DRIVEN: Ipswich gridiron player Jack Loew is among the Aussies searching for opportunity overseas.
DRIVEN: Ipswich gridiron player Jack Loew is among the Aussies searching for opportunity overseas. Rob Williams

Should athletes be paid while playing in college?

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IPSWICH athletes like volleyballer Tom Wheeler and NFL aspirant Jack Loew are increasingly looking to overseas universities to fulfil their dreams after school.

For those ambitious young sportspeople, whose talents secure them scholarships abroad, it offers an amazing opportunity. Presented with a chance to hone their games in pursuit of professional sporting futures, gain quality educations and savour a unique cultural experience at limited cost, they are eternally grateful. But should those career-chasing Aussies and other student athletes be paid for their services?

The debate has raged for decades but gained traction in recent times as the amount of revenue generated by elite NCAA sporting programs skyrockets. The phenomenon that is American college sport can not be underestimated. In 2017, a Business Insider report said there were 24 colleges making at least $100 million from athletic departments.

The best players are megastars and often turn pro after a year but what about those who fail to crack the big-time? They too had a hand in attracting and entertaining crowds, and television audiences. Money was generated from the use of their likeness in advertising. Jerseys and merchandise were sold with their names branded over the back, yet they are left empty-handed.

Critics of paying athletes argue they are students first and an education is payment enough. They say it would detract from the amateur spirit of the competition, which is in essence, its beauty.

Poised to embark on an American college odyssey, Loew suggested a compromise could be placing money in a secure account for the athlete to access upon graduation. He could foresee problems arising from handing large amounts of money to immature students but thought there should be some remuneration.

"These are high quality players that have given their all for four years and made the college millions,” he said. "It is kind of sad if they don't get any reward out of it.”

Unlucky Ash

World number one Ashleigh Barty bowed out of Wimbledon in a shock fourth round loss to American Alison Riske.

The defeat brought an end to a stunning run by Barty who cruised through the opening three matches without losing a set.

Unlucky Ash. The whole country is filled with pride and we know you will rise again like the champion that you are.