They might not like the Bible, but they can allude to it.
Iowa State University’s Athletics Council has approved a plan to hire a “volunteer life-skills assistant” to provide religious counseling to players on the football team, in a way that officials said differs from the work of a chaplain, the Iowa State Daily reported. An original plan to hire a chaplain drew protests from faculty members who said it would violate a constitutional ban on government establishments of religion. Under the new plan, the life-skills assistant would be paid from outside sources, would minister to players of any faith, and would be barred from team activities involving mandatory prayer. The faculty protesters said the proposal was essentially old wine in a new bottle. The plan now goes to the university’s president, Gregory L. Geoffroy. —Andrew Mytelka
I can’t say that I think it would be right or appropriate for the University (using state funds, etc.) to hire a chaplain for athletics, any more or less than chaplains are provided for the rest of the student body. Currently many (all, I would guess) state unis have chaplains of various faiths, with the institutions providing office and worship space, but whose salaries are paid for by private sources. The difference here is providing it directly and only for athletes.
How about giving the star athletes a course on how to read contracts and start a savings account?