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Poor hungry Shabazz Napier

Shabazz Napier of the NCAA champion UConn Huskies recently made news in his post-championship interviews by saying student athletes need to be paid because there are nights he goes to bed starving. I find this to be terrible, not because he's hungry, but because people are actually buying into this. I looked up what total cost of education was at UConn. With tuition, fees, housing, meals, and books, average cost for an out of state student was $49,678 per year. All of those things are covered by his scholarship. Notice meals is included, and I doubt at UConn the student athletes are eating the same things they feed to the regular students. During his 4 years at UConn his scholarship will total almost $200,000. I'm not familiar with his academic history or his families social standing, but many of these athletes would not have an opportunity at a college education, or at least not at the schools some get to attend. If he's hurting for money he has the option to get a loan. Most students leave college with tens of thousands in loans. Athletes on full rides leave school with no loans to pay back and an education where they will have an opportunity to make more money and improve their lives. 99% of these athletes will not be playing professional sports, but will be a professional in a career they only will have because of this education. Shabazz is going to have a chance to make a lot of money in the NBA, a chance he wouldn't have had without UConn. He was not a top 100 recruit coming out of high school, but with the growth and exposure he has gotten from the coaching at UConn and in the NCAA, he now has a chance to play in the NBA. Looking at pictures of him on Google, he appears to have over a grand in tattoos on his arms. If his tummy was rumbling that's money maybe he could have spent more wisely. How hungry would he be if he was a baseball or soccer player, or in another sport, where there are not enough scholarships for everyone and players receive partial or no scholarship, but have the same time commitments for sport and school. The bottom line is none of these athletes had to play college sports. They could have worked a labor job or a food service job that doesn't require an education, they could have chosen to attend college and pay for it, or they could have tried to play in Europe or some semi-pro league to garner the attention of the respective leagues in their sports. But, instead they chose to play college sports and receive a free education. I'm for athletes receiving health benefits and guaranteed scholarships in case of injuries, but I feel they are already getting paid enough. It seems most student athletes feel they are already compensated, but the ones who don't are the ones who have used the NCAA as a springboard into their pro leagues. They are the ones feeling they are owed something, but they are a tiny percentage.

This post does not reflect the views of the blog authors or SB Nation.

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