UConn Player Shabazz Napier Says He Goes to Bed Starving From Being Broke

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The recent comments from MVP of the NCAA winning team UConn, Shabazz Napier, has everyone talking about whether or not college basketball players should be compensated for all the hard work they put into their sport…….

Via CNN reports:

The remark got the attention of state lawmakers in Connecticut, who are now exploring legislative ways to allow athletes at UConn, a state institution, to unionize — much like athletes are attempting at Northwestern University.

NCAA Men's Final Four - Championship

Rep. Matthew Lesser said he and other state lawmakers are considering legislation. Unlike at Northwestern, a private institution governed by the National Labor Relations Board, Connecticut law governs whether employees at a public institution can unionize.

“He says he’s going to bed hungry at a time when millions of dollars are being made off of him. It’s obscene,” Lesser said. “This isn’t a Connecticut problem. This is an NCAA problem, and I want to make sure we’re putting pressure on them to treat athletes well.”

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Shabazz Napier recently called the Northwestern union ruling “kind of great” and said that although he appreciates his basketball scholarship, it doesn’t cover all of his expenses.

“I don’t feel student-athletes should get hundreds of thousands of dollars, but like I said, there are hungry nights that I go to bed and I’m starving,” he said.

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Asked whether he felt like an employee — a key distinction cited in the labor board’s Northwestern ruling — the Huskies point guard responded, “I just feel like a student-athlete, and sometimes, like I said, there’s hungry nights and I’m not able to eat and I still got to play up to my capabilities. … When you see your jersey getting sold — it may not have your last name on it — but when you see your jersey getting sold and things like that, you feel like you want something in return.”

CNN’s calls to UConn’s athletic department were not immediately returned Monday, though the Huskies played the University of Kentucky Wildcats in the NCAA men’s basketball finals in Arlington, Texas, that night. Connecticut won 60-54, fueled by a game MVP performance from Napier, who had 22 points, six rebounds and three assists.

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Many people argue that these athletes get a free education in return of their work. But is this really a “free education?” These guys have to work more than 40 hours a week playing, traveling and practicing. Plus, they can’t work on the side to earn money due to NCAA rules.

Should student-athletes be getting compensated for their work?