Student athletes receive a free education, free food and free housing. They have tutors to help them with school, and they have the opportunity to travel across the country, all in exchange for playing the sport they love.
It seems cushy, but we wholeheartedly believe that they deserve it.
Student athletes put in 40 plus hours a week during the season, shuffling between weight-lifting sessions, analyzing game tape, practicing, travel and games, all while juggling a full course load and high academic expectations.
They have almost no free time, and due to NCAA restrictions, scholarship athletes canâ€™t get jobs. Because of that, theyâ€™re entirely dependent on the benefits that the university gives them.
And yes, the tens of thousands of dollars athletes receive from CSU in exchange for competing may seem exorbitant compared to an average studentâ€™s income, but the pay is paltry compared to even the lowest paid professional athletes, despite the fact that student athletes put in just as much time.
In addition, even at a university with as pathetic of an athletics program as CSU, college sports contribute millions of dollars in revenue, not to mention marketing and name recognition, which drives up enrollment, something that ultimately benefits the average student.
Steve Fairchild makes $350,000 a year, Tim Miles makes more than $300,000 a year and Paul Kowalczyk makes more than $250,000 a year. The athletes who actually compete for our program and deliver results make one-tenth of what they do, and between their athletic career and school, arguably put in far more hours.
So before you judge student athletes as being pampered by the university, think about the time and the work they put in. It might surprise you.