Ask anybody who ever entered the real world... It sounds exhilarating, until the bills are due. Life costs money, and Northwestern players want $$$. Who can blame them? They work very hard in a billion dollar industry and have zero income.
Here's a solution. Stop the freebies, but pay them handsomely. Pay them all $109,296 a year; this is twice the median household income of Illinois' Cook county. Considering most households have two workers, one 18 year old earning twice the median household income amounts to a great job.
Uh oh, taxes are 33% (28% Feds, 5% Illinois)... We're down to $73,228
Taxes sound terrible, until...
Uh oh, Northwestern's Annual Tution is $45,527... We're down to $27,701
Yes, that Theatre 101, Math 110, & English 100 you took fall semester really cost you $22,763.50. But, it's what all the non-football students fork out. Wow! that's a lot.
(Granted, some players will get academic scholarships... you shouldn't qualify for a need based scholarship making 6 figures a year)
Let's take that $27,701 and round down to $27,000, you will spend a few hundred on textbooks.
Ok, now we're down to $2,250 a month of cold hard cash.
- Rent: $600
- Food: $650 (remember how much you ate at 20? Multiply by 2 if you're a Division I LB)
- Healthcare: $150 (I have no idea, just making a small guess here)
- Cell Phone & Electronics: $100
- Utilities: $100 (heating and A/C are expensive)
- Tutoring: $150 (remember, not all students get private tutoring)
This leaves $500 a month for possible car payments, electronics, clothes, workout clothes, winter gear (for those from warm states), helping out parents, savings, and fun. If you don't watch your spending, you'll be in debt before day 2. You'll have to manage your money very well and think about what you buy. $500 goes quick, quicker if you're an 18 year old with no financial acumen.
I say give them what they want... a 6 figure salary beyond their wildest imaginations; except simultaneously expose them to the real world. Taxes are terrible, tuition is brutal, and credit card debt will eat them alive... But hey, at least they will make 6 figures a year.