Stu­dent-ath­lete pay a bad idea

The Washington Times Weekly - - Letters To The Editor - CARL EIFERT Alexan­dria, Vir­ginia

Den­nis Len­nox makes no case for paid stu­dent ath­letes (“Col­lege should pay stu­dent ath­letes,” Web, Nov. 17). OK, big-time col­lege sports re­sult in mil­lion­aire coaches, su­per-suc­cess­ful ath­let­icgear mak­ers and big in­come from TV — with­out eas­ing sky­rock­et­ing tu­ition costs for other stu­dents. But those facts don’t jus­tify mak­ing a few stu­dent ath­letes pro­fes­sion­als.

First, there would be far more “Rudys” than Joe Mon­tanas. Prac­tice squads would be slaves. The benchwarme­rs nat­u­rally would envy the BMWs owned by high­scor­ing cen­ters. With pay­ment for photos, images and en­dorse­ments, would those stars then start to speak in sen­tences dur­ing in­ter­views?

Pro­fes­sional sports are be­gin­ning to have trou­ble draw­ing crowds; just flip to the back page of The Times’ Com­men­tary sec­tion, which pub­lished Mr. Len­nox’s piece. The Red­skins’ bad record had fans leav­ing empty seats and strag­glers un­able to sus­tain their shouted de­mand that Dan Syn­der sell his bil­lion-dol­lar-plus fran­chise. MLB seat sales slumped in some parks. Even Notre Dame Satur­day failed to sell out for the first time in nearly a half-cen­tury.

As a Notre Dame grad (’51) and fan, I’d rather see the Ir­ish’s ex­panded sta­dium nearly empty play­ing Ol’ Si­wash and other un­ranked teams for the love of sports rather than have it over­flow­ing for the sake of green­back ac­cu­mu­la­tion.

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