ESPNU Campus Call: Student-athlete panel

ESPN.com has invited student-athletes from a number of the top schools and programs across the country to tell us what they think about the issues facing NCAA athletes.

Updated: December 1, 2006, 9:27 AM ET

SHOULD STUDENT-ATHLETES BE PAID?
Each week, ESPN.com surveys the student-athletes on our panel to see how they feel about a topic that directly affects collegiate life.

Should student-athletes get paid?

Wileman
Wileman
"I believe that giving scholarships is enough for student-athletes. However, I don't feel there are enough scholarships available. If every player on my soccer team had some sort of scholarship, then I would feel they were being compensated fairly. The amount of time that athletes put into their sport and the amount of money that universities profit is substantial. So when I see people on my team and other teams within SMU that have to pay alot of money to participate, I think it is sad. But I don't think it would be a good idea to give an athlete money, because an 18- to 22-year-old with alot of cash, in a college environment, is asking for trouble."
-- Chase Wileman, SMU men's soccer

Anosike
Anosike
"Yes, of course student-athletes should get paid. Experiencing money problems is just another type of stress that an athlete doesn't need. Trust me, I've been there, it can really affect one's performance. We have enough to deal with as it is. I don't think that we need nearly as much as professionals receive, but an extra $80 to $100 a month would really help tie the loose ends that athletic scholarships don't cover."
-- Nicky Anosike, Tennessee women's basketball

Leveille
Leveille
"I think student-athletes should only be paid in the sense that they receive athletic scholarships. It would not be acceptable to provide money in the form of cash to student-athletes. Making money may then become the priority of some student-athletes, instead of going to school to gain an education."
-- Mike Leveille, Syracuse lacrosse

Murphy
Murphy
"No, student-athletes should not be paid. Scholarships, equipment, money for books and during traveling are a form of payment already. Being a college athlete is a privilege and maintaining our amateur status separates us from the more formal paychecks of professional leagues. We play because we thrive in competition, and love our sport and our teammates."
-- Meghan Murphy, Notre Dame women's lacrosse

Smith
Smith
"My short answer is no. I don't believe that student-athletes should be paid to play their sport. However, if I could dream for a moment, I would say that every student-athlete at every university should be on an athletic scholarship or at the very least receive something like training table (dinner provided during the week). I realize that this is a lofty request, but I see athletes who are not on scholarship constantly trying to make ends meet with tuition and rent while giving all they have physically and mentally to their sport. I'm not saying that student-athletes are deserving of any kind of extra benefit, but unlike a normal student, most athletes cannot get jobs because of their practice schedule. It's wishful thinking I know, but definitely something I'd like to work toward in the future."
-- Scott Smith, Cal football

Hazewinkel
Hazewinkel
"It depends on a lot of things. First is in what context. Should an athlete get paid if he places at a event in his sport or any sport that pays for placing? Then yes. For instance, if a college athlete can make the Olympic team and place at the Olympics, he should get the award money and any sponors that come with winning. That athlete earned that money. We spend our lives doing this sport; it is our income and when we cannot take the money, it hurts us. If this athlete took third at the worlds the year before and received the money, then that athlete could use it to improve himself (eg. more international tournaments). However, if this athlete is in college, he cannot accept the money and is not given that opportunity to improve himself."
-- Sam Hazewinkel, Oklahoma wrestling

Schneider
Schneider
"In order to be fair to all NCAA student-athletes, I think that athletes should not be paid. First of all, many of the high-profile athletes already receive scholarships worth upward of $40,000, so to some that could be counted as some sort of payment. Also, how would the NCAA decide who gets paid and how much? Certain sports receive more attention and generate more revenue for the schools, but does that mean those athletes deserve to get paid more than a more obscure sport athlete who may be just as talented? In order to avoid all conflicts and controversy, I think it should remain that student-athletes do not get paid for their services, because that would also essentially make them professionals, and would defeat the purpose of collegiate sports."
-- Cory Schneider, Boston College men's ice hockey

Henley
Henley
"I don't think athletes need to be paid, but I think those athletes that are getting full scholarships, which I am not, deserve more than the $50 monthly stipend. This $50 is the same amount athletes have been receiving for at least the last 30 years. Inflation should have raised that amount considerably. As far as paying players thousands of dollars -- or as some might argue millions -- because of their worth to their university or to the NCAA, I don't really agree with. The reason I love watching college sports is the spirit of the game. Paying players would take away from that spirit, and it would change players motivation. I think paying players would in turn cheapen the experience of college sports."
-- Tyler Henley, Rice baseball

Anosike
Alexander
"No, I do not think student-athletes should be paid. Those who are fortunate enough to receive an athletic scholarship are being paid in the form of a top-notch education. Most schools have contracts with major athletic brands such as Nike and the amount of gear that we receive for being a part of the team is more than generous. We are also fortunate enough to travel all over the United States, stay in nice hotels, and get a set amount of per diem per day on the road. The way I see it, I am fortunate to be a student-athlete, it is my job to perform to my fullest potential on and off the field."
-- Cori Alexander, Portland women's soccer

