, books and fees

Posted by: Fitz157 | September 23, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

"Revenue producing athletes should receive some percentage of the revenue that they create."

They do receive a percentage of the revenue that they help create. It's called room, board, tuition, books and fees.

Isn't it amazing how some people are are so wise at spending and allocating money that either isn't theirs or they're not directly responsible for.

Posted by: Fitz157 | September 23, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Who's spending and allocating? The players get compensation in the form of a scholarship, which has value (of course, not all players on the revenue-producing teams are on scholarship, but in general, the revenue-producing players are). If they want some other form of compensation which has more liquidity, they're welcome to pursue a professional athletics career. Go play basketball in Europe, or go play football in the Arena League until you're old enough for the NBA or NFL.

Posted by: tomsing | September 23, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

For those of you saying that the student athletes should be able to get jobs - between practice, meetings, mandatory study halls, workouts, games, etc. players simply don't have time to work a normal job. Playing is their job.

Posted by: efa108 | September 23, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I wasn't a pauper. My parents paid for my car and I worked for my dad to make money off-season, (all of which was okay with the NCAA). This wasn't an option for a lot of people.
You get plenty as an athlete of course but none of that helps in June when school is out and you want to go see a movie, get a burger or go visit your grandparents in another state. So lets not pretend that having a full scholarship means you have no need for money for four years. Let them get jobs if they need to and simply clear the jobs through the schools - making the schools accountable if this is abused.

Posted by: geotherm21 | September 23, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Gary Williams is "usually right"? Says who (besides you)?

He's consistently wrong on big school's tight-fisted hold on power vs. the mid-majors. I get so sick of his whining come tournament time after he won't go on the road to play ANYONE. This coming season every single one of their pre-ACC schedule games is at home (except a couple early tournament games)!

Like most of the BCS school coaches, he's afraid of losing to the many schools out there that can beat them (William & Mary, for example, just last year).

Screw Williams and his whining.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | September 23, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

"These guys don't receive anything except room, board, books, tuition and fees" ... which equates to between $30 & $50 K a year. Plus the free stuff. Plus the "meal money," which is between $25 and $100 PER DAY that they are on the road. You think the student-athletes spend all that money on food?

Posted by: Incredulous2 | September 23, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Gary Williams is "usually right"? Says who (besides you)?

He's consistently wrong on big school's tight-fisted hold on power vs. the mid-majors. I get so sick of his whining come tournament time after he won't go on the road to play ANYONE. This coming season every single one of their pre-ACC schedule games is at home (except a couple early tournament games)!

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | September 23, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

You might want to check your facts out before posting such nonsense. Maryland will play Penn State at Penn State, will play Pittsburgh in New York, will play either Illinois or Texas away from Comcast Center, will play Villanova in Villanova.

Maryland might very well have the toughest schedule in the nation this year. Please get a clue.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 23, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Gary Williams is "usually right"? Says who (besides you)?

He's consistently wrong on big schools' tight-fisted hold on power vs. the mid-majors. I get so sick of his whining come tournament time after he won't go on the road to play ANYONE. This coming season every single one of their pre-ACC schedule games is at home (except a couple early tournament games)!

Posted by: PrinceBuster21

---------------------

You might want to check your facts out before posting such nonsense. Maryland will play Penn State at Penn State, will play Pittsburgh in New York, will play either Illinois or Texas away from Comcast Center, will play Villanova in Villanova.

Maryland might very well have the toughest schedule in the nation this year. Please get a clue.

-----------------

Toughest schedule, eh? Villanova is the only one I missed. Every other game is a tournament or required game of some sort (2K Sports Classic, ACC/Big Ten Challenge, BB&T Classic).

The rest of that tough schedule (all in College Park)? Seattle University, College of Charleston, Maine, Delaware State, and Elon.

Yeah, Gary sure schedules the big boys.

Again, screw Whiny Williams.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | September 23, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Toughest schedule, eh? Villanova is the only one I missed. Every other game is a tournament or required game of some sort (2K Sports Classic, ACC/Big Ten Challenge, BB&T Classic).

The rest of that tough schedule (all in College Park)? Seattle University, College of Charleston, Maine, Delaware State, and Elon.

Yeah, Gary sure schedules the big boys.

Again, screw Whiny Williams.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | September 23, 2010 11:43 AM

"Every other game is a required game of some sort"

You really aren't very smart. First off, those games are not "required games." Maryland does not have to play in the Coaches vs Cancer against Pittsburgh and either Texas or Illinois. No one forced Gary to play in those games, that's a tournament Gary and the Maryland Athletic
Dept decided to play in--just as they do every year. They don't HAVE to play in the BB&T tournament either, yet Maryland will play a tough out of conference game there--against Temple--for the umpteenth year in a row this year. Maryland doesn't HAVE to play Villanova on the road either, that's another game scheduled by Gary and the UMD Athletic Dept.

