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Student Or Athlete: The Age Old Question Of Paying College Athletes

1613 words - 6 pages

Take a moment with me and reflect about what the most important things to you are? Maybe your significant other, your children, your family members back home, maybe your cherished family pet, or your home and car, and maybe even your favorite sports team. Approximately the average population is 7,225,784,900 people, how many of them care who wins the big game, and how many don’t give a notice to sports and question why it matters? I wish I knew the answer, in Wifrid Sheed's article "Why Sports Matter" he attempts to answer this age old question many people have. Mr. Sheed begins by recounting why sports were thought to be a bad thing in the 19th century and how they began turning into good outlet for people, even why it became acceptable for people to have sports in their lives. Sheed tells readers what sports can teach those who participate, over those who do not join in. He shows the differences he sees between what the average teacher can teach and engage a student versus what a sports coach and their techniques can do for sports players. He compared the Englishman's calm ways (as in cricket) to the American's hooting and hollering (like in football). Sheed states that sports are America's next big thing to offer, rock music and McDonalds having already made their run. Finally, Sheed questions sports, he wonders what will happen to the sports that we once had after we transform, change, and alter them into something new to fit our lives today. Will the new and improved be impossible to recognize, will it loose its original point? Based on Wilfrid Sheed’s opinion that college sports (specifically basketball) players play the game for the "privilege of wearing its colors" and making the school look respectable I agree with him, because colleges are giving more and more athletes full scholarships to play, from the plethora of ‘TV money’ the schools obtain. On the other hand, I do not agree with the ideas that justify paying these college athletes. They came to college to learn and only play basketball if both time and grades could allow.
In his essay, “Why Sports Matter”, Wilfrid Sheed states: “All of these tortures are considered so much part of the college experience that you actually pay the place to undergo them. But basketball is different. For basketball, the college pays you” (497). In other words, Sheed believes that with college sports, particularly basketball the athletes are paid. In a Sports Journal article Dennis Johnson and John Acquviva illustrate what all colleges really have to offer these student athletes if the fully paid tuition isn’t already enough.
“The University Offers More Than an Education…Other benefits to the athlete include the regular use of pristine gyms, well-manicured fields, athlete-only (and often team-only) workout facilities, sports medicine care, the opportunity to travel via away games, specialized meal plans and free foot gear and athletic attire. In addition, athletes are improving their trade from the...

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