The Solution to the Student Athlete “Problem”

So I tuned into ESPN Radio the other day in my car, and I could immediately tell we’re getting to the boring part of the sports year (I.E. when Baseball is the only thing on) because the show host was talking about those poor student athletes who are being horribly mistreated by the NCAA who forces them to work endless hours on a game they love, and only gives them free food, housing, clothes, equipment, and education. What nerve that NCAA has.

These NCAA jerks... I could just slap them... that is... if I wasn't watching their product for six hours every Saturday in the  Fall...

These NCAA jerks… I could just slap them… that is… if I wasn’t watching their product for six hours every Saturday in the Fall…

Now I get it. I really do. The NCAA and the universities make millions of dollars off student athletes every year; The argument that the athletes are getting free top quality education is a bit of a farce, since most don’t graduate and pretty much all spend way much time on the field/court than they do in the classroom. I can see how some would call that exploitation. I can also see how it’s unfair that other students can make money how they see fit, while student athletes are doubly hampered by the regulations of the “amateur” athlete. So it’s a complicated convoluted issue to be sure.

But fear not, college sports fans, I have the solution! And I think it will solve everyone’s problems (though not everyone will be happy about it. Here’s the proposal:

1. Students will sign contracts with their university of choice. This contract will include all the things student athletes already get: Tuition, housing, food, clothing, etc. but will also include a monthly stipend for however much is deemed necessary for the students.

2. in addition to the contracts, the students will have the “amateur” status stripped: They will be allowed to sell their likeness, autographs, get a cut of their jersey sales, etc. If an athlete is popular enough to sell product, he should get a cut.

3. (This is the one people aren’t going to like) University athletics and school sports teams should be about school. The contract will be good for four years. The student HAS to get a degree in that time. If the student cannot finish his/her degree during the four years of eligibility, the student will be given a fifth year, with full scholarships (minus the stipend) do finish the degree program. Students will not be eligible for professional sports until the contract is up after the fourth or fifth year. If they are super geniuses and can play sports and get their degree in less than four years, then they will have the rest of their contract voided and they can head to the pros.

I think this system is a great idea. I think it’s that way for two reasons. One is that, just like with any other profession, students should get paid what society decides they’re worth. For those über popular student athletes who can make a few thousand bucks off their name, then they should be allowed to do so.

But this plan would also force student athletes to be students. Universities need to make sports part of academia. We need to get it back to where our college professionals are STUDENT athletes, not student ATHLETES.

See? Students are being worked to the point of tears! IT JUST ISN'T FAIR!!!!

See? Students are being worked to the point of tears! IT JUST ISN’T FAIR!!!!

What do you think? Is that too unfair to force students who come and play a game on a college campus to actually get their education? to me, in the long run this is more fair to the athletes. That way we’re making sure they have a future, even if their future in sports doesn’t pan out.

But you know what? I haven’t done a poll in a long time. Lets see what you folks think!

Just to say thanks for participating in my poll, I would like to share some of my favorite football highlights with you. Have a great day!

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