Originally Posted by Scrap Irony
I'm sorry, I thought we were using common sense here.
In 2001 (the last year I have notes for), Western Kentucky's basketball program made upwards of $24 million for the school. The only reason that $24-ish million was in the school coffers was because of those 13 guys on that team.
Are you telling me you think it's okay that the school take all that cash, let the kid make the $15,000 (room and board, plus scholarship in that era) he "earned", and call everything honky dory?
Kentucky's licensing agreement is a million dollar money-maker for the school. (And thats just the merchandise. We're not talking about games tickets or anything else.) It's not because people like the dentistry program.
Louisville's School of Medicine didn't make the school $52 million. But its sports programs did.
When I was a kid, my Dad worked for L&N Railroad. At one point, he had to travel the rails of three states, supporting bridges, cutting ties, et al. The Railroad paid for his travel, his room, and his board.
By your logic, that should be enough to satisfy that worker.
If you look at what a person makes with a college education against what someone makes without one over their lifetime, a free ride (and not having to pay back the massive student loans most kids have to take out) is a tremendous economic benefit to the student athlete. If they don't want to take advantage of it, that's their problem. Sometimes I feel like they should just turn some sports into semi-pro teams. Basketball and football become divorced from their universities, but still maintain a relationship with the school, where they rent the use of the athletic facilities and pay the school a licensing fee for the use of the school name, colors, and mascot if they wish to market to the school's alumni. Then give the players a choice, the team can pay their way through college or pay them the equivalent amount as salary. That way it allows those who want a college education get one and keeps the ones who just want to play sports from becoming a nuisance. If these athletes then complain years down the road about their financial problems, they can look back on how they chose money over an education and have no one but themselves to blame.