Piece Of The Pie

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Piece of the Pie Money is an important issue for almost all college students. Very few are lucky enough not to have the financial burdens of tuition, housing, and food interfere with their academic initiatives. Some students have parents that are wealthy enough to cover all of the costs of college. Other students are given financial aid from the university that they attend. If necessary, students can get jobs to help differ the costs. There are no restrictions put on most students as to where they can work, or how much they can earn. Most students have this freedom, but varsity athletes with scholarships attending Division I schools do not. The National Collegiate Athletic Association, the governing body of collegiate athletics, restricts these athletes from having jobs. Even though these athletes would have a hard time make room for a job between practices, meetings and games, they are not even given the opportunity to do so because of the NCAA regulations. These regulations are based on the fear that athletes could be employed by affiliates of the university, who could attract the best athletes by unjustifiably paying them extraordinary salaries. While this may be a valid concern, the regulations are most often carried out to ridiculous lengths which ultimately do not serve the purpose they are intended to have. For example, Northwestern University has an aspiring young actor named Darnell Autry who also happens to be the starting running back for the University's football team. Darnell was offered a role, based entirely on his acting abilities, in a major network's sitcom. The NCAA nearly forbid him from accepting this offer based on the regulations against athlete employment. Darnell was eventually allowed to accept the job, however, the NCAA did not allow him to get paid for his work. They reasoned that the cost of the flight out of Chicago was payment enough for Darnell. As in Darnell's case, the regulations cause more problems then they prevent. The prospect of the money waiting for many athletes, like Darnell, when they leave college, leads them to abandon their education and head straight for the professional leagues. Some athletes, like Shawn Kemp or Kobe Bryant, skip college entirely. Kemp and Bryant both went directly from high school to the National Basketball Association, and are currently making millions of dollars a year. Other athletes, such as Stephon Marbury, Allen Iverson, Marcus Camby, Terry Glen, and Tim Biakabatuka, all college phenomenons from basketball and football, skip as many as three of their remaining college years. The lure of fame and fortune is making more and more athletes leave college early each year.

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