Tidwell
Tidwell
"In principle, I think many student-athletes should receive some monetary compensation since their time commitment to their sport can make it impossible to hold down a job. Logistically speaking, however, paying student-athletes would be a nightmare. How can you really determine which athletes deserve compensation and how much? Could we pay some student-athletes without paying all of them? What if some struggling athletic programs could not afford it? Additionally, one might argue that student-athletes are already receiving their compensation through athletic scholarships. While I would love to see certain student-athletes get a little extra help with the bills each month, the bottom line is that paying college athletes would probably cause more problems than it fixed. College athletes have managed to get along fine thus far without receiving paychecks."
-- Tyler Tidwell, Navy football

PAST QUESTIONS
Should coaches be able to text message recruits?
Syracuse "I don't think coaches should be able to text message recruits at all. Text messaging is a very informal and unproductive way of communicating and I don't see how either side would benefit from communicating that way. I never received any text messages from coaches, and honestly, I'm glad that I didn't. Making phone calls and writing e-mails are much more effective forms of communication during the recruiting process."
-- Mike Leveille, Syracuse lacrosse

See what the rest of the panel had to say.

How are you preparing for college?
SMU "I'm looking forward to life after college. Currently I'm applying for a job with an organization called Teach For America. They place new teachers in inner-city schools for a two-year commitment period. I've always had a passion for teaching, and I think this would be a great challenge and a lot of fun. Their goal of bringing up the general education levels of the schools is something I'm incredibly interested in, and I would love to help in any capacity. If that doesn't work out, I'll be looking at graduate schools and student teaching jobs with the hope of ultimately becoming a high school teacher."
-- Scott Smith, Cal football

Check out the rest of the panel's response.

Are there enough safety precautions?
SMU "Soccer is a dangerous sport. Generally, competitors respect each other and I feel that there are plenty of safety precautions in the game. Recently, they have cracked down on elbowing and tackles from behind, which I believe has cleaned up the game drastically. Soccer is a game of respect and I feel the players have a responsibility to play hard but clean."
-- Chase Wileman, SMU men's soccer

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What is a typical week like for you?
Navy "The academic week at a military academy is trying for everyone, especially varsity athletes. I usually get up around 6:30 and attend morning formation and inspection at 7:00. I go to classes all morning, have a half hour for lunch, then attend football meetings until it is time for afternoon classes. Following classes, I attend special-teams meetings and then go to practice and lifting. I usually get done with evening meal around 1900 [7 p.m.] and return to my room to study shortly thereafter. I usually complete all of my homework and military obligations in time to get to bed between midnight and 1:00 a.m. I get up the next morning and do it all again until Friday rolls around and it's time to go to the team hotel and get ready for the game."
-- Tyler Tidwell, Navy Football

Check out the rest of the panel's response.

What was the recruitment process like?
BC "Unlike many sports, the recruiting process starts very early for college hockey. I first began contacting schools during my sophomore year of high school; due to NCAA rules, coaches cannot call you, but you are allowed to call them. I found a small range of schools in which I was interested, so I was able to set up unofficial visits to tour the campuses and meet the coaches. I committed to Boston College (verbally) during the spring of my junior year, so I never really got to do an official visit anywhere. … There wasn't anything about the process that I did not enjoy, however overall for the game of college hockey, I feel that kids are being recruited too young. Some kids are making commitments four years in advance of college and I just feel that a lot can change in that time, or that younger kids may not know what they want in a school. The only thing I would change would be to perhaps place an age limit, say 16 or so, before coaches are allowed to talk with you."
-- Cory Schneider, Boston College men's ice hockey

See what the rest of the panel had to say.

Meet the panel
Matthews
Matthews
Wesley Matthews
School: Marquette
Sport: Basketball
Year: Sophomore
Position: Center
Achievements: Member of the 2005-2006 Marquette basketball team, which was upset in the first round of the NCAA Tournament by Alabama; Played in 23 games for the Golden Eagles making 13 consecutive starts before suffering a stress fracture in his right foot; High School: Named the 2005 Mr. Basketball for the state of Wisconsin by the WBCA/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; 2005 Associated Press Wisconsin Player of the Year.

Henley
Henley
Tyler Henley
School: Rice
Sport: Baseball
Year: Junior
Position: Outfield
Major: Economics/Managerial studies
Achievements: Member of the 2006 Rice baseball team, which was a semifinalist in the College World Series (lost to eventual champion, Oregon State); Ended the season ranked No. 3 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll; 2005 Freshman All-America (Collegiate Baseball); 2005 All-Western Athletic Conference (first team); WAC All-Academic; All-Silver Glove Series.

Meet the rest of the panel.