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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

No salaries but maybe stipends for college football players, Rubio says



canes.jpgSen. Marco Rubio weighed in unexpectedly on Friday on the football scandal at the University of Miami, where the Florida Republican got his law degree.

In an interview on Spanish-language radio station WQBA-AM (1140), Rubio was asked of student-athletes should be paid for their work on the field. "They shouldn't be paid a salary," Rubio told radio host Helen Agurre Ferré. "They should be given some money so they can eat on weekends.

"Many of these young men come from incredible poverty," he added. "It's very said to see them on weekends -- after a game in which they have won $1 million for the university -- that they don't even have $5 for a meal at McDonald's. It's very sad to see that, and what it does is that these young men are then susceptible to these individuals." Student-athletes, it should be noted, usually receive meal plans as part of their scholarships -- though those plans are only good to eat in dining halls on campus.

In other matters, Rubio said he is not prepared to say whether he will sponsor a Senate companion to Rep. David Rivera's proposal making changes to the Cuban Adjustment Act. Rivera wants to sanction newly arrived Cuban immigrants who travel to the island while becoming U.S. citizens under the law.

"I understand the measure," Rubio said.

"Other [Hispanic] communities that face hardships in their countries wonder, why are Cubans given that benefit?" he continued. "The answer has always been because a Cuban is not simply an immigrant -- he is also an exile...It is difficult to make that argument when a Cuban exile is returning to his country however many times he wants."

"I am not in favor of denying the right of a family member to visit a mother who is sick, a son who is in divide the family that way," he concluded. "I think it is interesting legislation."

-- Patricia Mazzei, Miami Herald

[Last modified: Friday, August 26, 2011 2:11pm]


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