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Recommendation Essay

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Dear NCAA Executive Committee,

My name is David Brown and I am the starting quarterback for the Nittany Lions here a Penn State University. I am writing to you on behalf of my fellow intercollegiate athletes, because I feel as though we are being used. Each year my Penn State teammates and I, as well as other high-profile college teams generate millions of dollars in revenue, yet we do not get paid for our services. Millions of dollars are made every year from food, drinks, tickets, and merchandise sales because of our strenuous work, not to mention the billions of dollars made from selling TV rights to our games to major networks. Intercollegiate sports are a big business in which the players are "slave laborers." I am not suggesting that we be given an annual salary, but I feel that we should be given stipend or some financial assistance in addition to scholarship money.

For the past few years many have argued that student-athletes should be thankful for their educational opportunities in college, including the cost of tuition, books, room and board (which would be around $17,000 here at Penn State). Many also argue that if we are paid for our performances, other college talents should be paid for their contributions to their schools. However, when one looks at the vast difference in the amounts of money that different groups bring in, it makes sense why we are resentful at the millions of dollars being made off of our sweat and tears. For instance my former teammate Larry Johnson put his heart and soul into playing for the past four years. His jerseys were sold for $50 each all year around, and he never saw a dime of that money. This is just one of the many examples of unfair compensation. Each year we are under enormous pressure to perform well in the classroom and in sports and I feel that if we were given a stipend it would help alleviate some of stress we go through.

As college athletes we give up many freedoms. Going to parties, hanging out with friends, or relaxing is just a few of the activities that we are unable to take part in. One of the biggest freedoms we give up is being able to hold a part time job. Although the NCAA recently lifted the rule that stated "players are not allowed to hold jobs during their playing season," it is nearly impossible for us to work. Virtually all of our time is divided between practice and academics and we don't have the energy told hold a part time job. How do you expect us to have money for everyday expenditures? My mother is a single parent nurse with two boys and two girls and it is very difficult for her to send me money to take care of my needs. I know there are many other athletes out there that are in similar financial situations. Since most of our time is taken up with practice, training, and games we should be given a sufficient amount of money to live on. Without a stipend it is very difficult to keep up with our many expenses such as phone bills, transportation, entertainment, laundry, toiletries, etc. All I am asking is that we are given money to subsidize, if not to cover our expenses.

Another reason why we should be given further financial assistance is because each year there is a growing number of college athletes who



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