There is a big debate about whether or not college football players should get paid because of the business of college football. I am against paying the players, but just because public opinion is against paying players at the current time, doesn't mean that eventually it will not happen. But for those people that are for paying college football players, there are a couple of problems by going that route.
1. Scholarships. It is amazing that some people look past the fact that the school pays itself to have the players come play for the school. You want to pay the players $5000 a year to play football, great. One hitch in that plan, the players get charged tuition, room and board, meal on campus and every other fee and cost that regular students get charged. It is amazing that people would argue that college football athletes deserve to get paid because the sport that they play happens to make money. With that way of thinking, shouldn't the drama department pay the students that perform in the plays that the school holds during the year, or the musicians that hold concerts and performances? After all, the school is making money off of those poor college students that put in so much of their free time to do something that the public enjoys. A 4 year college degree at a higher institute of learning usually costs over $100,000. So let them have all the debt that the musicians and the artists that go to college. I am sure that all the athletes would jump at that chance.
2. Other pro leagues. For those football players that want to be professional, head north. The CFL has no age requirements. So if you are feeling that you are good enough, head to play in that league. You want to play football, there are many Arena league teams, Indoor Football league teams that are looking for players that will play for them. There are many millionaires out there in America that would like to start up another pro league for football. Why not ply your trade there? Why not join some of the semi-pro football leagues out there to make money? Is it because the players are worried that playing in those leagues isn't good enough for them? Is it because the fact that they have it on easy street in college where they can go to school, hone their craft and not have any debt after they are done there? Is it possibly that they don't have to bear the responsibility of ensuring that they don't have to make every decision on their own? That they have a support staff in college that allows them to start to grow into responsible people for society? That if they did decide to play in those leagues, that they might not get the exposure that college football affords them?
3. 2011 Experiment. In 2011, the Division I Board of Directors approved of a $2,000 stipend for college athletes. Two months later the member institutions rescinded that decision. Why? They couldn't afford it. You ask how is that possible. Last year only 22 members institutions of the NCAA actually turned a profit from athletics. There is a big reason for that, but we will talk about that in a minute. There are 125 football playing schools in FBS conferences. Less than 20% of those schools made a profit from athletics. Let's put it in terms that college football fans can imagine. The PAC-12 and Big 12 equal the amount of schools that made money off of athletics. The SEC, Big 10, Mountain West, ACC, AAC, MAC, Sun Belt, all independents, and any conference not listed here all equal the schools that lost money on athletics. It doesn't seem like causing public institutions to spend more money on things that cost them money is a good thing. At least that is the lesson from what I hear from the political debate that is going on in the country right now.
4. Title IX. This is where the major sticking point of paying college football players a stipend or whatever you want to call it. Female teams are to be be treated just as the men's teams are for facilities, guidelines, exposure, and the equalization of travel and per diem. It seems that paying football players would violate those regulations. You will have so many Title IX court cases if football players are paid and the Women's Wrestling team is not. And those cases would cause major headaches for the NCAA institutions, cost them untold millions of dollars, and they would have to pay each and every athlete that is on a sports team. Each and every member of a team for either sex that plays for that university would get the same amount of pay that football players would get. So remember that there was only 22 institutions that made money from athletics last year. Imagine if they have to pay another $750,000 per year just to athletes that play for the institution that is already paying them anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000 to attend their university.
Paying athletes will not eliminate anything. In fact it will just cause the athletes to want and demand more. Does anybody believe that having a player receive a $3,000 stipend will make the refuse money handshakes with boosters? Do you think that money left in their lockers with a new pair of socks will be reported to the NCAA for compliance? Do fairies fly out of your ass when you fart? Of course not. The cheating and the greed will not stop. Paying people illegally to participate in college athletics has been around for more than 100 years. Did the SMU death penalty cause institutions to stop paying their players? No. Will the admission of players saying that they got paid during their time at an NCAA institution cause problems for those institutions? No. Will anybody at Tennessee be held responsible for Arian Foster's admission? No. So why would institutions worry about the rules? We are playing on the slippery slope here. Well, since we know it is going on, let's legalize it. Sort of like saying that any law or rule that we know people are breaking in society, we should allow it. Bullpucky.
College is where athletes and non-athletes alike go to learn their craft, get an education and better themselves and their future. Athletes are no better than the kid that go to college on a music scholarship. It is about time that we remember that fact and stop the thinking that college athletes are professional. They chose to be a football player in college. Let them take the personal responsibility and benefits that come with that decision. One of the benefits should not to get paid in cold hard cash.