Lots of talk about paying college athletes again.
Ryen Russillo on espn radio's Scott VanPelt Show suggested having agents pay players not the universities. He came up with a very convoluted plan that included limits on how many players an agent could have on one team as well as salary caps for the teams.
AA News alum, Jason Whitlock has a strong opinion that the NCAA is the evil doer. On WDFN Ermani and callers extended the article into the NCAA taking money from poor minority athletes in football and basketball and transferring it to white kids in lacrosse, gymnastics and swimming. I guess I can see some of that argument.
But I'm fully in the camp that they are getting paid, they're getting a full ride scholarship. I can see extending the benefits to the athletes in such a way as extending their educational opportunities. I would be in favor of making the scholarships a multi-year guarantee. Not the one year contract they are now. And ideally it would be a 4-8 year guarantee. Because the time requirements are so great, the scholarship extends past the eligibility of the player.
College football and basketball are able to compete with professional sports for two reasons:
1 -The greater numbers make it more local. There are only ~ 130 professional teams in the 4 major sports, there are almost that many FBS football teams.
2 - The myth of commonality and association. "I went to Michigan - so I have had some of the same experiences as Tate Forcier" or "I'm from the plains of Alabama so I like Auburn." It doesn't matter that Forcier is from southern California and our shared experiences likely end at English 125, he's my guy because he wears the winged helmet. suppose the "plains of Alabama" thought does extend somewhat to professional sports, after all I'm a fan of all the professional teams in Michigan. However, I've never felt as strongly about those teams triumphs and failures as I do UofMs.
In addition to extending the scholarships, lets end the age limits in the NBA and NFL. If the athletes want to get paid right away, let them go right to the pros. That should greatly diminish the ridiculous one-and-done players in basketball. I would be interested in how it would work in football. How many 18 year old kids could go right to the NFL? I think it would have to be less.
I don't think the TV money machine would be affected one bit. The alums want to see their team much more than their teams particular players...