Written By Peter Church
This week Kain Colter QB at Northwestern began the process to “improve conditions” for NCAA football players, a “seat at the table” representing the players interests against the dictatorship that is the NCAA. He clearly stated, that his tenure at Northwestern, a prestigious institution in the Chicagoland area, have treated him tremendously, yet, it leaves any potential student athlete not playing football gravely concerned. He wants the players to be paid. I am by no means an economic wizard, and defer to the people who are. This is Pandora’s box!
Currently, there are 12 million undergrads at colleges across the US. 4% of these are at schools that charge $50,000 on average per year for tuition and living expenses. 50% of these kids are on full athletic scholarships.
As it stands right now, there are few sports that essentially pay for the rest. Football clearly leads the parade, followed by Basketball, Baseball to some degree and regionally, hockey, lacrosse, etc. The NCAA may not be perfect, but by pooling all revenue’s ensures all sports are receiving money to further promote and sustain itself with the ability to offer student athletes scholarships across the country. Title IX introduced by Birch Bagh from Indiana back in the early 70’s (clearly a man with vision)ensured equality at the collegiate level for women to be recipients of opportunity.
If Colter wants to get paid, then graduate, or turn professional. If this movement is successful, softball as we know it, along with many other sports will be in grave danger. Higher education, is the economic engine that ensures continued long term stability. If monies are deferred to pay student athletes in the highest profile sports, what becomes of the rest? Clearly, the younger athletes will migrate to only the paid sports. As it stands now, very few women’s sports are able to sustain themselves (if any) without some level of subsidy that is generated by the NCAA. Softball, would cease to exist at most levels.
The reward for student athletes has always been to utilize your athletic ability to translate to a life of stability and opportunity. Life is what you make of it! Are there area’s that can be improved on? No doubt yes, as in all walks of life. As a parent of a hopeful future Collegiate athlete, my hope is that this does not evolve to paid players.
Peter Church Peter has been involved with Softball for over 10 years now, and enjoyed almost every minute of it. Whether it was convening games, announcing, or cooking hot dogs.
Having coached also for 6 years, his insight and ability to express himself has created a unique style of writing. Not always on the side of the home team. Very, realistic, very opinionated, passionate.
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