The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


April 20, 2014

Student Voice: A piece of the pie

— The University of Connecticut men’s basketball coach, Kevin Ollie, received a $166,000 bonus after his team won the championship game on April 7. While Ollie was offered this sum of money, his players did not receive any compensation for their skills and talent.

NCAA basketball players, like these, get scholarships for school, but are not given money for living expenses. Players such as Shabazz Napier, a player on Ollie’s team, reported going hungry due to his inability to purchase food.

I believe that since the NCAA, television networks and coaches make this much money, and players are already compensated through academic scholarships, they should have freedom over where the money goes. Without these students playing, the NCAA would be missing the $800 million they make to televise the tournament.

Some of the scholarship money should be given to NCAA athletes and should come in the form of a stipend, so players could use it to pay for living expenses. This stipend doesn’t have to be thousands of dollars, but they should have enough money to be able to eat. Additionally, if these athletes choose to have their stipend cover academics strictly, it should be their choice. Putting all of their money into academics adds more pressure onto these players, due to scholarship’s grade point average requirement that makes them eligible to play and keep their scholarships. The pressure is only enhanced when students then need to get a job in order to pay for basic necessities.

Athletes that help colleges make millions of dollars should get a piece of the pie. This would encourage them academically by making their education a personal investment, as well as help them focus on their studies, without having to worry getting a job.

Angel Figueroa,

Selinsgrove High School

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