Bud Poliquin spoke with Doug Marrone about the recent developments regarding paying student-athletes, namely football players.
Woe unto the football player who must scrounge for money beyond his unlimited university meal card. And woe unto the football player who cannot afford to buy the latest version of EA NCAA Football, so he can play the game as himself. And woe unto the football player who can't put enough gas in his car to drive to the local Native American casino and put all his money on his jersey number on the roulette table.
Doug Marrone would like you to take your woe and stick it somewhere that makes you woe yourself.
"I think, in a way, we’re already paying our guys," Marrone, the Orange coach, declared the other day. "A lot of people put a lot of emphasis on student-athletes and compensation. ‘We should give them this.’ ‘They don’t get paid for that.’ ‘Their time is tough because they have to practice and they have to go to class.’ There’s a lot of ‘Woe is me. Woe is me.’
"But it is very difficult for me to sit here and say, ‘Woe, woe, woe is the student-athlete.’ The student-athlete has a great opportunity to better his entire life, to change his family tree, to do a lot of good things. The fact is, at the end of the day scholarship athletes don’t have the kinds of financial difficulties that other students incur."
Ever the pragmatic, Marrone would rather see a discussion about helping under-privileged students who don't have full scholarships or whose parents can barely afford to keep them in school.
To me, the paying player argument is just so slippery and so vague, I don't see how it could ever be done in a way that would be considered fair for all parties. Still, I think we're heading there sooner or later. How bout you?