Should Student Athletes Be Paid? UCONN's Shabazz Napier Says He's Had To Go To Bed Hungry

UCONN player Shabazz Napier helped lead his team to victory last night against University of Kentucky last night and while that was definitely a cause for celebration, the basketball star recalls times where he had to go to sleep starving because he didn't have money to buy food. This definitely raises questions, should college player be paid?

"At certain points student athletes get utilized for what we do so well," Napier said in an interview. "We're blessed to get scholarships to our universities but at the end of the day that doesn't cover everything. We do have hungry nights where we don't have enough money to get food and sometimes money is needed. I just feel like there are hungry nights where I'm not able to eat but I'm still expected to play up to my capabilities."

I must admit, I was one of those that felt that college players didn't need to be paid, especially those who were receiving full scholarships. That in itself was payment enough and where that wasn't enough, a part time job could cover. I still stand by this, actually. If athletes should be paid, why not pay those who are doing exceptionally well academically also? But then I got to thinking of the other side of the coin. Although the athletes aren't getting paid, the school and definitely the coaches are making a TON of money off of them. 

College coaches at some of the best schools are making 2-4 million a year. Inner city kids get scholarships to these schools because they can run fast or throw a ball far but it doesn't change the fact that they aren't rich and their families couldn't send them to school without the help of the scholarship. So, if a coach is bringing home $4million and the student is bringing home nothing, where is the middle ground? 

Napier says that although he feels he should be paid, he certainly doesn't think that student athletes should make hundreds of thousands of dollars. "A lot of times guys don't know how to handle themselves with money. But, sometimes when you see a jersey being sold, it may not have your name on it, but when you see that jersey being sold, you feel like you want something in return."

So what are your thoughts? Should student athletes receive some type of stipend for playing well? How do you think this could be resolved? 

 

Views: 1012

Comment by SMSLove on April 8, 2014 at 5:07pm

So cool that you did a blog on this topic. I’ve talked about this several times with the boo. They should be paid, maybe not as much as nba and nfl players but they should be taken care of. The colleges make millions upon millions off these players. Lest they can do is give them a full scholarship (even if they get injured); the immediate family shouldn’t have to worry about food or shelter either. The money colleges would spend taking care of the players and families are drops in the bucket for these colleges. The educational system stays scheming, but that’s another blog.

Comment by Tone on April 8, 2014 at 5:55pm

Yes they should be paid these schools eat so good off them.

Comment by Robin Smith on April 8, 2014 at 6:42pm

Pardon the essay but I have this conversation with my athlete friends often. Its something I think is important to discuss.

Here is the thing...I don't think colleges should be paying their athletes until they have all of their other financial business in order. It is not right for athletes to be compensated for playing a sport ON TOP OF having all of their college expenses paid (outside of partying, shopping, etc). if schools are not even giving out enough financial aid to people who are struggling to simply study at the university. Technically schools profit from regular students too, and many times we get the short end of the stick in terms of assistance we really need.

Okay....at least at my school (D1, good sports teams) the athletes are PLENTY compensated for their participation in sports programs. I know many who work part-time, and many who don't (by choice). They get the most expensive meal plans for free ($2000 a semester), and you should see the way some of them throw them around (but then get surprised when they run out of money mid semester). Their tuition, books, clothing...all covered. I have literally seen the way these men manage (and in some cases, mismanage) their money, and so I think in most cases the issue here is budgeting. Hell I had to learn it coming here, as do all my friends who feel the college struggle.

Some athletes may come from less privileged background but when we all come to college we are all in the same boat. I don't get any assistance, take 18 credit hours, work 2 jobs, and essentially have no free time. So as far as I'm concerned I should be getting paid too lol (I needed financial aid but did not get any --> loans --> I will be worse off than these athletes post grad).

Now, I could say that some athletes should be paid (those who are more high-profile and headed for the league at the biggest schools) because the school does profit highly off of them...but you can't pay some and not all. Also, these same college athletes we all know of who have good league chances are going to be making millions anyway...so why do we need to pay them?

Also, are there exceptions? Would your "compensation" be based off of your financial background or will you get money just for being an athlete? (not all athletes come from lower-income families...so where is the line drawn).

