Many college athletes are scholars, too
If I didn't take issue with Bernie Lincicome's column in Sunday's Sports section, I wouldn't be able to live with myself. I agree with him that student athletes shouldn't be allowed to sell their images, used clothing, etc. There are many reasons for this, but one of them is that it would take away the team spirit if one athlete was able to make more money than the rest.
Sports are a team effort, and no matter how good one player is, he/she is part of a team and cannot win games alone. Yes, the college makes money from these athletes, but the college spends money educating them. In return for an education (if that is what they truly are seeking) the athletes get free tuition, books, room and board, and glory -- if they are any good.
However, I strongly disagree that college athletes are not expected to be scholars but pretend to be amateur athletes. Perhaps it depends on the college. One of my sons attended University of Evansville in Indiana on a basketball scholarship under Coach Jim Crews. My son worked very hard, both on and off the court and at his studies. He was redshirted one year due to an injury, so was the recipient of five years of education. One year he went to summer school, so at the end of those five years, he graduated with a master's degree in business administration, with a GPA of 3.6 on a 4.0 scale.
During those years, only one basketball athlete did not graduate. Coach Crews insisted his team maintain decent marks.
It makes my blood boil when I hear people refer to these young people as "dumb jocks." Perhaps many of them are, but just as many aren't. I think Bernie owes an apology to those who aren't.