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Hey, college presidents: Get a job

After hearing about the NCAA's new policy allowing scholarship athletes to hold part-time jobs during the school year, it's obvious the university presidents on the ruling committee don't get out much.

They can't have spent much time outside their hallowed offices observing the day-to-day lives of their athletes, whose best interest they supposedly serve.

If they had, they would know their new policy allowing scholarship athletes the opportunity to work is as useless an idea as opening a swimsuit store at a nudist colony.

What were they thinking?

College athletes, particularly football and basketball players at major institutions like UCLA and North Carolina, are busy enough as it is.

Everyone has a different schedule, but a Division I basketball player might have classes until 1 p.m. Then he probably eats lunch until 2:30. Then, it's off to practice from, say, 3:30 to 6.

By the time he shoots a few extra free throws, showers and dresses, it's 7. He'll probably grab some dinner after that, then perhaps go to study hall from 8:30 to 10. After taking some time to relax and maybe talk to a few friends, it's time for bed.

Exactly when do those presidential geniuses expect that kid to work?

"I don't think it was well thought out," South Florida men's basketball coach Seth Greenberg said.

"In theory, it makes sense. But there's a big difference between theory and reality.

"How many things can you balance? A kid has his classes. He's got his practice schedule. He's got study hall. If he tries to work, what area is that going to take away from? His academics? If a kids makes $2,000 (the maximum allowed each year under the new policy), but his academics suffer, that's a big price to pay, don't you think?"

Thing is, that's not the only problem with this new policy. There are plenty. When the new rule was announced Wednesday, several college coaches and athletic directors immediately saw red flags.

Among other things, they see this new policy possibly bringing unscrupulous boosters back into the picture, which could lead to all kinds of evils.

Think about it. If scholarship athletes are allowed to get jobs, what's to stop some influential booster from giving the star quarterback a job that doesn't exist?

Who's going to make sure that Joe Athlete's cleaning job (wink, wink) isn't really just "cleaning" all the beer from the refrigerator? Or that his parking lot attendant job (wink, wink) isn't really just "parking" some booster's Mercedes-Benz 500 SL convertible every day after Joe is done borrowing it?

"It makes you nervous," FSU men's basketball coach Steve Robinson said. "I'm all for helping to find ways for kids to make a little money, but I don't know if we're not opening up a big can of worms."

If the NCAA really wants to help athletes, perhaps it should give them some of their own money, a small cut of the millions of dollars these athletes generate for their respective universities through their on-field and on-court performance.

Let's be real. The NCAA has been stiffing athletes for years, making big money off them but not cutting them in on the cash. They just get to attend school for free.

In the old days, colleges gave athletes what was called "laundry money." It was maybe $15 or $20 a month, enough for a kid to do his laundry, buy a few snacks and maybe take his girlfriend to the movies.

Taking inflation into consideration, maybe today's athletes should get $50 or $75 a month. That way they would still have sufficient time to devote to their academics, which is why they are in college in the first place.

If the NCAA wants to give someone a job, it should try giving it to a few of its college presidents, because from the looks of this new jobs policy, they haven't been working hard enough on the ones they have.

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