WHAT GRINDS GOON’S GEARS: Div. I college athletes should be paid as well, right?


Div. I college athletes should be paid as well, right?

Matt Magoon

In the movie “Miracle,” Jack O’Callahan asks Ralph Cox “Why did you want to play college hockey?” and Cox responds, “Isn’t it obvious? For the girls.”

Is this really why athletes play sports? Modern-day incentives for collegiate athletes have officially gone wrong. In the past week, the NCAA has passed a scholarship program allowing schools to give  up to an extra $2,000 to athletes on full scholarship.

This money is supposed to be for room, board, and books. Coaches are going to be using this $2,000 cap for recruiting athletes. Depending on how much the coach offers a recruit, it could make the student athlete reconsider what school they are looking at.

Today in sports, a heavy majority of Div. I athletes are no longer playing for the love of the game. They are playing to possibly advance to the professional level and make millions of dollars. Is this new rule diminishing the quality of collegiate sports? It is human nature for individuals to chase incentives. However, is $2,000 going to make a significant difference in an athlete’s decision?

I am sure that if a prospective college football player was making a decision between The Ohio State University and Temple University, money would not be an issue, considering Ohio State is always a powerhouse.

Also, this rule is going to impact bigger colleges with more money because they are going to consistently give the full $2,000 to every athlete they want. Schools that do not have such a heavy emphasis on sports will probably not be willing to give a substantial amount of money to every player. The NCAA believes that it is important to give these student-athletes money so they can succeed without financial issues.

According to several critics, one of the major issues with this new $2,000 rule is that the athletes need more than $2,000. Obviously $2,000 is a decent amount of money, but when colleges often cost between $20,000 and $45,000 per year, $2,000 turns out to be a minimal amount.

However, this amount may end up being the deciding factor for recruits, resulting in another way for recruiting Div. I athletes to become more complicated and intense.

College sports, no matter what level, should be played for the love of the game. If an individual is playing at a Div. I school, then obviously they have put in unimaginable amounts of practice time. This person clearly has a pure love for the game, and he or she should not have to consider the amount of money they receive from a college when making their decision.

Nevertheless, money does end up being a major factor in where athletes attend college, and this new rule makes it very difficult for small colleges to make offers to big-time high school players.