Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Pay college athletes more

Now that some Ohio lawmakers are trying to thwart college athletes from forming a union, after a federal judge said they could, it's time that the NCAA let universities pay their athletes significantly more than is currently allowed.

It would prevent the bogus violations of regulations when an athlete gets a few bucks for peddling his old gear.

Coincidentally, the NCAA on Tuesday did expand the meal allowances for all athletes in college.

There's no sense in using the preferred NCAA moniker of "student-athlete," since most top-tier schools employ athletes who happen to attend some classes on campus. Many athletes never graduate.

Also, this increase in meal money is a far cry from what's needed or what's right.

As multi-billion dollar television contracts become the norm in college athletics to broadcast football and men's basketball, a far larger slice of that pie should go to the individuals who do the actual work that makes those contracts so stratospheric.

Plus, these sports attract more students to various schools.

Yet, all we hear is the predictable knee-jerk response that unions represent the greatest evil on earth.


With unions representing less than 12 percent of the American workforce, how is that they are targeted for 100 percent of the problems our economy faces?

While unions get the blame for the decline in our economy during the 1970s, it must be noted that during the height of union membership in the 1950s and 1960s, the American economy was at its strongest in history. Plus, a middle class emerged that made all that growth possible.

The decline of unions, from a high of 36 percent of the workforce in 1954, dovetailed with the eventual erosion of the middle class to the point that we have now endured at least four jobless recoveries in 25 years. The middle class is almost a distant memory.

The young adults earning the most money, yet not getting paid much for it, are college football and basketball players.

Yes, they get a "college education," which is as useful in today's global economy as a high school diploma was 40 years ago. Plus, the low-intensity majors they have time for, will prove useless once, or if, they graduate

An advanced degree or doctorate is required now to achieve a higher standard of living than your parents.

In other words, an undergraduate degree isn't worth as much now.

Plus, Division 1 college athletes spend more time training and playing than they do going to classes. There isn't any time left over to earn any spending money.

Therefore they should be paid at least $2,000 a month on top of their housing, eating and schooling costs.

Many graduate students at a number of research universities get at least $2,000 per month in addition to their scholarships and these students don't make a dime for their schools. Yes, they will likely earn a decent living once they get their advanced degrees, but at least a thousand of such students won't make as much as the Alabama football team does in one game.

If we supposedly have a merit-based economy, than those who earn the most for their schools should be paid more for their efforts.

It's the American way.

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