In light of recent buzz about the Northwestern University football team being granted the right to unionize, there has been much debate around college athletes, the compensation they receive from their universities for playing, and whether or not it is enough. Brielle Basso, Mallika Choudhary, Oluwa Falodun, Nihal Hameed and I worked together to create a video, infographic, slide show, storify and article pertaining to college athletics and compensation for players. I have included all of these elements in this post and you can view each of them below.
The following article profiles Leslie Jackman, a talented young football player who has played for both Rutgers and Hofstra University, and currently has his sights set on joining the NFL.
Long Island Football Player Dreams of Joining NFL
A lot of people daydream of what it’s like to be a professional athlete, someone who is able to perform feats of strength and speed that the average person could not fathom. Leslie Jackman is that kind of athlete. Born and raised on Long Island, Jackman has always been at the peak of competition on every level. “Football is just something I’ve always loved and held very dear,” says Jackman. “It taught me the importance of putting everything you can give in to something you love. I can point back to football with just about anything good that either I represent or anything good I’ve ever done.”
Leslie Jackman attended Freeport High School. He was an All-Long Island recipient, an award to recognize the best football player in the region. He helped lead his team to a Long Island championship. “Just from the way he played in high school, you can tell how much he loved the game,” said Natalie, his sister. “If they lost, his entire personality changed… His face dropped.”
Leslie Jackman chose to attend Rutgers University, where he played for three out of his four years of college (scouting report). While attending and playing football at Rutgers, Jackman was roommates with Ray Rice, the running back for the Baltimore Ravens, one of the best RBs in the NFL. “Rutgers was surreal. Even though I didn’t play a lot, I got to see other elite players and how hard they worked,” said Jackman. “Watching Ray work, that really blew me away. He’s a different beast.” Jackman says that nothing helped his athletic prowess more than practicing with NFL caliber players. It became clear to Jackman that college players were worth a lot of money, even in the span of seconds, as seen with Aaron Harrison’s shot in the NCAA tournament (Forbes).
Leslie Jackman transferred in his senior year to Hofstra University, where he started in each of the 12 games he played. Jackman says, “Hofstra ended up being more of a home to me than Rutgers, I felt more in the spotlight, more welcomed…I think athletics at the college level improved my skill. We put our blood, sweat, and tears into the game, literally, it’s a full-time job on top of school. There should be some pay-out for that.” Today Leslie Jackman is working with professional trainers to prepare for NFL tryouts.
In the following video, we sat down with three Hofstra University athletes and asked them about their experiences with college athletics, and how they felt about the issue of athlete compensation. You can watch the full video by clicking on the screenshot below.
The following slideshow features sports related photos and facts from around Hofstra University’s campus. You can view the full slideshow by clicking on the screenshot below.
The Storify below displays tweets from various sources expressing their opinions on college athletes being compensated monetarily and otherwise by their universities. You can read it in full by clicking on the screenshot below.
Lastly, the following infographic describes several different elements of college athletics, from coaches’ salaries around the nation, to statistics regarding how many college athletes on average join professional leagues. You can access the full info graphic by clicking on the screenshot below.