Do we really want amateur college athletes negotiating through lockouts like the NFL and NBA? Do we really want to take the passion out of college sports where players are supposed to play for their team, their school, their state, their origin or do we want players that play only for themselves?
I like Coach Steve Spurrier, but I strongly disagree with his proposition to pay players $300 per game especially since it has been proposed after all the recent scandals. And I also disagree with Robert Smith’s, former Ohio State running back, proposition to allow players to receive pay for signatures. I believe that financial assistance may be applicable for low income attendees of universities (not just football players). But I believe in financial assistance in forms of food vouchers for schools cafeteria or for housing. However, $300 per game will only cover up the problem; not solve it. For example, the Ohio State players found guilty of accepting illegitimate pay were doing so to have money to buy things such as marijuana and tattoos. Sorry but those things are not a necessity for your college athletic career and the excuse that some of the athletes come from poverty stricken homes are just not acceptable. Poverty should not be an excuse for marijuana money, loaner cars, and tattoos. I’m sorry but college student athletes are capable of making it without those things.
If we take out the passionate college atmosphere and create pro football teams for colleges similar to what Ralph Nader proposed, then that will destroy college football as we know it. The dynamics of the money in NCAA football are too difficult to decipher. How would have Heisman winner Mark Ingram’s pay been determined if It was allowed? Yeah, he may have been more popular than his offensive lineman, but I would argue that they contributed just as much to his success. And as far as contributing to the popularity of the Alabama program, Ingram’s name is not known much out of the state of Alabama and definitely anyone out of the college football loop would not know who he is. Forrest Gump has contributed to the reputation of Alabama more than any player. So tell me how much should Mark Ingram have been paid for playing for the Crimson Tide? My answer is nothing. He received a top notch education, he was the big man on campus, he learned discipline, and he learned humility.
The thing that sickens me is the constant saying people use when athletes go pro or take illegitimate pay at college and that is “well you can’t blame the athlete for trying to make millions to set up their family for life.” Let me tell everyone something. The best way to set your family up for life is learning to become a man and learning humility. Most importantly to learn that money is not everything in life. Family and friends are more significant in anyone’s life than a mere fat paycheck. I would trade a million dollars for a loving family any day. A family benefits much more from a respectable humble man than they do from someone that just has a fat paycheck. We see all the time how rich celebrities overdose on drugs because they don’t care about their life. We have also seen many fallacies in athletes of where they just blow their money, end up in drug addiction, and sometimes worse. Do people not understand that this is not about money? It is about becoming a man.