Student-athletes should love game, not paychecks


By Dylan Collier, Staff Writer

Spring is a magical time of year for sports. You can smell the freshly mowed grass in the outfield and hear the fizzing sound the ball makes when hitting the catcher’s glove.

People’s passions for the basketball and baseball not only come to the forefront, but also plague the mind with the fact that there is always a plot to the game.  Athletes create their own realities by choosing if they want to go professional,or not.

However, there is one aggregate that dishonors the world of college sports, and I am referring to the idea of paying athletes at the National Collegiate Athletic Association level. I do not believe that college players should get paid, because that conflicts with the students who have the primary goal of playing for fun and getting a degree.

If we research why athletes play competitive sports at this level, it’s important to note that some athletes’ intention is to play professionally. For instance, someone might infer that any player who plays basketball for Kansas University is there precisely to make the NBA.

The Jayhawks basketball program is one of the oldest and successful programs in the history of the NCAA. In 2003, the coach of the Jayhawks committed what some might call his first ethical foul. He gave one of his new players more than $5,000 in improper benefits. It is human nature for players departing from the program to receive checks from appreciative boosters.

This can be a problem because if a player is getting illegally paid. This gives a negative mindset of college athletes before they have a chance to go pro.

This raises the question of what’s more important to the athlete: academics or sports? When I was an undergrad, there was a student who pitched with an ERA of 0.48. Now in this case, I can understand that someone filling his shoes might have professional scouts telling him how much money he can make in the Major Leagues.

But, there is a small percentage of baseball pitchers in the NCAA who can pitch from two release points, overhand and sidearm, who have a low ERA. If a player at the NCAA level is getting paid, then that might effect how they perform, because instead of acknowledging they made an error, they might make excuses.

After having the opportunity of speaking with former All-American athlete Paige Dumont who got the chance to pitch for Sonoma State University, and then made it into the Philadelphia Phillies minor league farm club, I gained genuine perspective through his lens. He said paying players “takes away from the root of how the game is played, and the love of the game.”

But in order for coaches to call themselves successful, must they contaminate the very essence of the game?