Second of all, please show me one Division One team in the country--any year--that didn't schedule some easy games early in the season. Just one team, please. When you are done looking and come up empty, please do me a favor and come back on this blog and promise to never post another comment again, you unbelievable moron.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 23, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Duke's early season schedule:

Albama-Birmingham, Miami of Ohio, Colgate, Bradley, Princeton, St. Louis, Elon, UNC-Greensboro

Oh that Coach K...he won't go on the road to play ANYONE

UNC's early season schedule:

Lipscomb, Hofstra, UNC-Ashville, College of Charleston, Evansville, Longbeach, State, William and Mary, Rutgers, St. Francis of PA.

Oh that Roy Williams...he won't go on the road to play ANYONE

Posted by: Barno1 | September 23, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

"They do receive a percentage of the revenue that they help create. It's called room, board, tuition, books and fees."

OK. How about we give them a CHOICE? They can either have room, board, tuition, books and fees OR THE UNIVERSITY PAYS THEM THE CASH EQUIVALENT.

Posted by: g2aj-vflb | September 23, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

While it is correct that athletes get plenty of perks plus tuition et al but that misses the real point. The athletes generate millions for institutions and then immediate return it to the institutions in the form of tuition etc. A great deal for the colleges, you have to admit. Now think about how you would feel if your employer paid you in kind, sorta like the colleges do. Work for GM. No salary but your pick of any GM car for free! Or McDonalds, no salary but your family can eat for free! Comparing athletes in revenue sports to a typical student is just ludicrous. And telling them to get a job. They have a job. It's called their sport. Any varsity athlete that wants to remain a varsity athlete puts in practice time, film time, workout time, etc for their sport.

Posted by: jroane | September 23, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

@nibars16: Fitz157 says exactly what I was going to say.

@geotherm21: I understand what you're saying here but how is that different from other college kids?

For instance, I worked at ShuttleUM when I was at UMD and there were a number of my co-workers who worked there in order to pay their tutition. These kids not get a single dime of "take home pay" to buy burgers and go visit grandma, every bit of their paycheck went towards their tutition bill.

And to make matters worse when tax time rolled around, they had to pay Uncle Sam a huge sum of money because no taxes had been deducted from their paychecks that went directly to the Bursar's office.

So not only did these kids work at least 18 hours a week (which was the minimum required) in addition to taking a full load of classes they didn't get free medical care, free tutoring, free books, free clothing, or money for them to walk around with.

Posted by: CapsNut | September 23, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Any top music student puts in practice time, performances with multiple groups (concert bands, marching bands, pep bands, ensembles). A top engineering student will spend hours studying for class and doing homework, volunteering in a lab, writing and presenting papers, and working on an intercollegiate competition such as building a race car or an airplane. They often find the time to hold down a part time job.

What about the female scholarship soccer player, who puts in the same amount of practice time as her male football player counterpart? Her sport doesn't generate revenue - in fact, it's probably supported by the football program. Should she get paid to play as well? Isn't it her "job" to play soccer?

College isn't supposed to be easy, and everybody's got their own challenges.

Posted by: tomsing | September 23, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Just as well they don't get PAID, those athletes would probably wind up spending it on BEER......

Posted by: iamasofaking | September 23, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Big-time college athletes are unpaid professionals.

Posted by: MyPostIDisAfake | September 23, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Don't have a problem with the university giving students spending money. Do have a problem with parents getting money from the agents to live in luxury.

Posted by: mygr8kidz2 | September 23, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Gary's wrong! He's a great coach but at times he can be an IDIOT! So how is this going to work?

a. have agents sell high school kids to the highest bidder?
b. pay only the money sports[football&basketball]?
c. raise tuition for REAL STUDENTS so ignorant jocks can use the school for a pro training camp?

The vast majority of kids on atheletic scholorships appreciate the opportunity to save their parents many thousands of dollars while getting a degree. The ones that think they should be paid don't value an education and shouldn't be in school.

I wonder how many football and basketball players would qualify based on academics alone to get in college?

Posted by: sbf845 | September 23, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I'll say this as a former college athlete. It is hypocritical of the NCAA not to pay student athletes. No, they should not be given jobs. They already have a job. It takes up more than enough of their time. Plus, you're only creating more controversy w/who actually shows up for their "job." Several of my teammates and I worked as most football players do as bouncers. Muscle for hire. I myself worked in a Mob owned joint in South Philly. Do you really think that was a good environment for a student athlete? For any young person? If you're jealous because you worked at the bookstore or at the GAP, while you were in college, get over it. You weren't upset about the cute girl who came to school w/a BMW convertible and always had money to go out.

