Should College Student Athletes Get Paid?

 

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Just let that question sink in for a minute. I also want you to imagine you grew up as a poor to middle class kid, and you knew that college wasn’t affordable at a young age. Then during high school because you’re a great athlete you were offered a full ride scholarship. Now your happy and can pursue your dreams. Now, imagine you’re at school hungry because you don’t have enough money to get food.

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Remember in 2014 NCAA Basketball championship game that UCONN men’s team won. Shabazz Napier was talking to the world about how excited he was to be on a winning team, then he dropped the ball on how he was hungry all the time because he didn’t have enough money to cover food. Well shortly after that speech the NCAA agreed on that any athlete scholarship or walk on will have unlimited meals. It took one speech in front of millions of people watching to make that change. Yes, this is great for division one athletes all over the United States, but what if Napier never told the world he was going to bed hungry on live television?

Over the years, I have discussed with people should student athletes get paid? Everyone I had spoken to said Yes. I have to agree with who I spoke to. Universities, especially big ones, make millions of dollars off players. What do players get? Food and shelter. (Some will say that is all they need). That is where you are wrong. People need more than food and shelter, they need grooming supplies, toilet paper, clothes, shoes and other things for everyday life. How are athletes supposed to get any of this if they are at school full-time and always at practice? This is why they need to get paid. I am not talking about making them rich but give them enough to get by.

The Universities should be able to give athletes a weekly or bi-weekly allowance to these kids. Put the money on some type of bank or debit card. Give them a set amount and if the student spends it all in that day that is on them. They should talk to a local store, Wal-Mart or gas station that is near the school to allow the students to shop there using this card. This way students and their parents know their child can provide for themselves. This would help stop some of the shady stuff that Universities do to recruit a kid to their school.

Just think about this, would you be able to send money to your kid every time they need something? Or would you feel better knowing that they are taken care for everything? The NCAA needs to change something for these athletes or they will keep going through this never-ending cycle for a long time.

State of the Jayhawks, Volume 2: The Long Road Back

Looking at the full spectrum of KU sports everything and everyone is rolling along quite fine these days. The men’s basketball team looks loaded again, we have possible Olympians in track and field and the team is seeking a run at its 2nd national championship in 4 years. The women’s volleyball team is coming off its first Final Four appearance in school history and even the once-dormant golf program is making a little noise. The one blight (if you will) on the athletic programs at Lawrence these days is the football program. Once a national power not that long ago the program has been reduced to less than a shell of its former self. Hope is on the horizon and help is on the way, but there is still a lot of work that’s left to be done before that day comes again in Lawrence.

Since winning the Big XII North (along with a #5 national ranking and winning the Orange Bowl that was a BCS game at that time) in 2007 the ‘Hawks have gone 25-72 since. 72 losses in 8 seasons since, including a 0-12 record in 2015. The current downturn of the program began with the dismissal of former head coach Mark Mangino, who took over in 2002 and led the program from the days of being a conference doormat and transformed them into a national power overnight. He led them to bowl games in 2 of his first 3 years at the helm and helped to end a 36-year losing streak to Nebraska. In 2007, Mangino coached the Jayhawks to a 12-1 record and an Orange Bowl victory over Virginia Tech. However, Mangino was dismissed following allegations of player abuse in 2009 and that’s where the slide to the bottom truly began.

Following Mangino’s dismissal came along Turner Gill (5-19 record) and alleged offensive genius Charlie Weis (5-21 record), both of whom basically gutted the program of any recognizable talent on both sides of the ball and left the program in tatters, one more than the other. The program was then handed over to former Texas A&M wide receivers/assistant head coach David Beaty, who without the proper resources on the field went 0-12 in 2015 – but not an ordinary 0-12. This was a beat down, no-hope-now-or-in-the-future type of 0-12. Losses like 66-7 at home to Baylor, 62-7 at home to Oklahoma, 49-0 to West Virginia at home and so on. While it may seem like the program may be taking a trip back to the mid 1980’s and seeing blowouts like the ones we took last season on a week to week basis that is not the case at all. Quite the opposite if you take a closer look as Beaty and his staff have done the legwork to take the Jayhawks from being bullied into becoming the bully once again.

The current staff has recruited several 3, 4 and even some lower-level 5 star recruits to come and play in Lawrence but one key thing Beaty and his staff have gone out hit the recruiting trail to get better players, ranking 84th out of the FBS schools in 2016 recruiting wise. They also realized that speed is a key and have gone out to get faster players on both sides of the ball. Kansas was one of the slowest teams in the country in 2015 but they’ve implemented programs in the off-season that will assist them with getting faster off the ball and away from defenders. This is one way better off they’ll be in the long run. They are also getting in some good transfer players like former Arkansas RB Denzel Evans, former Texas A&M WR LaQuvionte Gonzalez and former Colorado State RB and Wichita, KS native Deron Thompson on the team. They’ve lost out on some others and have had transfers, but all, in all things are looking up a little bit in Lawrence. The question at this point is will Beaty be given enough time to mesh all of this together or will he wind up on the wayside like Gill and Weis, forcing the program to hit the restart button again? I think he’ll be given time – but not much – to turn things around. Keep getting in the transfers and recruiting quality football players and continue to implement the right football system. Above all, they need to win games. This year’s schedule doesn’t look to provide that at first glance, but they’ll need to find a way to do it in order to start taking the first steps in restoring respectability to the Jayhawk football program.

