Letter: Don't let money spoil college sports

Connecticut celebrates after winning the NCAA Final Four

Connecticut celebrates after winning the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against Kentucky Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (Credit: AP / Charlie Neibergall)

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I could not disagree more with Newsday columnists Ellis Henican ["The NCAA's real madness," News, March 23] and Michael Dobie ["A rim-rattling ruling in college sports," Opinion, March 30] when they suggest that big-time college football and basketball players deserve paychecks instead of mere scholarships to pay for their hazardous duties of dunking, dribbling, blocking and trying to sack the quarterback.

Both argue that at least some of the $6 billion a year in revenue which the NCAA collects from major college sports should go to the amateur athletes who create the spotlight. Hogwash. These gifted young men and women are ostensibly going to college to better themselves through an education that they could not otherwise afford.

However, the ultimate destiny they seek is not a bachelor's degree. Who are we kidding? The real goal is a lucrative contract with the NBA, NFL or WNBA. What matters is how big a bonus they will get either upon graduation or, more often, by leaving their coaches and teammates in the lurch by leaving school and signing up early. There are scouts and general managers who encourage this.

Before the differences between amateur and pro sports are obliterated, clearer heads should step up and do something to salvage the beauty of college sports for its devoted followers.

Joe Krupinski, Sea Cliff

Editor's note: The writer covered college and high school sports for Newsday for 35 years.

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