I love college football, really love it. I’m the guy that watches the Louisiana Tech/Hawaii game at 3am. Lately there is a lot of talk about the plight of the big time college football player and his lack of compensation in the billion dollar industry that college football has become. It’s bullshit.
Jay Bilas from ESPN, a bigger douche would be hard to find on all of television, thought he was being smart by “exposing” the fact that on http://www.shopncaasports.com/ you could search for a college player’s name and find their jersey. He painted the NCAA as some all powerful evil entity making money hand over fist on the backs of college players. Jay’s problem is he’s ignorant. The NCAA doesn’t get that money, the individual schools do. It is a non-profit organization that exists to promote collegiate athletics. In fact the NCAA makes almost 90% of its revenue on the NCAA basketball tournament alone. I know what you’re saying to yourself, “But Darkkyn, March Madness! The NCAA tourney is HUGE!!”. Yes it is. And you know where all that b-ball money goes? It goes toward funding the championships in non-revenue sports like wrestling, and soccer, and crew, and fencing, and volleyball, and baseball. Bilas made it seem like the NCAA administration was just lining their own pockets. Untrue, and irresponsible for someone in his position.
While we’re at it, let’s keep in mind that the NCAA is a membership driven institution. They aren’t some powerful governing body. They can’t pass any legislation without it going through the university presidents of the member institutions. The only power they have is that which those member institutions have given them. Nothing more. So any school who has a problem with the NCAA or its rules, is free to leave whenever they like. They’d no longer be able to compete in NCAA championships, but that doesn’t include football anyway at the FBS level.
Back to players and spending money. So let me get this straight:
You get free tuition, room, board, student fees, lab fees, and books.
You have access to free tutoring pretty much 24/7.
You have access to training table food, i.e. NOT common student food.
You have access to a nutritionist who will design your diet to a T.
You have access to trainers who can optimize your workouts to their fullest potential.
You get access to facilities that regular students don’t, and which would blow most people’s minds!
You get to hand a class list to an advisor and get it filled for you. No cattle line to get your books, no worries about any scheduling conflicts other than with practice.
But it’s just not enough? Sorry, but the perks are enough. College football players, at least at the FBS level, get incredible academic support too, for free, unlike regular students. If a player doesn’t earn a degree, they didn’t want to earn one. There is no other excuse. Is there a time demand. Yes. Is the school making money off of you? Yes. Consider that a lesson on how life works, and that’s on the house as well. We have real and actual fair compensation issues in this country and we’ve decided the front lines of that battle is going to be college football? Priorities, people, priorities.