It's time for dedicated athletes, like Shabazz Napier, to finally earn money for the amount of time and energy spent on playing basketball. The ends don't justify the means. Last year, Napier was awarded the highly prestigious Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award, and he worked incredibly hard to maintain his ability and strength.
What people don't realize is that many of these student-athletes on scholarships barely have enough money to sustain themselves throughout the year. “I don’t feel student-athletes should get hundreds of thousands of dollars, but like I said, there are hungry nights that I go to bed and I’m starving,” Napier said to CNN. Even when Napier was starving, he would have to get up the next morning and go to class, and practice, and games where he had to "play up to his full capabilities," no matter what. I can also promise you that he's has not been the only college athlete to feel this way.
They put in their best efforts, yet the profit that is, literally, made off of them never makes it back to the players. The State Rep. Matthew Lesser stated that, "He says he’s going to bed hungry at a time when millions of dollars are being made off of him. It’s obscene."
Basketball scholarships cannot cover everything, so basically these students are left in the dark to figure out how to pay for their other expenses. It's especially difficult when all of your time is consumed by either class or practices/games, so there's almost no time they're able to get any type of job.
There are schools out there, like Northwestern, who are exploring ways to allow the athletes to unionize. The Northwestern union ruling seemed "kind of great" to Napier. At least its a step in the right direction.
The athletes who spend the majority of their time working insanely hard aren't getting paid one dime for all their efforts. The money is used for equipment, or is used to fund the school (sometimes not even the athletics program), yet the people who need it the most are completely overlooked.