The buzz in college football this offseason has been as unflattering as it’s professional counterpart. While the NFL was struggling with a PR nightmare in the Lockout, the college game was suffering from a different issue; the death penalty. Big name schools like USC, the Ohio State University, and more recently the U headlined the major problem with college sports: illegal benefits. The athletes at these schools and many more across the country were accused of accepting benefits for playing their sport and that kind of goes against the whole “amateur” athlete thing. More importantly, according to the NCAA, it’s a big no no and the players have to pay. These young men will miss games, get kicked out of school, and in some cases be the reason their school gets the death penalty. A public execution of the athletic program of a college. Ask SMU what the death penalty did for their athletic program, UT and A&M should give them a shout out every time hey have a winning season. These players that got a lil something extra from a booster or well off alumni corrupt a program. I mean they got a scholarship to some of the most prestigious institutions of higher education in the country and that should be more than enough. Most of these “student” athletes wouldn’t touch the halls of these hallowed a-merry-can institutions without this gift from their coaches. And these young men have years to make millions in the league, they’re just being greedy and reckless. If they take illegal benefits, they should face the consequences.
Sarcasm is a powerful drug!! You have got to be kidding me!! You mean to tell me that these kids from humble beginnings are to blame for the sophisticated network of boosters, recruiters, alumni, and coaches that manipulate the system for their next big check? I’m not saying the players shouldn’t know better, I’m saying that because they do know better they should get that guap! Until college gets serious about ensuring their student athletes are students first and athletes second, the players should treat college sports like what it is…a business. Amateur sports have not been pure in quite some time, if ever. High school coaches have and still recruit players to their district with promises of playing college ball and winning a state title. When I was in 8th grade a coach asked my mom if she would consider moving so I could play ball for his school, even offering to give us an address in the district if we didn’t want to move. I personally witnessed the college recruitment of two blue chip athletes by major college programs and it was disgustingly intoxicating. Can you imagine the head coach of a top 5 college program in your kitchen cooking dinner with your mom and telling you about how he golfs with your favorite player in the off season? Going for a campus visit and having an escort, I mean host willing to get the job done so you sign your letter of intent?
These systems are not set up by the players. They are set up to take advantage of the players. Colleges make hundreds of millions off these players. Google how much USC mad from the sales of Reggie Bush jersey’s or UT from the sale of Vince Young gear. The numbers are staggering! Let’s not talk about TV rights, video game licensing, and concession sales. The football and basketball programs of some schools fund the entire athletic program and some!! Coaches get paid millions a year to manage the program. What is their responsibility in all of this? You are the head coach and neither you or anyone on your staff had knowledge about what was happening with your players? You didn’t notice how that kid that you visited in the projects of Miami that shared shoes with his siblings suddenly pulled up in a $80k car? You don’t think, how are my kids getting in the most exclusive club in the city and bragging about how crazy it was in the VIP section? Come on coach, you know what’s up. But that million dollar contract puts a lot of pressure on you to win. As long as you’re winning it’s easy to play dumb. And when it all falls down and your program is in the media with a 24/7 news cycle of scandal and allegations, you bounce to the pros and get a bigger salary without the overseer title.
I could swear there is a law about cruel and unusual punishment or the punishment should fit the crime or something!! When programs get busted for not keeping their story straight most of the blame falls on the players and their punishment is cruel and unusual. College is making 300 million, coach making 25 million, networks making billions, EA SPorts is making millions and you tripping cause this kid got his mom out the projects or a booster paid a light bill? You tripling cause a star player took 100k and balled out at the mall? #missmewiththat! The graduation rates of athletes at powerhouse sports schools is all the proof I need. These kids are not student athletes, they are athletes getting paid room and board. Take your death penalty and give it to the right people, the coaches, agents, and boosters. When you start hurting their pockets you will see things change in college sports. Until then let them boys play and let them get paid.
Do you think college athletes should get paid? Let’s talk about it in the comments!