[Editor’s Note: The Digest posted an article on March 22 that was based upon a piece written by Dr. Boyce Watkins, a business school professor at Syracuse University. The article also contained a link to the article written by Dr. Watkins, which was in fact a strongly worded attack on the current scholarship system used in college athletics in Division I and II. This piece by Dr. Bestmann is a response to that article].
In response to Dr. Boyce Watkins recent diatribe (“The Madness of Not Paying College Athletes”) indicating that college athletes should be paid because they suffer in poverty while generating millions for their colleges and coaches. He only refers to the revenue generating sports; i.e. football and basketball; I surmise he does not recommend paying those athletes such as swimmers, wrestlers, gymnasts, baseball, softball, track & field, and a few other “minor” sports that only cost the colleges.
All sports, however, are “major” to the participant and who can say a football or basketball athlete works out longer/harder than a swimmer, wrestler, or gymnast? What about the women athletes? Do they train less than the men? Since none of these athletes generate anything for their college coffers, they don’t deserve any more than they are already getting?? Using Dr. Watkins’ logic, we should pay them too.
The erudite Dr. Watkins is a finance professor at Syracuse University. A brief analysis of his recommendation to pay the aforementioned football and basketball athletes, would
Lead to the following:
- Bankruptcy of college athletic departments.
- Demise of all college athletics, except for a few intramurals and clubs.
- Loss of jobs for all coaches.
- Less skilled Olympic athletes.
- Ripple effects unknown, such as a decrease in high school sports.
The only positive contribution: No more lawsuits over failure to comply with Title IX.
Professor Watkins’ grade for this “assignment” would be an “F”, only because this is the lowest grade we can give. Tar and feathering could be a fringe benefit for this scholar, however.
Dr. Bestmann is a Professor Emeritus at the United States Sports Academy. He continues to teach as a distance learning faculty member for the Academy.