Dear NCAA, Pay the Players

Why college football should Pay their athletes.

Dear NCAA, Pay the Players
Dear NCAA, Pay the Players

Hello there again my good folks. It is time for yet another college football blog. It won’t be all college football, I promise. But with the way my brain works if I don’t get what’s on my brain out, then it will drive me crazy. Also, who know a simple minded fella like me could get 2 blogs done in one week? Pretty special and amazing if I do say so myself. Now I know in the last blog there was a lot of information. Teams switching conferences, new conferences being formed and whatnot, So I promise this one won’t have so much to take in ,or at least I hope not. This one, much like the other two, will be strictly opinion based.

One of the major hurdles and controversies of not just college football but college athletics in general, is paying the players. Football has been taking the forefront of it as it has become a multi-million dollar business. Make no mistake about it, College Sports is a BUSINESS. The problem is, who is profiting from the millions and millions of dollars the athletes are raking in? The NCAA is profiting, the schools are profiting, the sponsors are profiting, the coaches are profiting, the cities are profiting, but there seems to be someone missing. Who could it be? Oh right, the PLAYERS. The kids (yes ,I feel as if I am old enough to call them kids) aren’t making a single dime. Well at least legally. It is pretty much a given that these players are being paid under the table. It has being going on for years. These are the guys and girls, that put forth dedication ,blood, sweat, tears, injuries, time away from their families and risk their wellbeing to play the sport they love for the university. To try and further they athletic career. They are expected to go to practice, hit the weight room, study film, media interviews to promote the school and the upcoming game, and to also maintain their GPA to remain academically eligible to keep playing.

Now again, I know other sports will be effected but we will talk about college football as it is the biggest money maker in college sports, and lets be real. No one really cares about golf, track and field, or tennis , sorry that’s just the ugly truth of it. So according to the Business Insider(    https://www.businessinsider.com/college-student-athletes-spend-40-hours-a-week-practicing-2015-1 ) college football players spend more than 40hrs a week practicing.. It is from 2015 , but it is the most recent and accurate number I could find. Now even though a lot of people in the country work more hours a week, 40 hours in considered a full time job. Now given the academic side of it, you probably ballpark the number around 70 hours a week with the idea that each athlete is doing their job in the classroom to the best of their abilities.

So how do we fix it? Honest answer is, nobody knows the perfect system, and the truth is, there is no perfect system, but something has to be done. So let us look at some numbers. The average athletic scholarship is valued at $18,000, while the annual cost tuition for out of state students is $21,629 at ranked public schools and an average cost of $35,676 at ranked private schools. This all reported by usnews.com (https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/paying-for-college/articles/2017-10-04/4-myths-about-athletic-scholarships ). So let’s run off the average number of $18,000 a year for an athletic scholarship, with the average annual cost for tuition being $21,629. The numbers don’t quite add up do they? With all that being said, the NCAA, a “nonprofit” organization, racks in an average of $8 billion dollars a year. Now, we can’t pay the players because that would take money out of their pocket. Kind of sounds like the U.S government if you ask me.

Now believe it or not, the ridiculous state of California has gotten a head  start and made amazing progress in doing what is right. They recently passed the “Fair Pay to Play” act. Now there was a lot of political mumbo jumbo but can be broken down simply: It goes into effect in 2023, Schools can’t pay athletes directly. Athletes can hire agents to seek business deals to profit off of their likeness. While this certainly is a step in the right direction, it still causes some issues. Recruiting wise it will be an unfair advantage as now a California schools will be the prime destination for big time players as they will be able to profit.  It is worth noting, that 11 other states are following suit to pass similar laws. The issue still remains as it could be unfair to all involved. How much will the starting quarterback for Alabama be able to profit as opposed to the 2nd string linebacker for Toledo. Each are putting in countless hours on the field and in the classroom so there must be a way to balance it out.

So while it may not be the perfect fix, and while it may not even be possible to accomplish, I do have an idea on how to make this all go away, pay the players, continue to give them their education and selfishly bring back the NCAA  Football console games( I really, really , really miss them).  So my giant idea to change all this. It is simple, you take the state with the highest minimum wage, take the state with the lowest, and the meet in the middle for the average. Which by the way would be $10.75 an hour. Which in total, would be $22,360 a year before taxes. Which leads into the athletes must take money management courses as most athletes go broke because they don’t know how to manage their money.  You add that number to the average $3,000 a year stipend they get and you get a grand total of $25,360. Now, I know that isn’t a big number, but remember they will also be able to profit off of their likeness for things such as video games, jerseys, cups, magnets and whatever other merchandise their agent can land them. Trick is though how to even that out as the Heisman contenders would be able to profit a lot more from their likeness.

Now I personally don’t know if there is a way to limit how much someone can make from their likeness but I think there is way to make it fair. While athletic student is enrolled (no I don’t say student athlete because they don’t care about being a student) they can profit all they want from their likeness. Hell if a car salesman in Alabama wants to pay Tua Tagovailoa $200,000 a year while enrolled at Alabama to do commercials, and drive his cars, and promote his lot then so be it. But the players cannot access this money until they are officially graduated from the NCAA. That way while enrolled, each player has the same amount of money coming to them. No one has a dollar more or a dollar less.  This is done by having the agent the player hires, sign a guaranteed contract. Remember, this is a business. From there, the money goes into a bank account that the player can’t touch until they are no longer enrolled. Sort of a trust fund if you will. As far as the video game goes, Again selfishly, when the NCAA Football console game comes out, you simply give each player a free copy for their console of choice ( full disclosure: This was Kirk Herbstreit’s idea). There are ways to pay the players and be fair. They are raking in millions for their schools, and the NCAA  is profiting billions from them. Now they would argue it’s the sponsorship money, but they sponsors wouldn’t pay unless there was a product on the field, aka the players.

Let’s be real, the idea of Student-Athlete and amateurism is old school, archaic and dead. The only ones still trying to hold on to this idea is the NCAA, and the universities because it will pull money out of their pocket. They do this and not give one thought about the players who are literally risking their livelihood  on the field for their university. Hell, look at Eric Legrand, a Rutgers football player, who practiced all the hours, studied in the class room, busted his ass for the school, and ended up being paralyzed from a hit. Did he have anything to fall back on? No. His shot at a dream in the NFL was dead. Now the NCAA has no problem trumpeting what kind of man he is and how much he means to the community he is in and the university. But did they pay him anything? They sure as hell didn’t. Meanwhile they made money from the game where he was laying on the field not being able to move and having to be stretchered off of the field while he had no feeling anywhere in his body.

So it is time this old, rich, living in the past businessmen to jump forward and get with the program. Without the athletes on the field, you have no business. You are biting the hand that feeds you. If you want to keep everything going, pay the players. You can afford to do it. There is no sense in these guys risking everything for you not to give a shit about them. The only you care about is your own pocket. Again, sounds like the way our government treats our troops. Don’t get all bent out of shape, I am in no way comparing our great soldiers to college football players, just comparing the sort of situation.  Given enough time, and effort, and brains, there is a way to figure out how to make it fair and profitable for EVERYONE, you just have to be willing to admit that you are wrong about the idea that you can’t pay the players. I mean damn, if I can figure it out it , it can’t be that hard. But again, is any of this possible? I have no idea, but it certainly could start somewhere. It could be an idea of where to start. Keep in my this is all just my opinion.

Until next time, I hope you enjoyed it, I would love your feedback and share with your friends.

God Bless the Troops

God Bless all First Responders

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