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Letter: Taxpayers need a break. Let’s revamp college athletics funding

SHARE Letter: Taxpayers need a break. Let’s revamp college athletics funding

Shoppers check out University of Utah merchandise at the Red Zone inside the University of Utah campus store in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020.

Steve Griffin, Deseret News

Can we finally give the taxpayers of Utah a break? We will be happy to designate college football players as professional athletes and pay them for their exertions on the field. In turn, we should have these same athletes pay their own expenses for their college education, including room, board, books and tuition. The pay for their salaries as well as the coaching staff must be funded in total by football operations alone if we allow students to get paid.

By following the above plan, we will finally admit that today’s collegiate players are the minor league players for the NFL, just as they always have been. College administrators will bid for the services of top athletes pretty much as they do today. The best teams will have the best players and earn the best salaries. The real winner in this plan will be the taxpayers, who currently spend millions funding the care and maintenance of facilities including fields, coaches salaries, gyms, dorms and dining halls for the players, as well as the tuition and books for students. By paying athletes, those funds should come from football operations.

A final thought is that the Utah football coach is by far the highest paid state employee and pay for his coaching staff is not that far behind. We must be competitive.

Stuart Young