Legislation would create chaos in college sports
No, and, if passed, I predict this will create more chaos than already exists in high-profile college sports (particularly football and men’s basketball) and be nearly impossible to manage.
I realize there are current inadequacies, and athletes feel like they’re window dressing for the coaches and schools to make millions.
Understandably, it rubs them raw.
They don’t necessarily see the tradeoff that is an outstanding education accompanied by terrific facilities, experienced mentorship, wall-to-wall tutors and expert training and nutrition personnel to prepare them for the next level of athletics or — even more valuable since most don’t make the NFL or NBA — the real world.
They don’t see the tradeoff because many of them don’t want to be in college.
They go because this path has long been accepted as the minor leagues for the NFL and, with the exception of just an extraordinarily gifted few, the NBA.
Often, they go because they must.
Cory and others may argue that college athletes are denied rights afforded the rest of the nation, but — at least to this point — they agreed to a certain set of guidelines to participate in amateur athletics.
Every workplace has rules, and, like it or not, universities and the NCAA represent the college athlete’s workplace.
If that’s not acceptable, then they should pursue professional athletics right out of high school. Like baseball players do. Or go to a minor league or European basketball experience.
Or, heaven forbid, go right to the NFL, which doesn’t even allow players to be drafted until they’re out of high school for three years, allegedly for safety reasons but more likely to help control its own minor league process that is college football.
It’s a two-way partnership.
For every Saquon Barkley — who was originally committed to Rutgers and who Penn State developed, by the way — or Zion Williamson, there are 500 athletes of non-revenue sports at most schools who are expected to co-exist in the college experience with these superstars that some legislators have decided should be paid to do car commercials.
Any time government sticks its nose where it doesn’t belong, it’s not a good mix. Isn’t it obvious that government can’t manage its own sandbox?
This legislation will only expand the role of the middle men (read: agent) and muddy college football to the knee-deep length in which its basketball counterparts exist.
I get that schools shouldn’t sell jerseys with players’ names. Solve that problem by selling jersey No. 1 in school colors with no name.
Part of the charm of college football, that lures 100,000 on Saturdays to some campuses, is there’s an emotional tie and because it’s not a professional sport.
Say the quarterback recruit is in high demand for endorsements and is making six figures as a freshman. Is the rest of the team supposed to block for this guy? What if after the QB is getting paid, the team and its legion of fans learn he can’t throw a square out?
For all its faults, the NCAA has made much progress in granting more freedom for the athletes.
Agents can now talk to athletes once they arrive on campus (and if you think money isn’t exchanging hands, you’re mistaken). Tthe transfer portal has become a revolving door, and if you’re at the right school (hint: Ohio State), your quarterback (Justin Fields) doesn’t have to sit out a year, and athletes receive a cost of attendance stipend which amounts to about $5,000 per year on top of their scholarships.
Plus many of them would not be admitted by the standards of the normal student.
So how much more should they be given? Have we not catered to them enough and fueled their entitlement?
If this comes to pass, I could honestly see somebody like James Franklin or many of the other college coaches who pride themselves on being role models bolting ASAP for the NFL.
None of us have great confidence in the NCAA, but if this legislation comes to pass, even if it’s not effective until 2023, college football and basketball will be much worse off than it is today.
Rudel can be reached at 946-7527 or email@example.com