By JOSE SANTIAGO III
College is hard enough for students who don’t participate in extracurricular activities.
For college athletes who practice at least 25 hours a week, college becomes much more difficult. These athletes are in practice for the hours of a part-time job, yet make no money.
Tuition, room-and-board, a meal plan and books are generally included in a full-ride college scholarship. But what about the gas it takes to get to practice or the clothes athletes wear every day?
Life isn’t free for college athletes, even if college is. Daily living expenses aren’t covered under these scholarship plans.
In-state university tuition averages less than $10,000 a year. If you assume these athletes practice 27 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, their hourly wage is $7.41. That’s less than minimum wage.
Most of these athletes could make a lot more from doing other things. Take former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, for instance.
Controversy surrounded Manziel for supposedly selling autographs to an autograph broker. There was little to no proof of him actually doing this, but if Manziel wanted to make money selling autographs then he should have every right.
Manziel is already a bigger star than most NFL players but hasn’t been allowed to make a single dollar off of his marketability due to NCAA rules.
The NCAA is a multi-billion dollar industry, yet pays its moneymakers nothing. This is great for the NCAA, but not so great for players.
The main “problem” with paying college athletes is that it would cause them to lose their amateur status. However, a minor rule change could revolutionize the way these players are treated.
Simply set a salary cutoff that defines who is an amateur. Make the cutoff about $20,000, then pay the players close to $10,000. Two hundred dollars a week.
It’s not a lot, and is nowhere near what some of them could make off their marketability alone. It is still only a small fraction of what the NCAA makes in a day, but it is a start.
These athletes deserve much more than what they are being given.
Sports and swag are pretty much Santiago’s specialty, but he also likes Pokemon, playing ukulele and writing.