Comment by Krissy on April 8, 2014 at 7:20pm

First, welcome to college, Shabazz Napier. 90% of your peers eat Ramen 3x a day too! I don't know too many students that live well while in college.

Second, playing basketball in college is a luxury. A privilege. Not a right. Not an entitlement. It might or might not be your step up to the NBA. We don't get paid for having goals, we get paid for achieving them. You haven't achieved anything yet, not even your degree (which is the REAL reason people should be in school). Don't consider your role as an athlete any more special than a collegiate journalist, a collegiate cheerleader or even Sum C** Laude. If they're not getting paid, why should you? You simply have a larger fan base... so what?! You're in college for education, not to make money. 

Next, it is bad enough that professional athletes get paid obscene amounts of money to play a game/sport anyway. Is that not enough? I mean, where can I go and earn $1,000,000 dollars playing UNO, Dominos, Patty Cake or Duck Duck Goose??? His performance over the weekend will guarantee him a multi-million dollar contract with some pro team. He will go on to play this silly little game, be treated like a star, live luxuriously, have p*ssy tossed his way at every corner and live a great life. Meanwhile, even the most applied 4-year college student is destined for a mediocre life, in a job they hate. I don't care how much money colleges make off of these college athletes, it's mere pennies considering the exposure and their potential trip on the path to the good life!

Finally, I don't think any self-respecting coach would allow his/her star athlete to starve. If he went to bed hungry, it was his own damn fault. Shabazz's story sounds like pure, attention-starved b*llshit! You mean to tell me, you can go TURN UP at these college parties (where I know you're drinking on the regular) but you can't spring $0.30 for Ramen Noodles??? Not buying it.

Clearly, I think compensating college athletes is ridiculous! If "eating" really is a struggle for most athletes in college, instill a free meal plan with his scholarship. Problem solved! This ensures he gets 3 delicious and nutritious square meals per day so that he can go out on the court and do whatever makes him worth millions... but giving his ass money, in college... nah. You'll have PLENTY of time for that in the NBA! If anything, he should be thanking the school for the opportunity. 

Comment by Krissy on April 8, 2014 at 7:26pm

@Tone "these schools eat so good off them"...? 

FYI: Everything does not have to be articulated in ghetto-nese (smh). 

Comment by SMSLove on April 8, 2014 at 7:59pm
@krissy so how do you feel about the colleges making millions off the athletics
Comment by Robin Smith on April 8, 2014 at 9:54pm

@SMS its the same as colleges making millions from regular students. it all goes back into the school and make it better and should provide more scholarships for athletes and regular students alike.

@krissy meal plans ARE included lol that's why this is so funny. athletes argue that they eat more than most people but they are also often given the largest amounts possible on meal plans and are assured 3 meals a day.

I am so tired of hearing people say that these people work harder than their peers. it literally doesn't make sense. and if you're comparing college athletics to slavery then clearly you haven't seen the way most athletes at D1 schools are treated. Most of the athletes here barely have to do schoolwork and play video games 5+ hours every day and are turning up every night on the school's dime so...

again I'm sorry but if I'm not getting paid for giving the school a good reputation academically (which is what school is for...academics) then they shouldn't be either. obviously I appreciate their talents as athletes but if the talents of regular students busting their ass in school is not being appreciated equally and we are not being compensated then something is NOT right.

Comment by University of Smitty on April 8, 2014 at 10:02pm

IDK about being paid but they should definitely be fed.  Being hungry is part of college but playing sports is extra.  The least they can do is feed them.

Comment by Aunula on April 8, 2014 at 10:09pm

Emphasis on this: "You're in college for education, not to make money". 

Comment by JustMe on April 9, 2014 at 1:25am
Technically speaking, if a student invents/creates/patents something while in college, that student is compensated as well as the school... So why not athletes?

I'm not saying pay them because they have crazy athletic abilities, but how is it even legal to license a persons likeness for profit & not compensate that person????? When kids buy jerseys they buy them because of the player...

I've been to college and now I'm helping my oldest pay for college. That s*** is expensive and full scholarships don't pay for everything... And being completely honest, a part time job for an athlete is hard.

A better system needs to be in place

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