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Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin Supports Paying College Athletes

With the college basketball pay-for-play scandal rocking Louisville, Kentucky governor Matt Bevin wants to see legalized pay for college athletes.

Bevin, a republican, may be a surprising ally for those who want to see college athletes receive payment for their work, as opinions on that issue track pretty well along political lines. A 2015 YouGov poll showed that 50-percent of democrats "strongly favor" or "somewhat favor" paying college athletes, while 50-percent of Republicans "somewhat oppose" or "strongly oppose" it. However, after seeing one of his state's two college basketball powers rocked by this new scandal, he thinks the money needs to be brought above the table.

He called the notion that college athletes are not professionals "nonsense," and argues for deferred compensation as a potential model.

From Insider Louisville:

“I think we should pay college athletes,” said Bevin. “I really do. This idea that they’re not professionals is nonsense.”

Defending his position that college athletes should be compensated, Bevin said: “They’re not there like normal students and we shouldn’t pretend that they are. Some of them, yes, go to class, but most of them are students differently because they’re there for athletics and not academics.”

As for how they should be paid, Bevin added, “I think we should maybe defer that comp — fair enough, they can defer it – but they and their families should be able to benefit from the sacrifices they make.” Bevin added that everyone else associated with college athletics is getting rich, except for the players who made all of this possible.

“The coaches are making millions of dollars a year,” said Bevin. “Shoe contracts are dictating what happens on our college campuses. Athletics directors and others associated with it that are making exorbitant fees. I don’t begrudge people making a high living. Good for them, and I mean that sincerely. But if that comes at the expense of those that are delivering the athletic prowess on the field, then maybe we should rethink the fact that this is really like the minor leagues for the professional sports associations, and they should be compensated and treated accordingly.”

It seems very likely that this pay-for-play scandal, which is currently focused on Louisville, adidas, and a handful of other schools and assistant coaches, is just the tip of the iceberg. While there is sure to be giant fallout coming, it could bring on a new era for college athletics with regard to compensation.

[Insider Louisville]