Are College Athletics Headed To a Bad Place

The paying athletes topic is on the board again. NCAA Mark Emmert proposed that NCAA athletes receive 2,000$ on top of their regular scholarships for tuition, room/board, meal plans, and books. Personally, I have mixed thoughts on this topic.

“The things we go through, the hours we put in, what our bodies go through, we deserve some sort of (results),” Georgia Tech defensive end Denzel McCoy told the Associated Press. “College football is a billion-dollar industry.”

The comment above shows that these athletes are not looking at this the right way. Saying you deserve a piece of the billion dollar industry is a LeBron-ish thing to say. You want that money, work hard and graduate and you will be rewarded with a career, whether in the NFL or not, you will be paid like everyone else that goes to college and works hard and graduates.

First, what exactly is this going to fix? If you believe that giving these kids 2k a semester is going to keep the agents away, you are wrong. The kids that get into trouble with the agents are generally the kids that move on and don’t need the 2k a semester after they sign a million dollar contract, see Pryor. Do you believe that this will stop the selling of autographs? It won’t. These kids are always looking to make a buck, and selling their autographs to a memorabilia dealer is an easy way to do that. If you give a kid 38$ more dollars a week, and an agent walks up with A NEW CAR, what do you think is going to happen? Do these kids turn down the car? NO they don’t. They take the car and they use the 38$ to pay for the gas, and now there is a new problem. There will never be enough. Eventually there will be an NCAA CBA with athletes that shouldn’t be paid in the first place because they are being PAID TO LEARN.

I also see how having an extra 38$ a week can be very helpful to a kid that is unable to work a regular student job because they spend so much time working on athletics and school work. College is tough, and it’s tough for these athletes to balance travel and school as it is, throwing a job into the mix could mess up the real reason they are in school in the first place, TO LEARN.

Then there is the issue of the time frame of the payments. Should they receive help year round? Football players, while they workout, do not have organized practices all spring, so it is hard to justify giving someone that could get a student job an extra 2k for that semester so they can sit around instead. Should baseball players be paid during the fall when there are no games even though they may be working out and practicing?

And if this is an NCAA situation, how do the smaller universities manage to give 2k to each athlete on top of the scholarships for athletes and students that they are already giving. These schools will be dishing out an extra 200k (on average) for their student athletes? Tough to justify that when some schools haven’t given teachers raises in over 3 years.

“I think institutions like us could clearly afford it,” he said. “I’m not sure all can. Also right now, we’re very sensitive on our campus to the fact that the faculty have gone three years without any salary adjustment. And then to say that every student athlete gets $2,000 at the same time that we may have to go another year without one, only builds up that tension between faculty leadership and the administration and athletics. So I want to think carefully about the unintended consequences of expanding additional resources on athletes at a time when the rest of the institution has been so heavily taxed by budget cuts.” Mike Martin, LSU Chancellor.

Does this cause the student athletes to not consider attending the smaller schools because they don’t offer a stipend for their athletes? Probably.

I believe that student athletes COULD receive a small amount of help during their seasons. I also believe that this should be GPA based. If the athlete has to carry a 2.5 to play the sport, they have to carry a 3.0 to collect a little money from the school, just like a scholarship, it should be a reward.

Nothing will rock college athletics like players refusing to play. And nothing will get the attention of people more powerful than university presidents than a canceled nationally televised game. It will be a bomb blast to the system – grabbing the attention of non-sports media, local and national politicians, and reformers of all kinds. A bowl boycott will get everyone talking, immediately.

Paying student athletes will be an issue for the next several years, and if these college kids decide to boycott the bowls then they will only hurt themselves. It is a privilege to play college sports, not a right, there are a lot of athletes that will play it for free without the extra 2k, so get over it, let the NCAA and the schools figure out how this can work and go out there and reward the fans that have supported and will continue to support you if, and if you are not, paid to play your sport.