A Strong Take on Stipends

This morning Greg Poole, EC Dawg of the Leather Helmet Blog, took on the issue of stipends for scholarship athletes:

I listened to John Kincade on ESPN during my morning walk. One of Mr. Kincade’s discussion topics for the day was A Strong Take on Stipendspaying a stipend to college athletes. Kincade and his guest, Coach Jay Paterno of Penn State, termed the issue “paying players” and both were very much against the idea.

The facts are that players are already being paid. The scholarship and other benefits that players receive in exchange for their efforts are payments – by definition. The question is not whether players should be paid but how much and should part of their compensation be in the form of cash.

One of the main arguments against cash payments to players is that all athletes in every sport would have to paid equally and there is not enough money to do it. At first glance that is a compelling argument but if one goes past the surface assumptions of the question, traditional fundamentals of college sports come into question.

As the father of two daughters I am fully on-board with gender equality legislation. For every sport recruiting men there must be one for women – great. Furthermore, all athletes must get the same benefits. The question of affordability then boils down to the number of sports that a school can afford not the value of the scholarship.

For example, it the NCAA decides that a cost-of-attendance scholarship may include a $600 per month stipend then a school must make the determination of how many teams can be supported by the revenue producing sports. If water polo team or the equestrian team has to go – then so be it.

A little less socialism would be good for college sports.

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