Saturday’ CDT editorial (“Students, athletes; but not employees”) makes some excellent points.
If athletes were paid, they’d have to pay taxes. Some of them, such as quarterbacks, might be paid more than the equally vital tackles. And they might be fired if they didn’t perform.
The editors expressed most of their concern — and rightly so — for the well-being of the schools.
What if players decided to strike because of unfair labor conditions, endangering big games? And what if universities engaged in an unseemly salary race to get the best players? Poorer schools would be at a disadvantage.
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But the editors didn’t go far enough. What about the devastating effects of paid coaching?
Universities engage in costly bidding wars for coaches, putting poorer schools at a disadvantage. Those head coaches make millions, while their assistants (who are also vital to the programs) and the coaches of second-tier sports make a fraction of that.
And don’t forget the head coaches themselves, burdened by the taxes of their immense salaries and living in constant fear of being fired.
The answer is clear: We must enroll coaches as students and support them with scholarships. The coaches would receive not only a great work experience, but a first-class education.
This current system, a hypocritical hybrid of education and big business, hurts us all. Coaches and athletes must become students — or follow coach Bill O’Brien’s lead and go to work for a more honest system.
Daryl Gregory, State College