Student Athletes to Get More Money
Once again college athletics has shown its ugly side. While the NCAA is attempting to correct a long history of abusing student-athletes – forcing them to play and practice their chosen sports on a full-time basis while also trying to attend classes, but failing to cover all costs they incur – the schools just can’t seem to let go of the money. The NCAA, thanks to a massive media onslaught as well as numerous members of Congress speaking out, has agreed to increase the money it gives to student athletes to cover their expenses. From now on this should be known as the Shabazz Napier rule, after the UConn guard said he often went to bed hungry at night because the NCAA limited how much food a school could feed its athletes. Napier, like thousands of other college athletes, didn’t have extra money from mom and dad to fill the gap.
Thanks to former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon’s victorious lawsuit against the NCAA, athletes will get about $5,000 dollars apiece now for the use of their likeness in video games and other marketing the school does using their images. So that means more money going to the athletes, the kids who actually attract the crowds and TV audience and puts billions of dollars into the NCAA pockets (which flows down to the schools). The grand total will be around $10,000 per athlete for their image fee and the extra money to be included in a scholarship. Recently University of Texas athletic director Steve Patterson actually had the gall to ask “Where are we going to get that extra money to give to the athletes?” One idea might be to take it out of the millions of dollars that goes to the salaries of the football coaches.
Schools like Texas have no problem paying coaches $4-$5 or even $6 million dollars – with another raise right around the corner if they win a bowl game. But helping out the student athlete is a real head scratcher. I’ve got news for the ADs around the country – no one goes to an Alabama game to watch Nick Saban coach on the sideline. The NCAA sets rules and caps on what can be spent on the athletes, so how about a salary cap on coaches? Some offensive and defensive coordinators in the country even make over $1 million a year. There is no limit for the coaches, they make whatever their stupid athletic department or alumni will cough up. But reducing that so that players don’t have to go to bed hungry…sorry just doesn’t make sense to athletic directors.
The University of Michigan just announced that it is reducing the cost of student tickets to Michigan football games. Why? Not just because the school felt like “helping out” the students because they realized the tickets were too expensive for most to afford. No, the athletic director, Dave Brandon, has come under fire in Ann Arbor because the football team sucks, his mishandling of football players injuries and because prices are too high for the product. He needs the students on his side to save his job. Starting next season a student season pass will go from $280 for the year to $175. Student attendance dropped from 19,000 in 2013 to under 12,000 this year because students can’t afford the tickets. Most ADs don’t care because they cater to the wealthy alumni and corporate America anyway. Suddenly Brandon cares because his job is on the line.
It just continues to show that the NCAA and its schools will only change and show some concern for the students and student athletes if their backs are against the wall.