In an article on ESPN.com, Mark Emmert, the NCAA president, has backed a proposal that allows conferences to increase grants to the student athletes by $2,000. This increase in grants would allow the student athletes to pay for additional costs that aren’t included in the athletic scholarships given for tuition, fees, room, board and books.
The thinking behind this proposal is that college athletes don’t have means to make extra money for themselves. College athletes aren’t allowed to be paid to be athletes, and due to their rigorous practice and game schedules having a job is essentially impossible. College athletes still have other expenses, and therefore need money like any other college student. Since the student athletes already get school, room, and board paid for the question becomes is it fair that they would just get an additional $2,000 just as spending money?
The argument can go either way. On one hand the college athletes are already getting free education, books, board which is way more then what most college students get, and therefore it could seem unfair to supply them with spending money. However, on the other hand athletes do generate a lot of profit for universities through the athletic department. Athletes are essentially the universities free workers that they don’t have to pay for, and with out them there would be no revenue. Yes, the universities pay for their athletes in terms of free education, but athletes do deserve to reap some of the rewards of their efforts monetarily. I agree with the NCAA rules that they should not be “paid” because that is what maintains the integrity of college sports
I personally think that just giving $2,000 to student athletes just seems irresponsible on the universities part. You have no idea how the students would spend their money, and the purpose of the grant is to help alleviate financial costs for these students not just give them shopping spree money. Therefore, I think that if this proposal went through, it would be more responsible to give the grants through student cards such as our M-Cards. This way the students could spend money on food and school supplies, but at the same time the money is just getting put back into the university.
Either way though, the core of this topic is equality. Athletes are treated differently because of their higher status within the universities. Within the university they are not equal to other students. Yes, they generate profit but students who win national prizes give universities great recognition so shouldn’t they reap benefits for their efforts? You would maybe hope so, however athletes always receive the most benefits and always will.
So what are your thoughts? Do you think that college athletes should receive $2,000 to pay for other needs, or do you think that they already get enough benefits as it is?