Hungry Huskies

The U-Conn. Huskies’ star guard, Shabazz Napier, told reporters that sometimes he goes to bed “starving” because he can’t afford food, reports The Washington Post’s Soraya Nadia McDonald

That’s a sad statement, considering Napier was named most outstanding player after leading his team to the national NCAA title.

Napier’s comments about being hungry came as he was talking to reporters about the recent ruling by the National Labor Relations Board that college football players on full scholarship at Northwestern University are school employees. It was a move that has sparked a debate about paying college athletes. Connecticut lawmakers are thinking about introducing legislation that would allow U-Conn. athletes to unionize, McDonald writes.

Napier told reporters: “We as students athletes get utilized for what we do so well, and we’re definitely blessed to get a scholarship to our universities. But at the end of the day, that doesn’t cover everything. We do have hungry nights that we don’t have enough money to get food in. Sometimes money is needed.”

Having been a college student with little funds and now the mother of a freshman at the University of Maryland, I believe Napier meant that he didn’t have money to satisfying late-evening or night cravings when the dining halls are closed.

Nonetheless, point taken. The schools make big money on their athletes, and they should be able to share the wealth in addition to any scholarships they get.

“I don’t see myself as so much of an employee, but when you see your jersey getting sold, it may not have your last name on it, but when you see your jersey getting sold, to some credit, you feel like you want something in return,” Napier said.

“The fracas over athlete compensation has turned into something of a March Madness sideshow,” McDonald writes.

US News and World Report, in their Debate Club feature, asked experts what they thought. Their opinions ranged from you betcha to no, the athletes are already paid with their education.

Color of Money Question of the Week

Do you think college athletes should be paid? Send your comments along with your name and city to colorofmoney@washpost.com.

Chat Canceled

I know you miss me, but I’ll be back live to answer your financial questions next week.

Homeless Mother Arrested After Job Interview

I was moved by the mugshot of a Phoenix mother, tears rolling down her face, arrested because she left her two small children – a 2-year-old and 6-month-old baby -- in the car while she went on a job interview. Firefighters found the children sweating profusely inside the vehicle, reported the Associated Press. The news report said the car windows were cracked and the key was in the ignition.

Shanesha Taylor, 35, said she couldn’t find a sitter. Taylor, who faces two counts of child abuse, has pleaded not guilty, according to AP. She could face jail time and lose custody of her children.

There’s been an outpouring of compassion for this mother. One woman set up an online fundraising campaign on YouCaring.com for Taylor, which reportedly has already helped raise tens of thousands of dollars.

“There are some of us that feel that Shanesha was in an unfortunate situation that sadly an economy like ours is putting many single mother’s in a position to make terrible mistakes like this,” wrote Amanda Bishop, who set up the campaign.

In response to the donations – up to $100,000 the last time I checked -- Taylor wrote: “I appreciate everyone who felt move enough to help a complete stranger.”

Without a doubt, what Taylor did was reckless and irresponsible. Her children could have died in that hot car. But at the same time, she was trying to find a way to provide for her kids. She was looking for work. So instead of punishing her and taking away her children, the authorities should be getting her counseling so she can be a better mother and make better decisions even when she’s in a crisis. In the end that would cost all a lot less money.

Fearless Financial Ideas

On May 1, come learn how to spend well and live rich at a fabulous fearless event hosted by the University of Maryland Alumni Association.

The theme for the evening is the Game of Life. As an alum, I’ll be speaking and sharing practical advice to help you start living your best financial life. Your financial life doesn’t have to be a game of chance.

The event is being held at VisArts in Rockville from 6 to 9 p.m. For more information and to register, click here.

Readers may write to Michelle Singletary at The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C., 20071, or michelle.singletary@washpost.com. Personal responses may not be possible, and comments or questions may be used in a future column, with the writer’s name, unless otherwise requested. To read previous Color of Money columns, go to www.postbusiness.com.