Every time someone suggests that college athletes deserve some sort of salary, a hundred other voices come out of nowhere to say, "But they already live like kings!" But it's important to remember exactly how many responsibilities come with the life of a big time college athlete. For instance, check out the schedule of a USC football player:
- Class ends at 10:00 pm
- Wake-up call -- 4:00 am
- Get taped and dressed -- 5:00 am
- Position meetings -- 6:00 am
- On the field and practicing -- 7:10 - 9:30 am
- After 9:30, classes
That comes from a USC football parent who forwarded an e-mail from his son to Marc Isenberg, one of the leading champions for college sports reform.
If that sounds extreme, it is. Offseason practice hours are supposed to be limited to 20 hours, so perhaps the schedule is an exaggeration. Or maybe a lot of this is "voluntary."
Either way, it's not that different from the college football players I knew in college, and it's another good reminder: they may be getting a free education, but their college experience is A LOT different than yours or mine. Almost like having a full-time job or something...
But no, they definitely shouldn't get paid.