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

 


Why Sabrena Turner Is The Better Candidate - And Response

Chess is a complicated game which requires the player to make the best move from a sometimes large number of seemingly good choices. Each possible choice must be examined thoroughly and discarded until the best move is determined. Hopefully, the voters throughout Hamilton County will, as I did, use a similar process regarding their choice for the Hamilton County Commission District ... (click for more)

Charter Gives Little Solace If Chattanooga Sued Over Gay Ordinance

Today opponents of Chattanooga's domestic partner benefits ordinance are launching their campaign to convince city voters to overturn the rule in an August plebiscite. Residents seeking to give council member Chris Anderson the boot are rallying this week for signatures to put his ouster on the ballot. They have less than two weeks to obtain 1,600 signatures.   But there's ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Chamber Taps Bill Kilbride As Next CEO

The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce has tapped retiring Mohawk Industries executive Bill Kilbride as president-elect to succeed Ron Harr as president and CEO on a schedule to be announced later. According to Howard Levine, chairman of the chamber board, Mr. Harr will continue as CEO for several more months. “We were disappointed that health concerns have made it necessary ... (click for more)

NAACP Recommends Staying Away From Planned Protest By Neo-Nazi Group

The president of the Chattanooga Chapter of the NAACP, urged local residents to stay away from a planned rally here by the Nationalist Socialist Movement in August. James R. Mapp said the group seeks to provoke incidents and said counter-protests could lead to problems. Mr. Mapp said, "On April 8th, 2014, reports surfaced throughout the Chattanooga-Hamilton County region that ... (click for more)

Owls' Fugate Fires Two-Hit Shutout In 2-0 Win Over Blue Raiders

Ooltewah was on the verge of a District 5-AAA double-header sweep against Cleveland. But the Blue Raiders’ hot-hitting catcher Hunter Oliver had other ideas. The Owls rode Logan Fugate’s brilliant two-hit shutout and two first-inning runs to a 2-0 win over Cleveland in the first game at A.C. Bud Ball Field on Wednesday. “Logan is an absolute warrior,” Owls coach Brian Hitchcox ... (click for more)

Bucs' Willingham Strikes Out School-Record 17 In 5-A Win

Boyd-Buchanan’s Brandon Willingham threw a three-hit, complete-game gem and set a school record with 17 strikeouts in the Bucs’ 7-1 victory over Copper Basin on Wednesday. Willingham, a sophomore, improved his record to 6-0 on the season while the Bucs went to 14-9 overall and 5-0 in District 5-A. Willingham threw 101 pitches with 73 strikes in dominating the Cougars. Willingham ... (click for more)