What is an amateur? In older times it was simply an athlete who did not receive compensation for his participation in an athletic pursuit.
For decades, that line has been winked at as athletes received educations valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars in return for their participation in sports that bring universities millions of dollars.
It was a win, win deal. The athlete got the education, the university received the dollars - which, in turn, were used to educate other students.
We disagree with the coaches like Lou Saban of Alabama who have proposed that coaches pay - out of their own outrageous salaries - a stipend per game per player.
Steve Spurrier of the University of South Carolina also thinks the college players should be paid "$3,000 or $4,000" per year.
The Huffington Post quotes Spurrier as saying, "We as coaches believe they're entitled to a little more than room, books, board and tuition."
The Post goes on to cite Louisiana State University coach Les Miles' feelings on the matter.
"What we're saying is the revenue-income sports, certainly football," Miles told ESPN, "would need in a possibility of sharing the income that's being produced, paying it back to those guys."
What must be done is that every athlete - and his coach - needs to understand that his scholarship or tuition supplement has a value. He or she is being compensated for participation in sport. An education provides a lifetime of value.
And, if he or she wants more, then they need to leave the collegiate ranks and negotiate on the basis of being a pro.
The purist kind of sport is amateur sport. Scholarships already dilute that purity. To go further - and directly compensate collegiate athletes for their participation - is to do away with the concept, and spirit, of amateurism.
(Portions of this editorial have appeared previously in The Maui News.)
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.