Can you have it both ways? I don't think so, but it appears there are people on the left who feel you can. Per some of the current Democratic presidential hopefuls, student loan debt is one of the great scourges of our time. It's simply evil, and the unfortunate people with the debt are victims of an unjust system, and the debt should be wiped away. I do acknowledge the cost of a college education has risen faster than you would think it should, but that's a different matter.
Then I read articles (like one in the Morning News on Friday written by an Associated Press writer) that says the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has been "sponging free labor off its student athletes for decades." If a college education is so expensive that we can't expect people to pay for it, then how by providing said education to the student athlete is the NCAA getting "free labor"? It doesn't make any sense, but why pass up an opportunity to make somebody a victim?
The athletes are being given an education that could easily be worth $1 million or much more over the course of their lifetime. I have heard people say the college education is not really worth anything, because the athletes are not interested in the education, and they are just using it as a vehicle to play a sport. If that is true, the fact that some (many?) of these people do not take advantage of the opportunity is irrelevant.