Sold their academic souls

Posted Nov. 09, 2011, at 9:47 p.m.

The NCAA has decided that tuition, room and board — worth about $20,000 a year at a Division I school — is not enough to compensate scholarship athletes.

The body that regulates intercollegiate athletics voted recently to give conferences the option to add up to $2,000 a year to help the athletes with other expenses, such as travel and laundry.

Given the tens of millions of dollars that the big schools make off their high-profile sports of football and basketball, and the millions that their coaches earn, it’s understandable for the players to believe they deserve a larger cut of the action. Anyone who thinks, however, that this change will clean up the rampant corruption in college sports is being naive.

As long as there is so much money at stake, there will always be coaches, boosters and players who will try to cheat the system, no matter what the value of an athletic scholarship.

The problem with college sports is not that the players are inadequately compensated.

The problem is that the schools have sold their academic soul and their integrity in pursuit of sports glory and the financial benefits that follow. Giving up $2,000 per player from the schools’ purse is not going to buy those attributes back.

Enterprise-Journal, McComb, Miss. (Nov. 2)

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