Joshua A. Vinson

Joshua A. Vinson | Sports editor


The NCAA tweeted out a video poorly depicting what it is like to be a student athlete Tuesday. 


This should not be a surprise to anyone who knows someone who plays a sport for a university and it is underpaid, or should I said, not even paid. Many will argue that these young people are getting a “free” education. If we are honest, is the least the school can do considering how much money is generated by these athletes.


Jonathan Beer of CBS News wrote a piece about this back in 2015. In his story, he reported the NCAA profits nearly $900 million in revenue, whereas the players on your favorite college team will walk away without a cent. It is inexcusable, but profiting off of backs of people for their free labor is the American way.


Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? I digress.


College athletes, not just the men’s basketball team and football teams, put in a lot of work and do not have much to show for it. 


Yes, to the average college student and family, having a “free” education sounds ideal. But, what if I told you to get a “free” education, your work schedule will mirror two full-time jobs, and there is no pay to come with it. Additionally, you still have to buy food and other necessities like a “regular” college student, but there is not enough time in the day to pick up another job working on campus at the bookstore.


I think to better understand the day in the life of a college athlete, people need to sit down and have a conversation with them about what it is like to be in their shoes. 


Let’s rewind the clock back to 2014. Shabazz Napier of the University of Connecticut was one of the best college basketball players in the nation at the time. Everyone saw him play his heart out and become a national champion. Yet, he admitted that many times he went to bed starving. People were confused as to how this could be possible. How can UConn with its endowment of nearly a half billion dollars get a student athlete who makes this program a household name starve?


He is not alone. I tweeted the video I mentioned earlier to a friend of mine who is the starting point guard at Texas Christian University. He said his bank account is currently in the negative.


We have to be honest with ourselves. It is shameful what is happening to these college athletes. We exploit them regularly. 


Sure, let’s keep talking about their “free education.” Those who use that as an argument are the same people who get paid at their jobs and careers but will not lift a finger to do something out of their job description. But, again, I digress. People should try to listen to others before making opinions. But then again, we live in a society where if it does not impact you, then you truly don’t care.


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