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Without Aid, Student Athletes Turn to Food Stamps

By Mike Duffy and Andrew Heitner
Sports columnists

With the successful end of another school year, we take this opportunity to salute our loyal readers for their vocal support throughout our tenure as Tech sports scribes. We hope that our long columns did not distract any of the faithful from completing their theses. Although we will be stepping into 6-figure jobs in industry following our coverage of the World Cup, look for your humble scribes to continue to provide your sole weekly reason to pick up The Tech again in the Fall.

There are some bad goings on out in Fresno and in Tempe, Arizona. Athletes at Fresno State and Arizona State have been lying on welfare applications in order to illegally receive food stamps. The athletes have been declaring themselves to be homeless, and, in turn, have been getting approximately $100 a month in federal aid to help pay for food. The athletes have said that the "stipend" money they receive from the university (about $350 a month) is inadequate to pay for their rent, utilities, and food. They feel they should get something extra (i.e., a salary) to help cover their everyday expenses. The subject of athletes getting paid for their "services" is not new. Derrick Brooks, linebacker at Florida State, has said that if the college presidents vote on having a football playoff (with an estimated revenue of $100 million), then the players are due their fair share of the pie. Since so many of you have written us asking our humble opinions on this subject, we have decided to rerun a blurb we wrote on this matter last term, demonstrating once again that we are ahead of the journalistic pack:

The subject of players getting paid is analogous to students receiving stipends for research work performed at a university. At MIT, a graduate student works on a project for a professor and receives compensation in the form of free tuition and a monthly stipend in the range of $1,200. In return, the grad student is expected to put in 20 to 30 hours a week of work on the project. These projects bring in bring in monies and additional projects to the 'Tute, money upwards of $100K or so. Basketball and football players at a D-1 school get tuition and room and board covered, but no extra money for spending. Yet he brings in millions of dollars to the university (besides shoe contracts, television contracts, and tournament or bowl game revenue, think of how many replica jersey's of players the colleges sell - like Webber's #4 at Michigan) and spends 20 to 30 hours a week "working."

Additionally, he is not permitted to hold a job during the school year or receive any other form of financial aid (i.e., outside scholarships). Think of undergrad students who have full financial aid packages yet also (a) hold part-time jobs in order to have some extra flow (cash) or (b) receive $1,000 awards from various societies for papers written or research done, being a member of a certain church, or being the son or daughter of an employee (money which is generally pocketed).

This is all illegal activity for D-1 and II players. If you take these scholarships away from athletes, then take them away from all full ride scholarship recipients (Merit scholars included). Lastly, think of all the free marketing and advertising athletic teams provide to their respective universities every time they are on the tube. When Doug Flutie reigned supreme out at the Heights, Boston College received over twice as many undergraduate applications for admission than in the pre-Flutie era. Coincidence? Likely not....

The brawls in Major League baseball (see Seattle-Boston Tuesday) and in the NBA (Hawks-Heat) have to end. The commissioners (or owners in the case of baseball) have to take the appropriate measures to end this senseless show of machismo. In college basketball, football, and baseball, there are rules stating that players leaving their respective benches in order to participate in a fight are thrown out of the game and, in some circumstances, the next one also. Why not apply this to baseball and the NBA. Players leaving the bench and stepping onto the playing field should be immediately tossed, with fines and further disciplinary action given if warranted. This type of rule will prevent two scrubs from getting into a scrap (see Askins-Edwards) and give the officials a chance to break up the fight before it gets totally out of control. Besides, sports figures are supposed to be our heroes (you've seen the commercials), so, therefore, we emulate everything they do (your humble scribes will soon die our hair blond a la Dennis "Sporting" Rodman). If the pros showed a little sportsmanship, then maybe Little Leagues wouldn't have to be worried about doing away with the post game handshake (officials are worried that taunting after the game leads to fights)....

Kudos to old friend Brian Lara, the world's greatest cricket player, on setting a new world cricket record by hitting 375 straight muffs in a quim in a match for his West Indies team two weeks ago. We are not really sure what this means, but the Prince of Port-of-Spain did remind us of days past that we spent under the bronzing rays of the Carribean sun. Ah, pass the cocoa butter and pina coladas.

Hoops guru Simson will be on a leave of absence from the crack Let's Argue staff next year, so that he can scout the Australian professional leagues. The Tech has spared no expense in his accommodations, so maybe he can get some of his predictions right next year. We now turn to the Sun God for his in-depth analysis of the NBA first round playoffs:

Pacers v. Magic. Reggie "My sister can kick my butt" Miller is still a jerk. Indiana did a good job shutting down the Shaq man through double-teaming, when the rest of the Magic could not hit from the outside. Orlando is in desperate need of a new coach and a power forward (can anyone say Horace Grant?). Hardaway showed flashes of brilliance, but hurt Orlando with his turnovers.

