It's still early, but the US Senate hearing on the name, image, and likeness issues got underway on Tuesday, and it didn't take long for Tennessee senator Lamar Alexander to throw his feet into the fire.
Speaking during the hearing, Alexander, who has previously served as the president of the University of Tennessee, shared his opinions, some of which didn't sit well with folks on social media.
"I don't see a good ending to allowing a few student-athletes to be paid by commercial interests, while most of their teammates are not," said Alexander. "If young athletes want to be part of a team, enjoy the undergraduate experience, learn from coaches who are among the best teachers, and be paid a full scholarship that helps them earn a degree worth $1million during their lifetime, their earning should benefit all student-athletes at that institution."
"If they prefer to keep the money themselves, let them become professionals," Alexander said.
The Tennessee senator also shared that the University of Tennessee spends approximately $115,000 per year on each full scholarship for their athletes.
While that figure is nothing to sneeze at, and it should be considered as compensation to the athletes, this issue is somewhat more complicated.
For the average person who is not capable of earning a full athletic scholarship to a college or university who have to pay their way, that dollar amount would be a welcome thing for them and their education.
However, those regular students aren't part of a multi-million dollar industry where their talents bring home millions for their institution each season.
Granted, the schools have incredible costs associated with putting sports teams on the field each season, but the bottom lines of many-especially in the SEC- bring in a fat bottom line when all is said and done.
Like most of the issues currently facing our nation, this one is complex, and their is no easy answer here. However, like most things these days, the less involvement we get from our federal government, the better off things will be in my estimation.
After all, there are plenty of other problems Alexander and his collegues should be working to solve before this, but then this is lower hanging fruit that makes them look like they are earning their pay checks.