Talking after our podcast last night, I came up with what I think is a valuable solution to the question, Should college athletes get paid? I am a whole hearted advocate of this, especially with all of the multi million dollar institutions that profit off of the literal blood, sweat and tears of thousands of young athletes, some of which will never make the NBA or other pro circuits of their sport of choice. I’m going to focus on basketball for this post, but after my explanation you can see how it can relate to any sport.
I’m going to get a formal proposal together for this once I seek out the correct channels, but here are my thoughts right now.
I believe “Professional Athlete” should be a course of study for the students that either know they have a great shot at going pro or know this is what they are going to do with their life, no matter what happens.
If we are being honest, we all know that, Pro athlete is a full time job and it should be treated as such. Playing college ball should be a paid internship. I believe the students should be able to make a percentage of their jersey sales. These athletics programs bring in millions; Giving these kids 30-50K would not hurt them. Just like the NBA players, they won’t get paid equally and pay should be behavior, performance and academically based.
What classes should Pro athletes take?
English [Business writing]
Accounting and Finance
The rest of their time should be dedicated to practice and the game itself. If you give them enough real experience and put a GPA mandate on these kids, they will know the value of a playing spot on a team and money earned, just like in the NBA.
I think this would appease the universities and the athletes. I think this is the chance to step into a new era of responsibility and accountability. I also believe it would place these young guys and gals in a simulated environment of what to expect come graduation day and or draft day. You may even get some students to stay longer if they are not NBA shoe-ins or those exceptional high school students might at least play 1 or 2 years. The course of study prepares them for the NBA, D-League or Overseas because it’s all life and career based.
All the above could also could be used for college football students. A much more violent game where the long term affects can limit their success when they decide to call it career.