Geschroefde? -- Dutch Olympians to be Fined (Sorta) by the Gov't...But Only If They're Students | Bob's Blitz

Geschroefde? -- Dutch Olympians to be Fined (Sorta) by the Gov't...But Only If They're Students

Now here's an incentive to represent the Netherlands in the Olympics if you are a student at a university or college in Holland: Do so and you will probably be fined. Why? Because Dutch law states that students are required to continue paying tuition costs as long as the course of study they joined is still in session past their required graduation dates.

Dutch universities are supported by state funding and there are so called 'slow student' fines. Get in, get out. Or else you have to foot the bill. The law is meant to keep students from dragging their feet while at a state sponsored institution (ie, living the good life). But in most cases Olympic athletes have no way of making it to class and training.

Wouter Brus, a 20-year-old member of the 4x100m relay team, complained: "It's crazy. I don't understand how they can say our country supports sport. Three thousand euros ($3,741) is a lot of money. I don't think it's fair. I feel like I'm competing for my country but my country is not supporting me."

"If I wanted to not get behind with my studies I would have to be in class every day. Sometimes we have training twice a day so it would be impossible. I have to choose between school and sport. I choose sport, so I get the fine."

"We provide institutions with 18 million euros in 'profileringsfondsen' (funds for making an institution stand out in chosen areas), said Freek Manche, a spokesman for the education ministry. It's up to them to compensate the Olympic students or choose to allocate the money elsewhere."

Nienke Meijer, the vice-president at Fontys University of Applied Sciences, says: "We definitely think that a national government that pushes so hard on our Olympic ambitions should help athletes to finish their studies without fines."

Brus is not deterred by the fact he might have to actually pay tuition himself. "The Olympics are everything. I will not focus on a fine I will get in two years. I will focus on my execution and my team, they are the most important things right now."

Or just recruit your athletes from the pro ranks and create so-called 'Dream Teams' where money is not really that much of an issue...

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