Keep Cash Out of College Sports

Posted on March 7, 2011 by

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Perhaps the most beautiful aspect of collegiate sports is the lack of massive signing bonuses, arbitration hearings, no-trade clauses, and over-paid ego-maniacal oafs.  Yes, the best part of college sports is that we get to watch the athletic amateur superstars before they get tainted by the money and the spotlight.  However as we’re all aware, meddling by sporting agents and pay-for-play schemes are currently threatening to challenge the true beauty of the collegiate sporting world.

Such outbreaks of tampering have resulted in many people advocating for the payment of NCAA athletes.  While some say it would deter agent meddling, others cry out that these players deserve their just compensation for all of the revenue that they generate for their universities.  Others argue further that NCAA athletes are put under a financial hardship by playing sports and ought to be paid so that they can live comfortably.

Advocates for paying the student-athletes suggest several solutions.  These include: stipends, signing bonuses, or even a full-fledged contract.  However, there are two fundamental problems to this strategy.  As mentioned by Cork Gaines, Title IX alone prevents the practice to begin with.  Under Title IX, all student athletes must be given equal opportunities.  That means if universities could pay their players, they would have to pay them all.  Something tells me the Gym-Cats would be largely ignored should the UA start paying athletes.  To elaborate further, do we really think that the universities are going to be willing to pay the athletes of a sport that doesn’t bring in profits for the school?

You could swat that ball a million times, you still don't deserve to be paid D-Will, sorry.

Furthermore, consider exactly how profitable are collegiate sports for their colleges?  According to ESPN.com, only 14 schools of the 120 FBS schools made a profit from campus athletics in 2009.  So are the universities going to spend money to pay their athletes when they actually result in a profit loss?  Paying players, if it were even allowed, would only further put schools into debt, which would thus be passed onto the students and would result in tuition hikes further.  Please pardon me mounting my soap box here, but being a student, tuition is high enough.  Sorry Derrick Williams and Nick Foles you’re just not worth it to me, and I doubt the University is willing to pay you the money it doesn’t have.

For argument’s sake, let’s just say paying the players was allowed and tomorrow Title IX burned up in flames.  Paying players is only going to further the gap between viable programs in the country.  The Notre Dames and University of Southern Californias, who have massive endowments will continue to pool talent in an additional category.  Not only will they have tradition, great facilities, and prestige but they will now be able to pay their players and be able to dole out hefty chunks more than the feeble Boise States.

What is the over/under on Cam Newton's Heisman being stripped? 2 years?

The competitive levels are already unbalanced in the NCAA and the odds are viciously staked against most schools as is.  Paying players will only make it harder for smaller schools to compete, and could borderline an even smaller amount of athletic elite schools.  It is already amazing that Boise State can compete in football or that Butler can pull a title run out of nowhere in basketball.   Thank (insert deity of your choice here) that the new NCAA president, Mark Emmert, opposes paying the players.  Hopefully he can figure out proper punishment and consistency in the NCAA rules so we can finally strip Cam Newton of his Heisman Trophy.

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