To Pimp A Student

Very few things in this life make my jaw drop in disbelief. Getting on the scale after the 4th of July weekend, seeing my student loan balance, and waking up at 5 on a Saturday morning are some of the rare instances that occurs. Another situation where disbelief consumes my soul is the constant defense people, and the NCAA, make to not pay student athletes.

This is a sensitive subject to a lot of people. On one hand you have the institution claiming that a full scholarship, which all athletes don’t receive, and other quirks is a sufficient tradeoff. On the other side are the athletes, many claim that they don’t have enough money to make ends meet; that they’re struggling to survive.  

I tend to agree with the latter of these arguments. Athletes risk their future potential earnings by playing for free while coaches and administration make huge sums of money. To put it in perspective, in 2015 Alabama made had a $33 million operating surplus. In other words, Bama made $33 million more than what it spent.

That’s a lot of dough.

Now I understand that big time schools like Alabama have the coin to pull this off but what about other schools that don’t have that kind of influence?  

That’s another tough nut to crack but I believe that every university has an athletics fund whose only mission is to collect money from alums and donors. The pressure would fall on them to create a plan (marketing among other things) that can support this idea.

This New York Times Piece describes how a salary cap could help. It has its flaws but it’s a good starting point. I’d like to add that the the different divisions of the NCAA (1-AA and Division 3) would operate with a lower salary cap.

Biggie once said that mo’ money equals mo’ problems. Would paying players open a pandora’s box of issues? It’s probable but I’m sure it would be better than universities getting caught in scandals of boosters stepping outside of the rules in order to get the best players. It would also help eliminate the NCCA’s awful habit of punishing programs well after the violator(s) have left.

I don’t have all the answers to this complex situation. I just feel that not paying players is wrong. It’s almost as criminal as unpaid internships.

As always, thanks for reading.