RALEIGH, N.C. -- State leaders are looking at if college athletes are being treated fairly or are getting a raw deal. This has been a long-going debate, often raising the question if student athletes should be paid.
- There are also questions about whether or not there is enough academic support given to them.
- The Knight Commission says the NCAA has taken steps to make improvements, but more works needs to be done.
- This commission is looking to see if they need to recommend any state law changes to help protect the athletes further.
“Here in North Carolina, our flagship universities are failing our black student athletes,” said J. Davis Winkie, a former football player at Vanderbilt University.
Harsh words from one former college athlete, who says simply put, more needs to be done to make sure players are getting a fair shake in college.
“When you have weeks that you have more going on academically there is no flexibility in your practice schedule,” said Winkie. “You can't go to coach and say ‘hey, I have to miss practice today. I have a paper to do. I have an exam to study for.' They would laugh you out of office.”
While a lot of talk in the world of college sports is about whether or not to pay the student athletes, there are also questions about whether or not there is enough academic support given to them.
“Regardless of what methodologies you use, graduation rates are higher than they have ever been across the board,” said Amy Perko, CEO of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics.
The Knight Commission is an independent group with "a legacy of promoting reforms that support and strengthen the educational mission of college sports". It says the NCAA has taken steps to make improvements, but more works needs to be done.
“More time and more efforts need to be made and directed toward career development,” said Perko.
Student athletes within the UNC system agree. The athletes who attended Thursday’s meeting say while improvements can be made, they believe there is at least an effort to try to make sure they succeed both in the classroom and on the field.
“I’ve had a tremendous athletic experience, but I’ve also had a tremendous academic experience and I think that the two of those things have really complimented each other. And the lessons that I’ve learned from tennis have helped me be successful academically,” said Austin Allen, a tennis player at East Carolina University.
This commission is looking to see if they need to recommend any state law changes to help protect the athletes further.