Saturday, June 4, 2011

Pay college athletes? Not in a million years

You know what really grinds my gears (as the great Peter Griffin once said on "Family Guy")?

When I hear someone say college athletes should be paid on top of his or her athletic scholarship.

I am disgusted every time I hear someone say an athletic scholarship isn't enough.

When I graduated from Ohio State in the early 1990s, yearly tuition (from what I remember) was in the ballpark of $6,000. I might be wrong, but I'm sure the figure was close.

Now, according to OSU's website, in-state tuition is, on average, $19,584, and out-of-state tuition is, on average, $33,768.

Times those figures by four, sometimes five years, and we are talking figures that are hardly chump change.

Yet, so many chalk up athletic scholarship as no big deal. It's not enough, they say. Athletes, particularly football players, deserve more. To which I say, stop with the nonsense.

Every time a college football player such as Terrelle Pryor or Reggie Bush hears such talk, a light bulb surely goes off in their head.

I am not solely blaming such talk on the actions of Pryor and Bush, two high-profile examples, but the nonstop chatter only does more harm than good, because paying college athletes is never going to happen, in my opinion.

My hope is one day athletic scholarships are presented as more of a prize than how it's perceived by many - that it's just not enough. You know what some big-time college football are thinking: "Give me more." "I'm entitled." "What are you going to do for me?" It's these players who ruin it for the thousands of student-athletes adhering to the rules.

For the "regular" students out there, theirs is a struggle the public should feel for, not the big-time Division I athlete on a free ride.

If you don't believe me, talk to a friend, a co-worker, or a family member who's sending his or her kid to college and footing the bill. Better yet, talk to the student who's paying his or her own way through college. The financial strain can be unbearable.

Then talk to the student-athlete who's on a free ride. The old, "Woe is me" routine just doesn't fly when you look at it that way.

- Mark Podolski


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