Student athletes should focus on the reason why they were brought there. Let themexcel in their studies and athletic pursuits. They do more before 8 am than most of us, in school or out. Let them socialize on even footing. That is how you develop young people. It can't be just studies, or just sports or just socializing. It's got to be all of that.

A kid's parent dies, the kid doesn't have money to fly home for the funeral. A kid from the Deep South goes to a northern school and doesn't even have a winter coat. That's not hypothetical. That's what I've seen. Fortunately, my coaches didn't give a damn what the NCAA could do to them. Those coaches, parents entrusted them w/their children's well being. As men, they looked into their souls and asked themselves the question, what if it was my child. I never thought I would say this, but I agree w/Gary Williams.

Posted by: ktaylor15 | September 23, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Second of all, please show me one Division One team in the country--any year--that didn't schedule some easy games early in the season. Just one team, please. When you are done looking and come up empty, please do me a favor and come back on this blog and promise to never post another comment again, you unbelievable moron.

Posted by: Barno1
----------------------------

(1) True, most of the big schools schedule cupcakes at home, but most of their coaches don't whine about how the mid-majors are gaming the RPI system when they have seasons where they are well under .500 in their own leagues and are a bubble team. Poor Gary.

(2) "...you unbelievable moron": Wow. I must have struck a nerve for you to resort to schoolyard name-calling. What you wrote says much more about you than it does about me.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | September 23, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

(1) True, most of the big schools schedule cupcakes at home, but most of their coaches don't whine about how the mid-majors are gaming the RPI system when they have seasons where they are well under .500 in their own leagues and are a bubble team. Poor Gary.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | September 23, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Please tell me which season Gary Williams' team was "well under .500" in the ACC. Maryland's worst conference record in the last 17 years was 7-9, 1 game away from being .500.

It's pretty hard hard to argue with people who have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 23, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

(1) True, most of the big schools schedule cupcakes at home, but most of their coaches don't whine about how the mid-majors are gaming the RPI system when they have seasons where they are well under .500 in their own leagues and are a bubble team. Poor Gary.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | September 23, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Please tell me which season Gary Williams' team was "well under .500" in the ACC. Maryland's worst conference record in the last 17 years was 7-9, 1 game away from being .500.

It's pretty hard hard to argue with people who have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 23, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Furthermore, the last time Gary's team went 7-9 in the ACC they went to the NCAA tournament, so not sure how he was whining about not making the tourney when they were well under .500 in the ACC. Lastly, the last 2 times Maryland went to the NIT--and presumably Gary "whined" about it--the Terps were 8-8 in the ACC both years.

Please get a clue.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 23, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

tell gary to take it out of his salary....college gives each kid enough

Posted by: shnooogen | September 23, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

It's pretty hard hard to argue with people who have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.

Posted by: Barno1
-------------------
You continue to quibble with minor details rather than address the substance of what I'm saying (and besides, no team from ANY league deserves to go the the NCAAs with a 7-9 league record).

Maybe discrediting people with whom you disagree by calling them names and saying they have "absolutely no idea what they are talking about" is an accepted approach to debate where you come from, Barno1. Maryland alum, by chance?

To sum up my position: I think Williams is a good coach who has benefited from a system that provides clear advantages to the schools in the BCS conferences, yet he whines about any mid-major getting in ahead of them whenever Maryland has a subpar season.

I might be an "unbelievable moron", but his whining is tiresome.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | September 23, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

As a parent who has had and does still have "student athletes" in college, I agree with Gary on this one. The kids work their tails off 12 months a year in almost all Div. I sports. There really is not an "off season" anymore for the really good athletes. Often they are told not to take difficult or challenging majors to stay eligible. I know two kids who attended Princeton and upon arrival were told, "no premed, predent, engineering, architecture, and science majors allowed." One kid played Lacrosse for all 4 years the other, a QB, quit the team. The boy who played LaCrosse is now back at school taking science courses so the can apply to a professional school. Another friend went to Georgetown back when the first Thompson was coach. He wanted to be an engineer. The coach supposedly told him, not at Georgetown. He almost won a National Championship, but is now a semi successful salesman.

One of my kids won a National Championship, that year was a total mess. The playoff season went on another month and much time was lost studying. He had a terrible GPA by my standards that year. I dislike writers like Wilbon who keeps pushing for a football playoff. That will drag the season on for those "student athletes." Forget studying course work, all their extra time will be spent watching film. Who gives a crap if there are two teams that consider themselves National Champions? It gives more schools bragging rights.

Another argument for paying these kids is all the free publicity they provide for the schools. When Duke won the National Championship the first time, they got a huge bump in applicants, raising their admission standards and eventually increasing the donations to their school. Maryland had the same bump after their basketball championship. After National Championships in the revenue sports, all school get a huge bump in donations and applicants.

