Re: Robert Gehrke’s column about allowing college athletes to make money off their names and images.

Colleges and universities are supposed to be institutions of higher learning, not training programs for the NBA and NFL.

These “student” athletes are already treated very differently from the average college student: special housing, food, classes, tutors, scholarships and the best medical care when needed. If they feel they are being cheated, they should give up their places in school, freeing up a seat for a real student, and join the pros.

Yes, there are risks in playing sports, just as there are in any endeavor. The athletes have chosen to accept the risks and disappointments. Not all academic students realize their dreams, either. That’s life.

Yes, athletic programs bring in millions to schools, most of which goes to support the sports programs: new and improved stadiums and field houses, new and better gyms for the sole use of the athletes, better medical facilities. Very little supports the academic programs.

Additionally, most students involved in a sports program will not profit from these changes — only the male football and basketball stars.

It is time to rethink the role of college sports, decreasing the emphasis. And perhaps the NBA and NFL should institute minor league teams for those men who have the talent to play pro one day.

Mardell Fayer, Holladay