When I attended the Pitt vs. Penn State Debate last Thursday, I was ready for a heated, intense event to shake the ages. And, more or less, I sort of received that.
Pitt was on their A-game, and I was very pleased to see my two favourites from the Penn State Debate Society present and representing our side of the argument! They had both been at the THON debate as well, and had performed phenomenally.
The conversation kicked off – it was heated and intense. Should collegiate athletes be paid for their performance? Pittsburgh said yes: we should provide a lock box to gain after graduation in the form of $10,000 to help these athletes pay for living expenses after school, in addition to their already paid tuition.
Penn State said no: it’s a huge cost for small schools (aka not in the Big 10), and also upsets inter-student relations on smaller campuses where students and athletes coexist on the same plane of necessity and equality. In addition to this, other students – like first generation students – also starve and can’t pay their bills, but wouldn’t be allowed this same lock box. And though athletes put in a lot of hours in practice, athletics ARE still optional and considered extracurricular.
After both cases were stated, two Penn State professors (one philosophy and one law) threw in their two cents and acted as impartial judges. In all honesty, the way they were so on point with their vernacular and snips at one another, I would have loved for the debate to just have been between them!
Following this, the results were finally in. From ballots cast in a PSU-biased environment, Penn State was the inevitable winner with a ballot count result of 2-1.
In my opinion, the event was really cool. I really enjoyed seeing the competition between the two schools, rather than just Penn State duking it out against itself. My view as to the subject matter, student athletes being paid would, as was brought up, cause an even greater rift between the common students and athletes. It would also be a case of failure with regards to academia, as students interested in athletics would inevitably choose schools that would hand them a fatter paycheck for what they’re doing than others. They wouldn’t be choosing the school for its outstanding curricula, but for the money.
But who knows, maybe this is already how it is in our sports-centric world. As I am not very up on sports at all, it is a mystery to me. But the event was still really interesting and fun to attend, as well as very thought-provoking. I’m glad I went!