Each year, the average Division I scholarship athlete spends nearly $3,000 in school-related expenses not covered by their scholarship, according to an Ithaca College study.
In some cases the gap between scholarship and actual cost is as much as $11,000.
While the study probably won’t impact any decisions in university financial aid departments, it will certainly provide ammunition for proponents of collegiate athlete compensation. The argument that athletes get paid in the form of a “free education” is no longer so powerful.
More importantly, it’s further evidence of the influence agents and boosters can wield in the world of collegiate athletics. Many were reluctant to scold players for accepting handouts under the assumption that they have a free ride.
But now that we know college athletes must cover school expenses, all while practicing daily, travelling to games, and studying for classes, shouldn’t we expect them to seek out dirty money?
It’s just one more obstacle for the NCAA in their attempt to clean up college athletics. And one more argument for paying college players.
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