Why Athlete Students Should Not Be Paid?

In: Social Issues

Submitted By thematad0r
Words 1183
Pages 5
For three years at the University of Cincinnati, I taught a class in Advanced Reporting to juniors and seniors interested in writing about sports for a living. We met late in the morning, plenty of time for 20-year-olds to shake the cobwebs from their brains and show up ready to learn. So it was disconcerting to see a few of them every semester arrive in my classroom and nod off.
"Don't you like what I'm teaching?'' I'd ask. "Am I boring you? How can I help?'' Adjunct professors actually care about such things.
"No, the class is good,'' is what I'd hear. "I had to work late last night.''
They'd be stocking supermarket shelves until 4 in the morning. They'd be tending bar. One worked as a security guard at an apartment building. They'd fall into bed six hours before they had to be in my class.
I think about these kids now, whenever the siren sounds for college athletes to be paid. What about my students? What does it say to them?
These were not people who asked to be paid to attend college. These were folks who paid for the privilege. And let's be clear: College is a privilege. It is earned, not bestowed.
Some, in fact, are still paying. It's one thing to go to school for free and to leave free of debt. It's quite another to work your way through and depart with a five-figure yoke around your neck.
Should college athletes be paid? Why?
At the highest levels, here is what they endure. Here's some of the hardship involved if you are an athlete, attending a university for free:
A four-year audition for prospective employers. Or three years, or two. Or basically, whenever you and your pro league of choice agree you've passed the audition. I don't know about you, but when I was a college junior, schlepping to town council meetings on Tuesday nights for my Journalism 301 class, no newspaper editor was there to praise my fascinating reporting on zoning changes in a…...

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