I will probably incur some wrath with this post, but it’s been on my mind too much lately, and I need to get rid of it. As a few know, I commented on the three meal a day debacle last week, and while not lambasted for my comments, it was apparent that I was in the minority of posters who felt that the NCAA may have made much ado about nothing (or a little something).
I have considered the other replies and maybe even softened my feelings on the subject, but I am still not satisfied with the big picture thinking that seems to be prevalent…I believe that full scholarship football players get a really good deal. While maybe the scholarship offer needs to be tailored a little better to fit needs, consider this: Out-of-state tuition, books, room and board, etc. at a major state university starts at about $40,000 per two semester academic year. That’s for starters, throw in smaller schools or private schools and that number jumps significantly, maybe upwards towards $100,000 per year, and that is for two semesters, not three. In addition, they get personal coaching and training to groom them towards a professional career, if they are good enough to move to the next level.
If that doesn’t happen, they have the opportunity to walk away with a college degree – if they plan accordingly. In all instances, they have a lifetime experience that few of us get to realize. Add to all of this the circus show that is signing day / commitment day / “I’ve narrowed my choice day”, and it’s easy to see that nobody is holding a gun to the head of the student athlete to sign up for these benefits.
Yes, it is true that major college football is taking in lots of revenue in return for the exhibition of football games. Why does that matter to the commitment made between the college and the student athlete? As above, there is compensation exchanged for the commitment (some people call that a contract). The university takes chances, hires employees, expends funds, etc. to make all of this work. Last time I checked, we were in free market and if there was a wholesale better way to do it, somebody would have probably thought of it already.
Lastly, if you don’t like what I’ve written, or you don’t like the system, by virtue that you are at this site reading, you are probably part of the problem, like it or not. I put myself right in the middle of that sentence. I (we) are the ones who obsess over college football, I (we) are the ones who pay silly amounts of money to attend, to follow the team, to buy a hot dog and coke, to fund scholarships, buy pay-per-view, etc.
I am not complaining.