Paid to play or played with a lack of pay

Jackie Cope, Features Editor

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It’s officially March Madness. And I’m officially kind of mad.

The NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) rules regarding student-athletes have them qualified as “amateurs” and restricted from all forms of pay.

Basically, every student athlete is compensated only in their tuition. They can’t get sponsorships, commercial deals, or even sell their autograph. Despite the massive (near insane) revenues earned by college athletics.

Top colleges make hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, according to USA Today. Texas, the number one most-profitable NCAA college, had a 2014 revenue of $165,691,486.

Not a dollar to its star players.

The 2013 Ross Finkel documentary, “Schooled: The Price of College Sports,” many athletes are often even denied their education in exchange for their sport.

In North Carolina, athletes were in “paper” classes, such as African American studies, that allowed them to get an A without ever attending a class, or only handing in a two-sentence paper. This raised their GPA to the required 1.9 average, while spending their academic careers playing sports, not hitting the books.

What disgusts me the most about this is how wildly accepted it is. Because the majority of these players are seen as having it good, because they have scholarships and are the “Big Man” on campus, it’s blatantly ignored how unfair this is.

For example, when Texas Christian University (TCU) running back Kent Waldrep was paralyzed while playing football against Alabama, a court ruled that TCU didn’t have to pay him any money.

So not only do some players lose their educations to the hours required to devote themselves athletically, some lose their ability to even walk, much less support themselves.

And according to NCCA itself, only 3 percent of college athletes will ever go pro.

That means they may never see a dollar for their hours of dribbling, running, swimming, kicking.

Yet Duke’s basketball coach, Mike Krzyzewski, makes over $9.6 million a year.

I’m winning my friend group’s bracket, but somehow the game against college athletes seems stacked.

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