I understand this sentiment, but something needs to be understood here: I guarantee you that that athlete is still geting exploited, in some cases to the tune of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Here’s the thing: the athletes getting those full rides? Most likely basketball or football players, because there aren’t many other sports that offer those anymore. And these athletes are exploited even before they pick a college, because they’re forbidden from doing really reasonable things or taking really reasonable assistance (like, say, trying to talk to professional teams to see if a deal would be good enough to skip a college sport, or even talk to a coach more than a certain number of times, or hiring someone or accepting someone who negotiates for a living to represent them).
Then, when they get to college, almost every aspect of their life is decided for them (I compare it to going to one of the military academies, without the promise of a great education or a stable job or even monthly compensation for the additional work they take on).
They’re *required* to play college ball for a certain number of years (and this is a problem, because if you’re a really talented athlete who is counting on playing a sport as a way of earning money, and you get injured your freshman, sophomore, or junior years? You’re shit out of luck, especially since there’s not really a good health insurance system, and hey, they can just yank that scholarship - which probably doesn’t cover everything anyway).
There is also the matter of monetary compensation that is, no shit, being stolen from these athletes. Colleges can use the names and likenesses of their “student athletes” in almost any way they wish WITHOUT PAYING THE ATHLETES FOR IT AT ALL (there’s some recent legal cases addressing this, but it’s a slow process). They sell jerseys, hats, games are broadcast nationally and even internationally, videogames, interviews, I can go on and on and on. Colleges literally makes millions of dollars a year off their student athletes, and you know how much (until very, very recently, and even now it’s a pittance) student athletes see of that money? ZERO. Nothing. I don’t even count whatever tuition, room and board they receive because, let’s be honest, they’re not seeing much of the benefit from those, either, because of the schedules they are required to keep. Some might (and good for them!), but I would argue that many don’t.
I can’t think of another group of young people who have to follow these types of rules, are required to play to survive (and a lot of the time they’re not even doing that), and are making millions of dollars for other people and yet PROHIBITED on ground supposedly moral from actually being compensated fairly for their work.
The NCAA is a travesty and it makes me really angry, is what I’m saying.