Once again, the controversy of paying college athletes is on the front page. The problem, or so it seems, is that there is no middle ground. One side is adamantly against it, the other side thinks it should happen immediately. I’m here to throw my two cents into the ring.
My initial concern is the parity among schools regarding these payments. Idaho can’t compete financially with Duke, Liberty can’t hang with Kentucky, Niagara can’t match North Carolina. I could go on, but you get it. So if these payments are ever approved, who polices this? Surely not the ones currently in charge of these things. It’s a mess in its current state. Also, do these payments merely cover enough expenses so the student athlete can go to dinner and a movie occasionally? Do they get more? Are they essentially professional athletes upon receiving a certain amount? There are a whole lot of questions to be answered. It’s not an easy task, there are no easy solutions.
The one thing I think should be mandated is requisite courses on finances. I’d also like to see a bulk of this money to be given to them upon leaving school, be it graduating or heading to the next level. Again, this would also require them to complete the aforementioned finance class. But right now, the whole thing is a disaster that’s about to come crashing down on some top programs.
I’m not sure this is going to help anyone. The athlete loses playing time, the fans are robbed of game quality, the game itself will be affected. The NCAA would then proceed to vacate wins and/or titles. This is one of the dumbest practices I’ve seen. We all know Louisville was the best team a few years back. Just like we knew the USC football team was the best and Reggie Bush rightfully earned the Heisman that season. Stop vacating titles in some feeble ‘it’s my ball and I’m going home’ attempt at doing the right thing. Just stop. It makes no sense.
We’ll see this play out, probably longer than we want to see it play out. But the system needs to change. It needs to change soon. This could result in players going from high school to Europe to the NBA. College athletics will suffer down the road if the powers that be don’t figure this out.