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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

College Football's Unwanted Question

This question and issue has been constantly brought up ever since the NCAA found that former USC runningback Reggie Bush was found to have received improper benefits from an agent: Should college athletes, particularly Division I football athletes, be paid for play?

We all know the obvious reasons why they should get paid and why they should not get paid. The advocates for players being played say that the NCAA makes millions and billions of dollars at the players expense. These players are being used to promote their respective schools and aren't receiving any type of compensation for it. Meanwhile, those who don't believe players repeatedly state that players are supposed to go to college for an education not sports. This side also states these players are getting scholarships as well (or at least the really good high school recruits coming in get one) and that constitutes as the players' pay. I'm not going to bark up the same tree as everyone else. I have a different spin on why they shouldn't paid.

Everybody focuses on the present issues of why players should be paid or shouldn't be paid. Nobody seems to think about future, meaning what happens if players do get paid. With players getting paid, the basis of college shifts for players being recruited. The recruits will start to think about where they can make the most money or what school will offer them the most. Schools will invite recruits and tell them what the can offer them as a facility and what they can offer them in actual cash and physical items. There is a term for this; it is called free agency, which is prevalent in professional sports not collegiate. This something the NCAA stands against. The NCAA was created to protect college players from the evils of professional practices. Well by paying players the NCAA would be exposing players to the professional practices with "free agency." 

Also, think about how more monotony or predictability there would be. Everyone knows (or at least should know) that universities do not make the same amount of profits and revenue yearly. By paying players, this puts richer schools at an advantage and poorer schools at a disadvantage because the richer schools can offer a recruit or player more to come play for their school. Think about it, if one player likes two similar schools equally and the only difference is the wealth of the universities, that player will probably pock the richer one because it has more to offer him or her. 

The richer schools today are USC, Texas, Florida, Ohio State, Michigan, Oregon and many other schools with strong booster and sponsorship ties. Basically, these schools would get the better recruits and leave the weaker schools in their dust. So schools like us (Washington State University), wouldn't be able to compete with these "Super Schools." They would constantly beat us with players of better talent and skill. This makes college football less interesting and more monotonous because we will know what teams are going to win: The "Super Schools." I'm not saying that their won't be upsets because there are upsets and coaching plays a factor to a certain extent. I'm saying that the chances of an upset will decrease dramatically. So schools such as Boise State, Texas Christian University (TCU) or Houston, the "Cinderellas" of college football, might not be able reach one of the five BCS Bowl games because they can't get the athletes with the skill sets that the "Super Schools" have.  

The landscape of college football will shift both in the schools and with the entire NCAA in general if players get paid. So this is just another reason to add to the multiple ones of why college athletes should not be paid. I don't like the question: "Should college athletes be paid to play?" This question neglects the discussion of future  consequences and benefits. This is a better question and makes people consider the possible effects of the issue: "Is it worth it to pay college athletes to play?"

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