Tennessee could lead debate over student-athlete pay - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Tennessee could lead debate over student-athlete pay

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Source: Knox News Source: Knox News

It's to be expected that a Republican would loudly oppose a pro-labor ruling in an election year. But U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander's response to an initial finding by the National Labor Relations Board that football players at Northwestern University can unionize was remarkably callous about their concerns.

"Imagine a university's basketball players striking before a Sweet Sixteen game demanding shorter practices, bigger dorm rooms, better food and no classes before 11 a.m.," Alexander was quoted as saying in a press release put out by his office Wednesday night.

Alexander — a former University of Tennessee president, U.S. secretary of education and intercollegiate track star — had to know better. Depicting student-athletes as selfish and lazy ignores the real questions: Should they be paid? Should they be allowed to keep their scholarships even when they are too hurt to keep playing? Shouldn't schools that make billions off them foot at least some of their medical costs afterward?

Some Tennessee lawmakers say yes to all three. On Wednesday the Senate Education Committee debated a bill that would grant a one-time stipend to every Division I athlete who completes a four-year university in Tennessee.

Read more from our partners at Knox News.

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