One thing I argue in response to those of you who adamantly oppose paying student-athletes is that they’re already being paid. Here are a few examples of what I mean by that:
- Cost of attendance provides players between $5,000 and $10,000 per year just for being … athletes.
- Bowl gifts — typically capped at $550 — are nothing more than rewards for playing football. Men’s and women’s Final Four participants have their own gift suites to enjoy. Sports Business Daily reported basketball players who win their regular-season conference, conference tournament and NCAA Tournament could get $4,000 worth of gifts.
- All three military academies (Army, Navy, Air Force) routinely pay salaries to cadets in service to the country.
- Olympic stipends allowed by the NCAA range from the modest to the extravagant. Texas swimmerfor his home country of Singapore for winning Olympic gold.
- Schools are allowed to pay five-figure insurance premiums of their NFL Draft prospects.
- One anonymous coach told me last year a player atlegally over the course of his career.
Any way you want to slice it, that’s getting paid to play. To paraphrase the old joke, we’re just haggling over the fee.