Say Goodbye to College Football As You Know It
This year’s crop of players leaving behind college football’s ever-evolving landscape for the NFL does so under as much or more media scrutiny than is reserved for the regular season. A college football career resembles a calculated business decision more and more with each passing day and a growing number of players are looking for ways to cash in.
Departing players like Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel sign endorsement contracts and begin to officially start promoting themselves as a brand, and there may be a shorter wait for others to begin reaping the benefits. A recent decision that will presumably allow Northwestern University football players to unionize has the potential to unlock a plethora of avenues through which college athletes can pursue compensation.
The 2014 season will see in the introduction of the most radical post-season change to college football since the introduction of the BCS bowl system by way of the College Football Playoff. While it will be limited to four teams competing in two semi-final and then an eventual championship game, the very introduction of a playoff conquers a hurdle long thought to be a far-fetched concept.
In addition to dedicated network media coverage, college athletes are exposed more than ever now through social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. This is one element that has served to blur the line between professional and amateur athletes competing in the same sports because they have come to share equal portions of the public spotlight. As this trend has become more prevalent so has the contrast between which news regarding professional and amateur athletes is reported.
For example – an NFL lineman may get arrested for a DUI and the story receive an initial surge of coverage before it is ‘yesterday’s news so to speak, but an incident of equal or often times lesser severity will garner a whirlwind of media coverage surrounding the event that lasts for several days or even weeks.
The days of only being able to see Notre Dame play on television seem like ancient relics to a sport that has grown to unbelievable heights. There is no reason to hold out hope for a return to anything resembling college football from over two decades ago, and for some that may be disappointing news. Just make sure you don’t pause too long to reminisce or you may get left behind.