(Credit: Kohjiro Kinno/Sports Illustrated)
The debate over whether or not student athletes, especially football players, deserve to be paid has heated up over the last two years. With the new expansion to a four-team playoff and the possible addition of billions of dollars in revenue, the debate will most likely start up again.
Last week, Mack Brown tweeted that with the extra revenue from the playoff system he hopes teams will revisit a student-athlete stipend. The associated press is reporting that the playoff system could bring in an extra $500 million dollars a year. If that number is conservative, which it most likely will be, teams could be bringing in an a few million more a year. With all of that extra money, more and more coaches are going to start the debate on paying student athletes.
Yesterday, Arizona’s coach Rich Rodriguez, while on the Tim Brando Show, brought a new solution to how to pay athletes. Rodriguez wants to pay the students in extra food.
“Let’s allow all the schools to give all the athletes meals. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Right now, they get meals, but it comes out of their scholarship check. Let’s provide meals on top of the scholarship. Let us feed them breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
If nothing else, that’s an easy solution to help them get through their college careers. And everyone wants to feed them right? I think that’s an easier solution than trying to figure out what kind of stipend to give them.”
If nothing else, Rodriguez’s solution is a creative one. It makes sense to pay students in extra food because it would create an easy solution to the debate. I know at the University of Pittsburgh, meal plans range from $1660 to $2750. Students would certainly receive extra money if they were paid in food.
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