I completely disagree with your stance (Our Opinion, Oct. 2) on the California legislation that allows college athletes to be paid.
Just because broadcasters incessantly jabber about this on sports radio doesn’t make it a good idea.
This is a case of treating the symptom, not the disease. And a fashionable symptom it is.
This is not a victory for the student-athlete; the vast majority of the individuals who will benefit from selling their likeness are the same ones who will likely sign professional contracts worth millions upon leaving school. While I am not in favor of for-profit enterprises, such as video game makers, profiting from anyone’s likeness, allowing students to be paid for their participation only serves to further dilute any idea of “scholarship.”
Also, you should not underestimate the value of the college degree that a student-athlete has an opportunity to receive at no cost. It is now something that is increasingly unaffordable for much of the country. Do the math and see how long it would take to pay even the basic, in-state tuition on a minimum-wage salary.
If the one-year renewable nature of the scholarship is the problem, then that should have been dealt with; all athletic scholarships could easily have been made to be a mandatory four years, a position I support.
What this bill really did is protect a system that too often cares more about wins and TV ratings than it does about educating anyone. It now layers on the financial interests of corporations that are often exploitative. Do you really think a relief pitcher on the baseball team or the backup keeper for soccer will ever see a nickel of all the money that will flow?
At the least, if some people really feel this is a raw deal for someone who gets to go to college for free, what should have been done is restrict students who choose to be professionals from receiving scholarships.
They can pay their own freight just like the rest of us.