I’ve had enough of this pseudo debate about paying college athletes. However, we should all pay attention to what the policy makers decide to do, because it might signal the end of college sports. This issue is indicative of the moral decay of our society and the permissive, “friend first” pattern we’ve established with the younger generations.
The asinine logic that says, “we can’t keep them from doing it, so we should go ahead and provide the means,” is foolishness, and it’s time the older generation spined up and stopped this nonsense. If you think I’m overstating, consider exhibit A.
Ramogi Huma, a former linebacker at UCLA and the founder and president of the National College Players Association: “Open up the market [to the players] on commercial revenue. You can have the open market or the black market. [The NCAA] has chosen the black market. They’ll put up with the scandals along the way. … But at some point it becomes ridiculous. We’re teetering on that point right now.” (full story here)
This man is threatening the NCAA with scandals. and blaming the NCAA for the cheating kids decisions to sell themselves on the black market!! Let me translate; “the kids are gonna cheat, regardless of your rules, so why not accept the inevitable and pay them. Otherwise, these irresponsible, arrogant young men are going to destroy your institution.” This is a man who is influencing the next generation.
I don’t mean to make this debate purely about Huma, but this will help illustrate the point. Read his motivation for launching this campaign to pay student athletes.
Former UCLA linebaker Ramogi Huma founded the National College Players Association (NCPA) after watching the NCAA suspend his All-American teammate Donnie Edwards for accepting groceries when his scholarship money ran out at the end of the month. (source)
And to make it more personal:
As a UCLA linebacker in the late 1990s, Ramogi Huma left college after four years with $6,000 in credit card debt. His scholarship paid for tuition, room, board and required books but not incidentals such as phone bills and travel expenses. Coming from a lower-income family, he lacked the funds to cover the difference. (source)
Just to be clear, according to Huma, it is UCLA’s fault that his roommate didn’t manage his budget well and chose to commit and NCAA violation. And, both UCLA and the NCAA are to blame for him racking up credit card debt. I had credit card debt in college too, because I was dumb. I played on a scholarship during the same era as Mr. Huma and neither me nor my friends on the team were ever wanting for money. We split rent and utilities four ways, just like the regular students, and still had money to go out to eat once a week and even afford girlfriends.
Under no circumstance should we pay student athletes. If they want to move to Europe and pursue a professional club career, more power to them. If they want to sign a MLB contract out of high school, good for them. But, if they want to go to a public, tax-payer funded university; they will take their scholarship check, smile, and enjoy the ride. If that’s unacceptable, let ’em make a big boy decision and walk.
If they commit an NCAA violation, like the kids at Ohio State, I believe the school should sue them for a violation of their contract. Make the criminals pay. Instead, the kids move on and make millions in the NFL, while the kids behind them miss the postseason or a youngster loses a chance at a scholarship. Absolutely ridiculous.
The newspaper (USA Today) reported that in 2010 eight schools received no subsidies from outside sources, and all eight are members of power conferences: Michigan, Ohio State, Purdue, Nebraska, LSU, Oklahoma, Texas and Texas A&M. (full story here)
Eight. Eight schools that compete in intercollegiate athletics made a profit in 2010. The rest were in the red. Did you know that the average investment made in a male student athlete per year is $60,000? (I’ll provide the source for this when I get my hard drive back. It was in a research study conducted for the NCAA) $60,000 per male, per year! The kids just don’t know what they’re receiving and have become ungrateful and greedy. And now our potential strategy is to cave and give them some cash.
Does any logical person think that will work? Will giving a crooked kid an extra $2000 a year really keep them from accepting the car? Nope. Johnny Handout will still violate the rules. The 90% of the student athletes who seem to be surviving just fine and can appreciate the free education will enjoy the extra pizza money, but the ten year old dreamers will be the ones who get hurt.
I’d bet you $1,000 right now, that if the NCAA revoked all scholarships and every student athlete had to pay their own way or compete for scholarships like the rest of the student body, Florida State would still play football in the fall. Harvard’s been doing it that way forever. I’ll promise you this. For every prima donna who thinks they deserve extra cash, there’s a dozen kids who would pay to have the chance to put on the uniform.
Don’t pay them. Don’t entertain the conversation. Make them sign the contract and hold them liable if the violate it. Don’t tarnish the system to cater to the crooks. Penalize the crooks and redeem the system from its spiral into corruption.