There are certain hot-button questions that, if asked, set off a firestorm of fury in which people not only entrench themselves along either extreme, but can genuinely not fathom how anyone could have an opinion different than theirs. Where do you fall on Rowe vs. Wade? What is your stance on marriage equality? Will Kim and Kanye make good parents, and more importantly, will they make it as a couple?
And when it comes to college athletics, nothing divides the masses like the following: Should the student-athlete be paid?
The debate rages on (and on and on and on) radio shows, in barrooms, and message boards everywhere. Yesterday, Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops weighed in with his view in a Sporting News article, and he made is opinion quite clear:
“I don’t get why people say these guys don’t get paid. It’s simple, they are paid quite often, quite a bit and quite handsomely…You know what school would cost here for non-state guy? Over $200,000 for room, board and everything else. That’s a lot of money. Ask the kids who have to pay it back over 10-15 years with student loans. You get room and board, and we’ll give you the best nutritionist, the best strength coach to develop you, the best tutors to help you academically, and coaches to teach you and help you develop. How much do you think it would cost to hire a personal trainer and tutor for 4-5 years?”
“I wouldn’t be here today if I wasn’t a football player at Iowa. To have that experience with Hayden Fry, Dan McCarney, Barry Alvarez, Bill Snyder, Kirk Ferentz—those were all of my coaches there. You think I’m here at Oklahoma without that experience of learning and growing under them? So all these kids I’m coaching now that are getting paid to go to school, they can be in my spot when they’re 51, too—or they could not. They’re getting a background to have a chance to do it.”
It’s obviously a complicated, multifaceted issue, one that’s worth exploring on a more in-depth level, but on the surface, as much as it pains me to say this, I kind of agree with Bob.
So while I take a long, long, hot shower to scrub the Stoops off me, I’m curious to know where you stand: Should the student-athlete be paid?
I’ll duck as you leave your thoughts in the “Comments” section below…