Hey guys! I’m sitting in my hotel room in Lexington, KY right now anxiously awaiting our game tomorrow vs. Butler. The game is at 12:40 on TruTV if you want to check it out!
Anyway, I’ve found it very difficult to focus on schoolwork the past couple days due to the practice, travel, and just overall hoopla surrounding the NCAA Tournament. I’ve been reading all of your blogs, thinking of cases, and researching guys like Bernie Madoff and Pete Rose. This blog and class is a great example of why I love Bucknell so much – I’ve learned and experienced so many valuable things in my 4 years here. I love the fact that student-athletes are expected to get ‘it’ 🙂 done in the classroom just as much as in their respective sport. A lot of people in the media criticize the NCAA or specific universities for using the term ‘student-athletes’ too loosely (read this story about about Steven Kaspar on our team: http://www.cbssports.com/general/blog/gregg-doyel/21918004/bucknell-problems-are-nerd-stuff), but at Bucknell, the term shines bright in my opinion. And I love that!
Where am I trying to with this… Well, after not being able to find a topic/case for my paper after thinking about it the past couple days, I think I am going to write about the issue surrounding NCAA athletes and how they cannot be paid by their universities. Today I was asked by a reporter if the academic rigor at Bucknell helps us as players on the court. It was an interesting question and one that not too many people have asked me in the past. It made me think, and I ultimately said that yes, it does help us on the court, but our experiences on the court help us as students, too! I’ve gone through a lot of ups and downs throughout my four years here at Bucknell — in the classroom, on the court, and MANY places in-between.
I get frustrated when people write off athletics as non-stimulating and not a ‘learning experience.’ I get equally as frustrated when I read of players at universities not going to class or not valuing their education. I get even MORE frustrated when I hear of people who just do their homework all day or just play their sport all day. There are many, many things to enjoy in life and while being dedicated in driven is important, so is balance!
So in regards to my paper, I’m going to argue that student-athletes should be paid. Not because they are ‘special’ or ‘privileged’. Rather, because their job is just as important, and just as much as meaningful as a summer internship or working as a tutor. If you don’t agree with me, that’s fine, that’s your opinion. But I’ve learned so much from being an athlete and I think my career has helped me mature and develop to be the person I am today.
Alright, I’m off to bed. ‘Ray Bucknell!!!