Former UO basketball coach Bev Smith favors paying "student athletes"

9/22/2010: From Don Kahle in the RG:

Indeed, “student-athlete” is a term invented by the NCAA to save its member universities from the workers’ compensation expenses that federal law mandates for all employees. Football in particular is hazardous work, so universities understandably resist categorizing participation in intercollegiate sports as “work.”
I asked Kidsports Executive Director Bev Smith what she thought.
“Only a small percentage make it to the professional ranks, so maybe student athletes should make money in college. It might be the last time they get that kind of paycheck for their sporting life.

Bev Smith is a former UO women’s basketball coach.

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One Response to Former UO basketball coach Bev Smith favors paying "student athletes"

  1. Anonymous says:

    All of the discussion is about dropping the facade of athletes being amateurs, and none of it is about dropping the facade of athletes being students. This debate so far is entirely about money, because it’s driven by people who make money on college sports (the coaches, the pro athletes, the journalists), and they are finally starting to feel a little guilty. The debate has not been about education because people who care about academic integrity have been sitting it out.

    Colleges admit many student-athletes under lower academic standards, which means that they are taking seats that could have gone to academically better-prepared students. We throw disproportionate teaching and tutoring resources at them while they are here, in large part because they are underprepared for college, and we make the other students pay for it. And as a group, athletes still graduate at lower rates than the rest of the students even after the extra help.

    So if we are going to start paying athletes, let’s truly be honest with ourselves (as opposed to just assuaging the guilt of the people making money off college athletes) and make them employees, period. Some athletes — maybe a lot of them, but not all — really do want an education and are prepared for it, and will make terrific students. So let’s offer them an employee discount (free or reduced tuition) if they qualify for admission under normal standards. But if we are going to start paying them, let’s not allow academic standards (and resources) to get beat up even more.