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Author Topic: Athletes to receive financial education  (Read 1137 times)

Offline ClemsonTiger

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Athletes to receive financial education
« on: June 19, 2015, 09:34:17 AM »
Athletes to receive financial education

By: Mandrallius Robinson,

No one should give a man a power tool without teaching him how to use it. Apparently, Mississippi State University athletic director Scott Stricklin recognizes that money is the ultimate power tool.

It can be used to build. It just as easily can be used to destroy.

Starting in August, most major NCAA Division I programs will expand scholarships to include the full cost of attendance. In addition to tuition, room, board, books and fees, athletes will be offered stipends to cover incidental costs, including travel and personal expenses.

According to Stricklin, Mississippi State will require scholarship athletes to complete monthly financial education courses before receiving their stipend checks. MSU will develop the curriculum through a partnership with prominent financialexpert Dave Ramsey, whose bestselling books and syndicated radio programs encourage debt freedom.

“We want to make sure that they understand the basics of finance,” Stricklin said. “Not that we’re going to tell them what to do with their money, but to make sure they understand how to open a checking account, set a budget and things of that nature.”

The University of South Carolina and Clemson University also have committed to begin offering these stipends in August. They also should commit to replicating Mississippi State’s financial literacy curriculum.

Coaches often declare their playing fields as the best classrooms for life. Sports promote dedication, diligence, cooperation, perseverance and respect. They provide the emotional tools to manage responsibility, conflict and adversity. However, they do not necessarily provide the practical tools to manage a home or a checkbook.

A man’s good intentions cannot pull him above his own ignorance. The strict regimen under which athletes live can leave them ignorant to the requirements of independent living.

For four or five years, athletes at major programs are told exactly where to be, exactly when to be there and exactly what to wear— similar to most employees. Yet, the primary piece of their compensation package is an education, and even the path of their curriculum is guided by counselors and advisers.

Their housing, utilities and even television and Internet services are all paid without them ever seeing the bills. Their meals are catered under the careful direction of team nutritionists.

Many athletes could graduate with no idea how to manage a budget, a diet or a schedule. Their lives have been structured so stringently by coaches, advisers and professors that they have not been required — or sometimes permitted — to make many personal decisions.

Thus, this stipend represents freedom. It is a well-deserved slice of independence, and on some campuses, it will be a large slice.

At MSU, the cost of attendance will be $5,156 per year. At USC, the stipend will be $4,151. At Clemson, it will be $3,608.

It will not vault players into a new tax bracket. Yet, it will grant enough freedom to startsome bad habits. Many adults can recall quite a few irresponsible purchases from their college days. We can recall the financial aid refunds that were instantly deemed discretionary income ... and were then spent without discretion. We can recall the wrist injuries we suffered from frequentcredit card swipes.

We may have survived that phase through a combination of prayer, penance and the merciful policies at the First National Bank of Momand Dad. After enduring that regrettable phase, we understand how to manage our finances more wisely. Our responsibility is to relay the wisdom gleaned from our mistakesso that others donot repeat them. Certainly, some athletes will leave these classes, cash their checks, run straight to the mall and burn it all. That is their prerogative. It is their money. These classes should teach players how to manage it, but not command how they spend it.

However, if embraced and replicated, these classes would be a positive step toward changing the culture in majorcollege athletics. It is a culture of exploitation, where eligibility is favored over education. It is a culture where graduation rates are pitched as indicators of academic commitment, although they do not accurately reflect how many athletes are truly prepared to use the degrees they earned.

Set within the context of higher education, coaches and administrators should embrace their obligation to improve the lives of the young men and women who help fund their programs. This stipend was initiated in part to inch the market toward fairness. These programs should not allow this benefit to become a burden.

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Offline Pawsome06

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Re: Athletes to receive financial education
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2015, 10:10:41 AM »
Don't you think they should have done this a while ago? Only makes snese with all of these athletes doing stupid things like taking money or selling their autograph


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