National Letter of Intent Day!
The cream of the crop of high school football players made their intentions known today, National Letter of Intent Day. What university will be fortunate enough to have them playing football for them for at least a few years? The recruiting competition seems to get more fierce every year between the top programs and those that are trying to become top programs.
The winners today are the kids who receive a free education, a chance for stardom and a more remote chance for future riches in the NFL. But the universities are winners too. The top programs keep getting great recruits that keep the program growing. This helps with alumni donations and also bringing other students to the universities. Really, how many of us in the Midwest would know much about Duke if it weren’t for their basketball program?
Now let’s open Pandora’s Box. Given that the universities benefit greatly from the football student-athlete, it does beg the question: Should these athletes get some stipend to help offset the living costs outside the tuition, fees and room and board? They don’t have time to get a job. Would it help track the money flow to students so we can more easily keep an eye on the cheaters? But what about the student athlete that doesn’t generate a following and alumni money. Shouldn’t a softball player get the same stipend as a football player? But the softball program is already losing money. Ah, now we’ve really started something…