Are Video Gamers College Athletes?

A university in Kentucky will start handing out scholarships to the best video game players in all the land.
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A university in Kentucky will start handing out scholarships to the best video game players in all the land.
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A small college in Kentucky will start handing out scholarships to players of the game "League of Legends," as video games continue to become a mainstream athletic pursuit.

The University of Pikeville has deemed the popular online multi-player battle game a sport, and believes that by being one of the first in the nation to offer sports scholarships for a video game, they’ll be able to find a whole new batch of students ready to show up at college. 

"I think there are going to be a lot of students, both nationwide and international, who are going to look at our university who wouldn't have before," Bruce Parson, the director of new media at Pikeville, told the AP.

But this won't be their mother's basement anymore. The school will offer 20 scholarships for the fall semester and the team will have a coach, must maintain a certain GPA, and conduct themselves entirely like other student athletes. Whether video game players will soon be subject to the same level of blatant exploitation as other college athletes remains to be seen, but then again, the last thing many of these players would want is physical contact, so there’s a slim possibility of gruesome injury. Just keep the peanut M&M’s flowing and no one will get hurt.