“ALL they get is a scholarship.” That’s what Jay Bilas says about college athletes. Every time he talks about this subject, he sends a very clear message. A college education is worthless!
This statement comes from a guy who got a scholarship to attend Duke University. From Duke University’s website (http://admissions.duke.edu/application/aid), the estimated cost of attendance for the 2012-2013 school year was $58,865. How many 19 year olds to you know who make $58,000 per year? I’m sure it’s not many. Assuming that cost doesn’t go up, which we all know isn’t true; the four-year total would be $235,460. That is quite a lot of money. Not to mention, a degree from a prestigious university, like Duke, is extremely valuable in the job market.
“All they get is a scholarship.” How does Jay feel about Alabama’s brand new, massive weight room? The weight room is so big that ESPN can comfortably film a show in it. Do the regular, tuition-paying students get to use that weight room, or is it reserved for the athletes who “only get a scholarship.” Athletes get free access to state of the art training facilities, while the regular students often have to pay recreation fees to their universities, so they can exercise in dungeon-like weight rooms.
Let’s be honest, we’re only talking about the very best players in two sports, football and men’s basketball. Those are the “moneymakers”. No one is “making millions” from giving scholarships to college tennis players, divers, or any of the other sport that isn’t covered by ESPN.
These college athletes, off whom universities and the NCAA are “making millions” of dollars, have all kind of benefits. They have greater access to tutoring services, and many of them need it, because they have the privilege of attending universities that never would have accepted them based solely on their academic achievements. Many of these athletes only get scholarships to prominent universities, like Duke, because they happen to be bigger, faster and stronger than the average person is, not because they are good students.
The athletes in question get free trips to Hawaii and Puerto Rico to play in basketball tournaments. Athletes get free trips, and all kinds of “swag” to play in bowl games. These athletes never have to worry about working two jobs, so they can pay their tuition and have food to eat. There are college athletes that only have partial, or no scholarships, but no one is making millions off those “no-name” athletes, at the end of the bench.
It’s nobody else’s fault if an athlete chooses to throw away a free education! A quarterback, who wasn’t good enough to hold onto his starting job at Arizona State, transfers to Nebraska, where he again accomplishes very little on the football field. After using up all of the scholarships given to him by two prominent universities, he ends up tending bar with no useful college degree. He has the nerve to believe that he is still owed something because an avatar on a video game has similar physical characteristics to his own. Who made millions from using his likeness? He might be the only one in the world who ever bought a copy of a college football video game, because that he was on it.
Jay Bilas enjoyed the benefits of being an athlete at a major university, and believes that’s not enough. Jay Bilas has probably never had to pay back a dime of a student loan, while countless numbers of doctors, nurses, engineers, social workers and teachers had to struggle to pay their own way. Unless Jay was born with the life he has now, it would be easy to argue that he owes everything he has now to that measly scholarship and worthless education he received as mistreated college athlete.
As with all organizations and their employees, the college athlete has a symbiotic relationship with his university and the NCAA. Everyone is supposed to benefit from that relationship, and everyone does. The argument that college athletes should be paid is ridiculous. They are being paid already, quite handsomely.