Dutch_JohnsonBY: DUTCH JOHNSON
progress@eku.edu

College is expensive. So when student-athletes have their tuition paid through a full athletic scholarship, all is well, right?

Not exactly.

Student-athletes receive funding for tuition, room and board and books. At Eastern, that amounts to approximately $7,800. Sure, their education is paid for but what about everything else that comes with being a college student?

According to Eastern’s website, a regular student for the 2012-2013 academic year will pay $9,168 to attend the university- that’s a lot. The figure includes direct costs such as tuition, room and board and books. An additional $1,350, estimated by the university, recommends for personal expenses. However, this figure is probably low for most students.

Many things could be considered a personal expense. Additional school supplies, food for the dorms or travel expenses to visit family and friends.  Either way, personal expenses are something every college student must account for, including student athletes. Meaning their scholarships are missing an expense the university itself identifies as a significant one, one that may ultimately lead to these students taking on student loans.

Two years ago, the NCAA approved a miscellaneous expense allowance to be paid to student-athletes to assist in the additional expenses, those not covered by a full athletic scholarship.  According to the NCAA, the allowance would cover the full-listed cost of the institution or $2,000, depending on which one is less. Thus, the NCAA obviously sees the problem.

Some might suggest student-athletes work to cover their miscellaneous costs. After all, many students work while in school. Why can’t these student athletes work too?

Well, there are only 24 hours in a day. A student-athlete’s schedule is demanding. In fact, it is more demanding than of the average student. Student-athletes may have meetings or film study throughout the day, before and or after the day’s practice. This, of course, is in addition to their classes.

Year-round, through spring and summer breaks student athletes are working. Many student athletes don’t even get the traditional spring break.  Although they are not punching a time clock, I assure you they are working.

If you don’t think student-athletes work for their scholarships, I suggest you go to a few practices. Don’t worry, you will have plenty of time to do so. Morning, day or night these student athletes are training. According to an NCAA survey, football and baseball players at Division I schools, such as Eastern, spent more than 40 hours a week training for their sport.

I pay for college, later, like most students. I have thousands in student loans, which I will have to account for in the future. That is fine.

But I see how talented these student athletes are at Eastern and at schools across the country. They have something to offer Eastern. When I graduate in December, other than a few comments in class or sports stories, I likely haven’t contributed a lot to my school. Most students are in a similar boat. Student athletes, though, they’ve made a lot of sacrifices to help the school.

I don’t believe these student-athletes should be paid, which is a completely different discussion. However, they should not have to pay a dime to go to school.  The NCAA reported $871 million in revenue in 2011-2012.

Why? You guessed it: student-athletes.

The same ones who finish their jobs owing money.

One Comment

  1. Athletes are self-righteous brats. Many students have to pay for everything themselves (tuition, books, food, housing, etc), and they have more challenging situations outside the classroom (kids, ailing relatives, mortgages, full-time jobs, etc). You should be grateful you’re getting any assistance.

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