Pay for Play: The Clear Solution or an Ultimate Demise
On the heels of the Northwestern football team being deemed employees of Northwestern University by the National Labor Relations Board, the once perceived thought of college athletes getting paid to play may become a reality, but could this reality destroy the NCAA.
College athletics is as close to indentured servitude as anything in this day and age. Some may say that is a bit extreme but looking back in history indentured servants where mostly young Europeans looking to find wealth in America and the only way to do so was to work for an allotted amount of time and at the end you where free to build your own life but may not gain the riches you where lead to believe where available.
That is what college athletics is, especially in the big revenue driven sports like football and basketball. Young people come to play in college in hopes of gaining wealth on the next level. So they sign a contract to work for the university and once that contract is through, you are on your own.
The time and the work put into any college sport is worth some sort of compensation by schools.
There are many people who believe the life of a college athlete is like being a rock star. Most think that after a college game a player will then go off and have a champagne and steak dinner and people kissing your feet as you walk around. When in reality after a game a player might scrounge up a couple of bucks for a slice of pizza and if he has the time or the energy, might split a six pack of Keystone with a few friends and try to act like a “regular student” for the night.
Do not miss understand,there are a lot of perks to being a college athlete none bigger than a free education allowing you to leave school dept free. Which in today’s world is close to priceless. But the amount of money that the NCAA makes annually makes that scholarship looking like pocket chang
Players may not be starving as Uconn guard Shabazz Napier alluded to after winning the National Championship but their is certainly financial issues that a student athlete faces. Especially if the player does not come from a well off family.
With all this being said there is still the question of how to compensate these athletes?
Even the most pro student athlete activist must admit that you can not pay these young men and women too much or it will ruin what makes college sports so great. To see the drive and hunger of an athlete trying to go pro and make millions for his family makes for great competition.
A stipend is probably the best way to compensate but how do you delegate the price? Will all sports get paid the same amount? Will division 2 and 3 student athletes get paid as well? Will non revenue sports be cut in order to have enough money to pay the bigger sports?
There are a lot of holes to be filled before any student athlete gets paid, and if these holes are not filled properly it can in fact sink the massive ship that is the NCAA.
As of now both sides can agree, there needs to be some type of fundamental change with college athletics. The days of the NCAA feeding off of the dreams and naivete of young athletes is coming to an end. Change will come, it is just a matter of when and what will be the outcome.