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The ACC Football Preview

By Antwaun Sumpter

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The 2016-2017 College Football season is shortly upon us and there are 120 FBS colleges and universities who want to be the College Football Playoff and possibly have a shot to go to Tampa, FL and play for the National Championship. I am going to go through each conference and list one key thing/player that each team needs to be successful in the 2016 season.

Let us start with the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) where in the last few years, it has been either Clemson or Florida State. But in 2016 the ACC may not have a cake walk through the Conference.

The Boston College Eagles are going to struggle in 2016. But let us look at the bright side, Clemson and Louisville both come to Alumni Stadium so you can probably get an upset there, but you do have to go to Tallahassee (Florida State) and Winston-Salem (Wake Forest). If Head Coach Steve Addazio can get his boys off to the right start the Boston College Eagles will be going bowling.

The Clemson Tigers have all the makings of making it back to the College Football playoff and making it back to the National Championship. It starts off in Week One on September 3rd when they travel to Jordan-Hare Stadium and take on the Auburn Tigers. If the Tigers can get through Auburn they should have smooth sailing all the way to October 29th win that have to go to Florida State. At worst the Clemson Tigers have one loss.

As far as it is for the Duke Blue Devils, they are that team that is on the rise and within three years this Blue Devils team will be unstoppable. But it all goes to their Head Coach, David Cuttcliffe. Duke doesn’t play Clemson or Florida State so the Blue Devils should be back in the ACC Championship Game.

The Florida State Seminoles are favored in every game in 2016. The Seminoles only road test that I see is October 8th going to Miami. Other than that, the Florida State Seminoles have a chance to run the table. This could be one of the teams that go undefeated. If they can get through Miami on the road and Clemson at home, the Seminoles can run the table.

As far the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are concerned, they have a chance to become spoilers and dethrone some of the top teams in this conference. Georgia Tech plays Miami and Clemson both in Atlanta so they can possibly pull off upsets there. Georgia Tech has a chance to be back in the ACC Championship Game if they can steal a few wins out the season.

The Louisville Cardinals have somewhat the easiest schedule on paper, but the games need to be played. The Cardinals are going to struggle to get points on the board and they will not help in the ACC if they cannot score. Trips to Clemson and to Houston are not going to be easy wins but they are winnable. Hope, Louisville gets enough wins to get to a bowl game.

For Head Coach Mark Richt and the Miami Hurricanes this can shape up as the start of something special in Coral Gables. The Hurricanes on paper probably have two tough road games, at Virginia Tech (10/20) and at Notre Dame (10/29). Also a date with Florida State on 10/8 in Miami. That possibly can change the Miami Hurricanes season if they can pull off the upset against the Seminoles. The Hurricanes have all the right pieces to really make some noise in the ACC.

The North Carolina State Wolfpack is that team that, can they either have a good season or they can have a bad one. For Dave Doeren and the Wolfpack, they need to make sure everyone is healthy and ready to go. They can start the season off right with games against William & Mary, at East Carolina, Old Dominion. That is the potential of going 3-0 before they even get into Conference play against Wake Forest. The kids from Raleigh need to get off to a hot start to have any chance in the ACC.

We will see how good the North Carolina Tar Heels really are right out the gate when they take on Georgia in Chapel Hill. Georgia last year ran all over them last year. The season even gets tougher wants it turns into the month of October, at Florida State, Virginia Tech, at Miami, at Virginia. If you are a Tar Heels fan and you can escape October with at worse 2-2 you are fine.

The Pittsburgh Panthers get all of the key players they lost last year back and they can become spoilers in the ACC. They jump out the gate with tough games, Villanova, at Penn State, at Oklahoma City, at North Carolina. The Panthers are underdogs in all of these games except Villanova. This could be a long year for the Panthers. If they want to become spoilers, they need to come up with huge wins throughout the season.

Dino Babers and the Syracuse Orange can be that team that is in a rebuilding year, but can be spoiled if need be. They will probably be at the bottom of the ACC, but they have the right Head Coach to turn that team around. Give him some time and the Syracuse Orange will be a force to be reckon with in the future.

The Virginia Cavaliers are in the post Mike London era and its time for Bronco Mendenhall to start planting his roots into Charlottesville. The Cavaliers never really had a prolific passer and hopefully Coach Mendenhall can bring some of that from BYU. Their first three games are tough games. Richmond (Don’t underestimate the Spiders), at Oregon, at Connecticut. The first game against Richmond will decide how long of a season the Cavaliers will have.

For the first time in the years Frank Beamer will not be on the sidelines for the Virginia Tech Hokies. New Head Coach Justin Funete is going to come in and set his mark on this season. The Hokies may struggle at the start, but after the team gets it together, the Hokies can actually make a season out of it. The game of the year will be Sept 10th against Tennessee at the Bristol Motor Speedway. That will be a game that everyone wants to see.

The Wake Forest Demon Deacons finished the season last year with a record of (3-9). This could happen again for Wake Forest. This team is young and rebuilding, but they need time together. Give the kids from Winston-Salem time.

The ACC is shaping up to be a dog fight at the top with Florida State and Clemson. Now in 2016 you will have a battle with everyone trying to dethrone the two at the top. It should be a good season.

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