Conference commissioners are pondering whether it should be monthly or in the case of college football after every game. The Big Ten (now 12) commissioner Tom Delaney introduced the idea.
South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier, a.k.a. “the ‘Ol Ball Coach”, wants to pay players out of this own salary after every game during the season. Turns out that all of the coaches in the SEC would sign off on that.
First, let me state that I am a bit old fashioned in that I believe that a scholarship at a high-profile institution is nothing to sniff at. A lot of the scholarship recipients would not have a chance to attend a college – let alone a major university – if it weren’t for those scholarships.
However, I do understand why people are campaigning for these kids to be paid. While it’s all good that some suits in college football and basketball would want to give these young men stipends, it still won’t fix what’s corrupt about those two sports. In fact, it will make things worse.
Most schools’ athletic programs lose money every year. An NCAA report shows that just 14 of the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision (that’s Division 1-A) schools made money from campus athletics in the 2009 fiscal year.
So the question is, where in the world would administrators get the money? Most, if not all schools use money from football and basketball to fund the other non-revenue generating sports programs such as baseball, softball, volleyball, and lacrosse. Most school would have to “86” those programs in order to pay for student-athletes.
Throw in Title IX programs and you’d open up a new can of worms.
And let’s face it, even if they started paying student-athletes, it will not stop students from receiving additional “benefits”. For one thing, no matter how much they will be paid, it would never be enough. There are big-money boosters who would happily throw hundreds and thousands of dollars to recruit and appease the five-star, blue-chip athletes.
So what’s the solution you ask?
It’s simple, but it will never be done: cut out the boosters. Boosters are the ones who tend to give these kids money under the table. Check out ESPN’s “30 for 30” film titled “Pony Excess” if you do not believe me.
Boosters will never be kept away from those student-athletes because they have two things you and I will never have – lots of influence and even more money.
And as ESPN’s Chris Broussard once said about money: not only does it talks, IT HOLLERS.