All those kids should get some benefit. If not being paid during their playing years, then free tuition and board until they get their degrees, even if it is years after their class graduates.

Posted by: skyr2 | September 23, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

no team from ANY league deserves to go the the NCAAs with a 7-9 league record

Maybe discrediting people with whom you disagree by calling them names and saying they have "absolutely no idea what they are talking about" is an accepted approach to debate where you come from, Barno1. Maryland alum, by chance?

To sum up my position: I think Williams is a good coach who has benefited from a system that provides clear advantages to the schools in the BCS conferences, yet he whines about any mid-major getting in ahead of them whenever Maryland has a subpar season.

I might be an "unbelievable moron", but his whining is tiresome.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | September 23, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

You know who's whining is tiresome? Yours! You don't have any idea what you are talking about yet continue to babble on and on about this.

"no team from ANY league deserves to go the the NCAAs with a 7-9 league record"

And yet again you make a totally absurd point. Md finished with a 7-9 record conference record a few years ago and ended up with a 4 seed in the NCAA tournament, which put them among the best 16 teams in the field according to the committee.

Please. Stop. Commenting.

Posted by: Barno1 | September 23, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

For those telling these kids to get a job, they have one, they play sports. They get up very early to practice, go to class, practice some more, go to class, workout, study do homework and sleep. Where is the time and energy for a job?

Stop being fools and admit that making B-B-B-Billions off of players without paying them 100-200 bucks a week during the season so they can eat dinner out with friends, see a movie, or buy a suit to wear when they travel is downright foolish and greedy. The NCAA is one of the most two-faced greed run institutions on earth. Title 9 in its current config blows too... if a sport it doesnt make money, and you cant support a sport, dont have it. Is there really a need for collegiate water polo funded by a state school?

Posted by: shrshot | September 23, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Times have changed and the world of college sports is far different from what it was 20-30 years ago.

First, college athletics is now a very big business and revenue stream for the NCAAA, conferences and individual schools.

Second, exceptional student athletes are lured to leave by sports agents that take advantage of youth with the offer of cash and cars.

Third, exceptional student athletes from poor communities have less resources to begin with and are easily lured by agents.

Fourth, for all that an athelete may contribute to a winning program and financial returns there is now promise that at the end of 4 years a tragic career ending injury might occur!

I agree with Gary. We should begin this discussion anew to come up with solutions to a problem that exists in 2010!

Posted by: dcchamp1 | September 23, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Please. Stop. Commenting.

Posted by: Barno1
------------------------

Just. Stop. Replying. ;-)

Getting under your skin a bit? LOL!

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | September 23, 2010 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Right issue, wrong answer.

We should end this charade. In football and basketball at NCAA powerhouse schools, the assertion that these star players are "student-athletes" is ridiculous. Most of them don't even come close to meeting the academic requirements at their colleges. They are playing in thinly disguised minor-league professional programs, until they are told that they are ready to command early draft picks and big bucks in the pros... whereupon they leave school with little thought to whether they've earned their "degrees".

Football and basketball need to do what baseball, ice hockey, and other major sports do. Establish minor league "farm systems". Sign these players at age 16 - 18, and let them play in the minors until they are ready for the "Show".

Each athlete should be able to choose which path he (she) wants to take. Enroll in college, be a true student-athlete, live by NCAA rules, and earn a meaningful degree. Or go pro and earn money right away.

Posted by: nan_lynn | September 23, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Here's the bottom line, college athletes (and their families) obviously find it acceptable to receive room, board, tuition and fees in exchange for playing for said schools. Otherwise these athletes wouldn't do it.

I agree with those who say that the academic aspect is usually a charade for high visibility programs and high-value prospects. If you have a problem with it then don't watch the games, don't support the schools and advocate that others do the same. Vote with your wallet.

Posted by: Fitz157 | September 24, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

There are three kinds of collegiate athletes.

(1): Those who are primarily working athletes. Their primary goal is to turn professional in a sport that pays well enough to make it viable (Baseball, Basketball, Football). For these, the NCAA is essentially a development league, and academics are an afterthought. No one would object to paying these athletes the wages they earn. The cost of tuition is essentially meaningless here--what matters is the institution's ability to develop them into professional athletes. Why not pay these pro ballers-in-waiting, or give them the choice to spend their money (wisely?) on their academic development?

(2) Athletes whose sports will likely never permit them to earn a living. Tuition matters here, and the institutions can arguably justify extending scholarships on the grounds that adding these students makes for a stronger, more balanced, student body overall. But as they generate no revenue, there's no need to pay these students wages. I'd put, say, Olympians in this category.

(3) College students.

Posted by: ouij | September 24, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

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