Rather Than Paying College Athletes, Let’s Invest in Their Education

Academic institutions and the NCAA shouldn’t throw more money at student-athletes. They should put more cash toward their scholastic development.

Cleanthony Early, No. 11 of the Wichita State Shockers goes up against the Kentucky Wildcats during the third round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament March 23, 2014, at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo.
Cleanthony Early, No. 11 of the Wichita State Shockers goes up against the Kentucky Wildcats during the third round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament March 23, 2014, at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo. Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Paying athletes in college would do them a great disservice because the payment would not be focused on improving their scholastic achievement. But a more well-rounded view of the associated long-term consequences of underserving players may compel the sports-industrial complex to eventually put capital into the athletes’ academic development. That is where everyone—from the players to the fans, teams and institutions—can get a real return on their investment.

Charles D. Ellison is a veteran political strategist and frequent contributor to The Root. He is also Washington correspondent for the Philadelphia Tribune and chief political correspondent for Uptown magazine. Follow him on Twitter.

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