College athletes: Do they deserve a paycheck?

Liam Murphy

There are two types of students in this world.

The first group we shall call “normal” kids who pay tuition to their respective schools and attend classes on a somewhat regular basis.

The second group we shall call “special.” These are the kids who may or may not pay tuition to their school and attend classes on a somewhat normal basis but spend an extra 15-25 hours each week either practicing or competing in an intercollegiate sport.

There are other differences between these two groups, as I am sure you are aware, but they are not important at the moment.

What is important is the fact that this “normal” group has quite a bit of free time compared to our “special” group.

This free time could be used for many things, like studying a bit more, watching more television or maybe even getting a job. Non-athletes have the opportunity to get a part-time job and make a little extra money for themselves or possibly for their families. Athletes don’t get this chance. So, do we start paying college athletes for their efforts on the athletic field?

The answer to this question is absolutely not, especially if they are already on scholarship. Besides a free education, especially at a school like Villanova, you want a paycheck sent to you?

I was speaking to my man Jay “The Price is” Wright, head coach of Villanova’s men’s hoops squad, and he made a very interesting point.

When it comes to college basketball players being paid in order to keep them from leaving school early to try a career in the pros, Wright believes that paying these kids is not the correct solution to the problem.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel bad for the 6-foot-8-inch kid who has a nicer handle then AI and has that anywhere-on-the-court jump shot but comes from the inner city, and is one of several kids growing up in an undersized apartment.

I understand that most of these athletes, whichever sports they play, aren’t as lucky as many of us here at Villanova, but if they are as good as they think they are, then they should wait to go to the next level and be paid handsomely. If you’re going to get there, then why does it matter when you do? You are already getting a free education, as well as free books and free food. What do you really have to pay for other than that? A case of Natural Light only costs $11. What else, as a college student, do you pay for besides food, books, school and beer? You don’t need those rims or those speakers in the back, either.

You know, I used to be a college athlete (key phrase to remember is “used to”) and I had enough spending money from my summer job.

I made enough money in one summer to last me the school year, and I was able to keep up with my off-season workouts. Why can’t these big-time college athletes who say they deserve a paycheck work like I did in the summer?

I do not feel bad for you if your excuse is summer school. That’s free, and if someone offered me free classes in the summer instead of during the year, I’d take those too.

But there is plenty of extra time in the summer, plenty of time to get a part time job and make some spending money. I’m sure your local ice cream parlor would love to hire you. Think how much business you would bring them.

An offensive lineman at a big time football school was arrested last week for having several bricks of cheeba and several guns in his apartment, which was paid for by the school. Imagine if he received money from the NCAA every week.

What else was this kid into? Drugs are bad.

Paying college athletes really doesn’t accomplish anything, plus people like me would become even more jealous of the players we already love to watch compete.

I don’t see what’s wrong with having these kids work in their particular off-seasons.

Maybe they could even get a job in the athletic department if they can’t find a job in the local community.

I am sure that the university or college they attend could find something for them to do.