College Athletes Should not Be Paid – Just Do the Math

Another college football season is upon us in T-minus 41 days (or something like that).  WHOO-HOO!!!  Salvation is approaching us all – well, maybe not the football widows.

And with the college football season comes the age-old question that STILL goes unanswered: should college athletes be paid?

Of course the answer should be twofold – no and “hell no”.

Look, I’m not going to go on the tired-ass arguments of why a scholarship at a top-notch university (or any college) is priceless.  That a scholarship is payment enough.  That having access to top-notch facilities is worth the time spent blah, blah, blah.

I’m going to look at this from an economic point of view.

In order for colleges to pay for their athletes, they have to have a huge budget.  Do you know how many players are on a football roster: 53.  There are 12 basketball players (men and women), 25 baseball players and usually 20 soccer players (men and women).  And we have not touched the other welfare, ERRRR, Olympic sports.

A lot of colleges operate in the red in terms of athletics.  So given that those schools lose money and therefore have limited revenue streams, how in the hell are they going to come up with the extra cheese to pay those kids?  What are they going to do, cut certain sports like the University of Maryland did?

And who do colleges pay?  Should they pay just the football and basketball players, since those are considered the revenue-producing sports?  What about athletes in the other sports?  That doesn’t seem fair, doesn’t it?

And let’s focus on football for a minute.  Should all the athletes be paid equal amounts per month?  What about the star QB, or the Heisman candidate running back?  Shouldn’t they be paid more than the fifth-string linebacker riding the pine and playing on special teams?

As for the effect it may have on the Title IX sports, I don’t even want to imagine that.

Let’s not stop with just the mere logistics of how and who the cheddar would be spread to.  How about the adverse effect paying college kids would have on certain schools’ abilities to remain competitive?

If the BCS 2.0 – ERRRR, I mean the upcoming college football playoff creates a gap between the five powerful conferences and the others, could you imagine how worse it would be when it comes to paying college kids?  Schools such as Boise State, East Carolina, Fresno State and even a school like South Florida would not have a chance against the likes of Alabama, Texas, Florida State, Clemson, USC, Oregon, Ohio State, Michigan, and even an NC State (shout out to my alma mater).

And never mind the FBS schools, how about the FCS schools?  Schools such as Appalachian State, Furman, NC A&T, Florida A&M and Montana would belly up because they do not have the athletic budgets as the aforementioned bigger schools.  Those FCS schools would not have the money to compete in college football.

Here’s the deal: it would be nice if these kids could receive a little sumthin’-sumthin’ in big-time college athletics – particularly football and basketball – because of the money those schools make off of them.

It’s just that financially doing so doesn’t add up.

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5 replies

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  2. Oh, you graduated from State? That explains some of the grammatical errors.

  3. D-1 football schools have 85 players on scholarship (53 is the NFL number)
    D-3 doesn’t give athletic scholarships and has plenty of football – it’s just not of professional quality
    Some D-1A schools don’t give athletic scholarships (e.g. the Ivy League) and play pretty interesting football
    The problem with any school paying any of its athletes is that Title IX requires equality among men’s and women’s sports. Pay the male football and basketball players and you have to pay the women, without regard to the fact that only (and not always) men’s football and basketball turn profits.
    If Congress carves out an exemption for the revenue sports then Title IX will not be a problem – but until it does ….. who knows?
    Incidentally – the proposition that a football scholarship equals a free education is way too simplistic. D-1 players are required to put in more than 40 hours a week on the sport,, and if a required lab interferes with practice time – well, the player changes majors. In the Ivy League the coaches have schedules, and so when the player at the top of the depth chart at his position is late for practice some afternoon (because he has a lab) the coach shakes his head and goes on Not so when the players are hired hands


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