Martin Jarmond opened BC's new athlete "Fueling Station" Monday in Conte. Think of it as sort of a snack bar for athletes that works with their hours and provides more appropriate options than BC's more traditional dining halls. This was one of the things Jarmond noticed BC was lacking when he first came on board. It is all part of the College Athletics arm's race and most of our competitors have some sort of equivalent service. Good for Jarmond on getting this done. But I think like much of the spending spree in college athletics, it misses the point.
What is the Fueling Station other than a form of special compensation for athletes? It is designed for them. It mirrors the type of service and dietary programs used by professional athletes around the world. Our athletes need this support because they are basically professionals too. They compete at a high level. They put in thousands of hours annually. They generate revenue. Yet they don't really see direct compensation for their labors. I know the price of a BC tuition, but how can we continue to make that argument when the salaries of all the administrators and coaches around these athletes keeps skyrocketing? Giving a kid a smoothie after practice is a nice idea. But how about a steady salary or even a signing bonus?
As the college basketball scandal recently confirmed, there is a huge, unfair and unregulated black market for players' services (at least in the major sports). Something needs to be done to bring it out in the open and let the players find their true value. The Alabamas of college sports are not going to do it. They have too much to lose. However, a place like BC could. We have a seat at the table as part of the Power 5, but don't really benefit from the current underground system. I wish Jarmond would use his new position to lead some sort of change. It would be a more meaningful and lasting contribution to all of college sports.