Scholarship Victims? - And Response

Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Mr. Exum, 

As a former NCAA scholarship athlete who was taken advantage of while in school, I thank you for your article. It's about time someone stands up for us, because we are victims. 

I didn't go to a big university like Tennessee. But when I played I remember thinking the same things as Arian Foster: Look at those 5,000 people in the stands. My coach has a nice truck. All these people are making money off of me, and I get nothing for my effort. 

My family is poor so I wished I could have worked to provide not just for me but for my family. So I did something about it, because I am a man of principle. 

So I gave up my scholarship to school. I gave up my free room. I gave up the three free meals a day. I gave up the meal per diem I received. I gave up the clothes, the shoes, the tutors. I did this all because when I went to my fridge it was empty. My stomach wasn't empty. My fridge was empty. 

No one likes being used. Do people realize that little kids and even grown-up folks would come and bother me for autographs? Being adored by so many people is so stressful.  I remember someone told me about other students, students who benefited from my labor on the field. I had one tutor tell me that our team was generating enough revenue to fund band scholarships. We bought threeoboes. Can you believe it?  Here I am busting my hump and other people benefit.  That's ridiculous. 

And I didn't care for the team doctor or the team dentist, not to mention all the trainers, the masseuses. The coddling gets old. Why, they would even check on me when my grades started to slide. What a terrible experience. 

Yes, I could have gone on to the NFL and maybe made millions of dollars.  But I felt used so I did what a real man would do, and that was to quit and give up my scholarship. I no longer had to worry about money to feed myself because when I quit the team I had time to get a job, delivering pizzas. But at least I had a few dollars in my pocket.  Unfortunately I had to drop out of school because I couldn't afford to pay the tuition on pizza-delivery money. I know other college students could pay their own way to college but I couldn't, not on pizza delivery money. 

Anyway, I digress.  Thanks, Mr. Exum for showing what I've been telling people for years.  Scholarship athletes are victims.

Chris Wilson

Red Bank 

* * * 

In the 1960's, married with two children in elementary school I decided to attend the University of Chattanooga. a private school. I worked a full time job, as did my wife, attended as a full time student and paid as I went. No scholarship, but I did have the G-I Bill which just covered books, fees and tuition. To receive the G-I money I served three years in the USMC during the 1950's. 

This was true of many of the students. A lot of the students went to night classes as they had to make a living for their families during the day and school at night. The night school students took five-six years to complete. There were no student loans and very few scholarships. 

My life was the same as many students. During the 60's there were a number of young men in college just to escape the draft and Vietnam.  

I guess I should see myself as a victim but you know what, I saw myself as a mature man making my way in this world. My life made me the man I am today. No complaints or excuses.

N.D. Kennedy Sr.
Ooltewah

 


Roy Exum: A Hero Is Coming Home

In late September, a very special funeral will be held in Bearden, Tenn., when 1 st Lt. Alexander “Sandy” Bonnyman Jr., will finally come home to lie in peace with his family. Sandy’s been dead for 72 years now, ever since he was killed in combat on the Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands on Nov. 22, 1943. He and a number of other Marine heroes were buried back then in a shallow ... (click for more)

How To Be #ChattanoogaStrong

Chattanooga is my home; I was born here 35 years ago. Without a doubt, this has been one of the most challenging times in our city's history. The #ChattanoogaStrong hashtag will remain for quite some time, but it means so much more than 18 characters on social media. It represents the sorrow and mourning, as well as the resilience and compassion, of our exceptional community.  ... (click for more)

Truck Driver Who Caused Wreck That Killed 6 People At Ooltewah Indicted On 13 Charges; Report Says He Drove Excessive Hours

The Chattanooga Police Department has issued a capias for the arrest of Benjamin Brewer, 39, concerning the multiple fatality traffic crash that occurred on I-75 northbound on June 25. Brewer was indicted on Monday on 13 counts.  They include six counts of vehicular homicide by impairment, a B-felony; four counts for reckless aggravated assault, a D-felony; one count for DUI ... (click for more)

Rawls Says Schools Could Have Better Spent $16,000 Than For Motivational Speech; County To Explore Performance Guaranteed Utility Contract

Bradley County Commissioner Dan Rawls said three school systems could have better spent $16,000 than for a motivational speaker to fire teachers up at the start of a new school year. He said the payment to Ron Clark, former National Teacher of the Year and the founder of the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, could have gone for school supplies and other needs. Bradley County ... (click for more)

NPSL Championship To Be Played In Chattanooga

It's Chattanooga FC taking on the New York Cosmos B for the National Premier Soccer League’s national championship and the Scenic City's Finley Stadium is the site Saturday, August 8 at 7:30 p.m. Thanks to a 9,000 plus crowd at Chattanooga's 3-0 semifinal win against the Indiana Fire, the Tennessee team broke the league’s previous record of 8,878, which was ... (click for more)

Jones Press Conference Kicks Off Vols' Preseason

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Coach Butch Jones held his preseason football press conference on Monday at Neyland Stadium. Jones heads into his third season with visible enthusiasm after the Vols finished off the 2014 season with an impressive win over Iowa in the TaxSlayer Bowl, following that up with another nationally ranked recruiting class. "In terms of our football team, we ... (click for more)