Nuggets v. Sonics. Look out for Denver in the years to come. Except for game one, they have played the Grungetown warriors tough. They have the effort, but because they have the youngest team in the NBA, they just don't have the horses (unlike Sir Vix' Evenrude) yet.

Knicks v. Nets. You can't speak of effort without mentioning Charles Oakley, who, along with the Garden crowd, were the only reasons the Knicks pulled out game two following Ewing's ejection. Derrick may put up the numbers (on the scoreboard as well as on the contracts), but he folds in crunch time.

Hawks v. Miami. Evander Holyfield was the only person from Atlanta supposed to hold the heavyweight title, not Doug Edwards. TBS and NBC execs must be in tears over the prospect of an Indiana-Miami second round series...

Cavs v. Bulls. Mark "Fisher" Price taking on BJ "Home Alone" Armstrong? That's like Dennis the Menace trying to spank The Beaver.

Spurs v. Jazz. Speaking of Dennis the Menace, is it just a coincidence that San Antonio scored a Maverick-esque 72 points in game three, in which Nike's MVP David "Good Cop" Robinson was playing without henchman "Bad Cop" Rodman along side him?

Rockets v. Blazers. Portland is finally beginning to show its age. Fans on the Columbia River are asking the burning question: how long till Gilooly gets out of the slammer.

Suns v. Warriors. Golden State is another team of the future, but for now Barkley and crew are just too much. When are the Warriors going to move back into the Cow Palace?

Pooky's Cup

Although Daisy Duke won pants, err, hands down, we received this interesting letter from an avid fan "It's Jeanie, it's gotta be Jeanie, it's always gonna be Jeanie. Look, she's not only gorgeous, and more that a little goofy, but who else in your competition could, during any brief but sweaty respite, simply *blink* up a couple of icy pina coladas and some nicely-rolled Jamaican? Who else could ask Would you prefer Paris, darling?' and *blink*, there you are between some expensive silks in a suite overlooking the Champs Elysee?

"If you ever do this again, give the Bottled Babe a bye 'til the semi-finals at least."

You Heard It Here First

Robert Parrish will end his career right where it started, back in Golden State with the Warriors. The Chief has announced that he will remain in the NBA for an amazing 18th season (he was taken 8th in the 1976 draft along with former teammate and former Mavs coach "Mighty" Quinn Buckner) and wants to go to a championship caliber team where he can play 15 minutes a game. The Warriors will be tough next year, with the return of Hardaway and Marchulonis and the emergence of Chris Webber and Latrell Sprewell. Besides still being able to contribute quality minutes, The Chief would be a great tutor for both Webber and Victor Alexander.

Where Are They Now?

NBA Stars of the '70s: Cazzie Russell, Connie Hawkins, Artis Gilmore, Maurice Lucas, Paul Silas, Norm Nixon, Len Elmore, and Slick Watts.

Mondongo's Hueso de la Semana

To the three blind mice officiating Tuesday's game between the Bulls and Cavs. With 0.7 seconds left in regulation and the game tied, the Cavs had the ball at halfcourt looking to get off a game winning J, as Cavs forward, Gerald Wilkins, cut towards the ball. Bulls defender, Pete Meyers, however, held on to Wilkins and rode him like a circus ride until Wilkins did a nose plant into the Bulls bench. The officials didn't call a foul (they gave the ball back to the Cavs with 0.3 seconds left, even though Wilkins carried it out of bounds), sending the Czar of the telestrator, Mike Fratello, into some sort of dance that has not yet made it Landsdowne street. The Cavs proceeded to lose in OT, sending the Bulls into the second round.

Race For Futility

Humble Scribes: Red Wings to win Stanley Cup

Cubs: 012 at home (before Wednesday)

Spankings to your humble scribes (hopefully doled out by Pookie's Cup champ Daisy Duke) for picking Detroit to win the Stanley Cup. Following the Wings' first round loss to the San Jose Mudsharks, the Let's Argue jinx on the NHL continues.

The Windy City's finest better take some lessons from the MIT Campus Police and install metal detectors at the turnstiles to Wrigley. With the pitiful showing of the Cubbies at home this season, the bleacher bums are likely to get violent.

Trivia Question of the Week

Who holds the major league baseball record for most home losses in a row to start the season (Hint: It's 17.). Send answers, comments, and nicknames for the CBS football league team owned by Federal Express to sports@the-tech.mit.edu.

Answer to last week's question: Portland and Utah. Kudos to Dave Alexander '94 and Lynn O'Connell who got it right. They each win a free Spanish dictionary still containing the letters "ch" and "ll." Hang on to these babies, as they will be collectors' items some day.