Sharrif Floyd had to sit out this most recent game due to questions about money. Ah money … what some refer to as the root of all evil. Yet, Kiss’ Gene Simmons always says that it’s the lack of money that is the root of all evil. It’s time to STOP ignoring this “lack of money” issue and make some changes to the NCAA rules and scholarships.
Y’know, it sounds like an easy gig if you’ve gotten a “full ride” athletic scholarship. But, there is another side to attending college when you’re from a low-income environment. There are many kids across this country who get, what I’d call, an incomplete ride to the university of their choosing.
There’s an old adage by which I live: What I can buy and what I can afford may be two very different things. In other words, I could go out tomorrow and buy a Porsche – brand new. But, once it’s mine, so are the expenses related to that car; insurance & maintenance are the two expenses I probably cannot afford in the long run.
So, imagine this awesome opportunity to attend a great university on a full-ride scholarship and “all you have to do” is perform well academically & physically to keep that free ride.
But wait! What about if/when you become a star player – a celebrity – for your school’s team? The accolades you receive from the press, the extraordinary cheers from the crowd when your name is called as compared to other teammates, and the simple recognition as you walk around campus are all awesome.
Now jump to the odd situation where your friends want to go out for a bite to eat at Applebee’s or Outback … and you cannot afford it. It’s not covered in your free ride package. Regular living is not covered. How much more humiliating can it get than that? And, these are kids – not adults. Still very impressionable, managing humiliation is not any kid’s strong suit.
To add insult to injury, I’ve been told that these kids are also not permitted to get part-time jobs while classes are in session. Well sh!t howdy … did money start growing on trees outside these scholarship athletes’ windows?!
It’s time to give all scholarship athletes a stipend in the form of a managed debit card. They’d get $100/week while classes are in session. There would be someone/some group in the Administration Office who would audit the withdrawals constantly. The debit card could not be used for alcohol or tobacco (or firearms ;-). And, it cannot be used more than once in a 1-hour period for a purchase and not for anything more than what is a normal purchase (e.g.: to keep the card holder from buying lunch for everyone, a $50 charge at Mickey D’s would throw up a red flag).
It’s only fair – and barely fair, at that. I mean, look around at the kids who enter the ticket lottery for games solely to sell their tickets for the really big games. Funny (funny ironic, not funny ha ha) how the kids who have nothing to do with the success of the football team are free to make beaucoup bucks on the sale of tickets and team paraphernalia. But, the kids who have to juggle classes, intense practices and study time to make those game tickets so valuable & in-demand … they get nailed if they make a penny while on that scholarship? That is so “messed up, dude!”
It’s high time to realize that there is money and there is know-how to incorporate a well-managed stipend to all scholarship athletes. We should not be talking about this any longer; we should be incorporating this as of yesterday!