Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
Last Monday, guard Shabazz Napier, pictured above driving to the basket, helped lead Connecticut to the NCAA Championship over Kentucky. Following the game, Napier spoke with reporters in the wake of a National Labor Relations Board ruling that college football players on full scholarship at Northwestern University are university employees, and thus, could unionize.
“We as students athletes get utilized for what we do so well, and we’re definitely blessed to get a scholarship to our universities,” Napier said. “But at the end of the day, that doesn’t cover everything. We do have hungry nights that we don’t have enough money to get food in. Sometimes money is needed. I don’t think you should stretch it out to hundreds of thousands of dollars for playing, because a lot of times guys don’t know how to handle themselves with money.”
Are college basketball players university employees? Napier doesn’t agree.
“I feel like a student athlete,” Napier said. “Sometimes, there’s hungry nights where I’m not able to eat, but I still gotta play up to my capabilities. I don’t see myself as so much of an employee, but when you see your jersey getting sold, it may not have your last name on it, but when you see your jersey getting sold, to some credit, you feel like you want something in return … There are hungry nights when I go to bed and I’m starving.”
Today’s (Sunday’s) Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published this letter from a reader:
No more money for athletics
I can't say I agree with James E. Causey's column that some college athletes are "starving" ("The NCAA is not starving," Perspectives, April 9).
Maybe they are hungry once in a while, but I don't see bloated bellies, flies buzzing around the eyes or any other signs of starvation. There seems to be plenty of money for massive tattoos, the latest high-tech smartphones, great clothing and whatever else, but not enough for some extra food? Really?
I'd give anything to see my two kids in college getting the full ride these athletes are getting. My kids have to take out massive loans, work for every grade they get — no free passes here because they play sports — and, yes, I have to kick in frequently as well. They work when they can, but that depends on their course load, as they are both driven and pretty intelligent overall.
Yes, I know these universities are raking in plenty of cash, and I'd certainly like to see that go toward lowering the cost for the average student instead of constantly seeing it rise while the University of Wisconsin System is stashing cash all over the state to make it look like it is starving.
Frankly, I'm tired of all this attention to sports and athletes with nothing by comparison for academics. No, I'm not voting to see more money tossed the way of these athletes or sports programs. Not when I'm starving putting my kids through school.