During SEC’s media day, South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier voiced his opinion about giving his student athletes a weekly stipend. He advocated that players receive roughly $300 per game for “pocket money” and to help with parents’ travel expenses to see their kids play. He stated that this is a view that most, if not all, SEC coaches share.
While I can support a program to help families pay for travel expenses, I cannot and will not support giving athletes a paycheck. I can appreciate the time commitment that is required of athletes, and that being a student athlete is a full-time job that does not leave room for them to work for money. But what college student can honestly say they had money to spend while at school? You’re broke, you say? Well, welcome to college!
Scholarship athletes are given every advantage while at college. The football players that Steve Spurrier is speaking of are given state-of-the-art, luxurious facilities that are not accessible to “normal” students. Team meals are supplied, and menus individualized for certain players depending on whether or they need to gain or lose weight. How many students can say they will be able to eat exactly what they need at no cost to them? Athletes can also be seen around campus wearing team apparel supplied to them. An outfit comprised of Nike shorts, a t-shirt and shoes would cost a “normal” person roughly $170.
Athletes at some universities are supplied with “athletic dorms” like these at Auburn.
How many other students have washer and dryers in their rooms, flat screen TV’s, and hardwood floors?
Also, full-ride athletes go to school for FREE! Even if none of these other advantages that I just stated are received by scholarship athletes (which they are), they still get to graduate from school loan-free. How many students can say that? That alone should be more than enough!
Athletes also receive a number of advantages that money cannot buy. Such as being treated like a god on campus, playing in front of hundreds of thousands of fans on Saturday, and playing in front of millions more on TV. That is an experience that some people would be willing pay for, and appreciate!
If all the advantages I just stated are still not enough for 18-22 year olds, then what is?