Now that NBA players have secured themselves a life of endless wealth even Mike Tyson would struggle to squander, I’d like to take a moment to discuss athletes that absolutely do not deserve the same: college football players.
This debate is like herpes — it is perpetual and horrifically annoying to advocates on both sides, and we, as fans, are stuck in the middle of a struggle threatening the practical existence of what, in my opinion, is America’s greatest game.
I am here to definitively state the absurdity of the “players deserve to be paid” argument, as apparently the Bernie Sanders loving entitlement of my increasingly humiliating generation has seeped through the helmets of our student-athletes.
First of all, college football players are not only paid already, but paid extremely well. Estimates vary, but a consensus believes major programs spend well into the six figures on each individual player on scholarship, annually.
To understand the math behind this assertion is quite simple: Players are given free tuition, a vast majority of which are coming from out of state and normally subject to far higher costs than in-state students. Players are also provided room and board for all four, and sometimes five, years of enrollment, as well as living expense stipends as high as $600 a month at some of the perennial powers. Food is also provided for the players, with meal plans ranging from three squares a day in campus cafeterias to university funded “fast pass” cards accepted in on-campus restaurants and stores.
Now, for those keeping track at home, when tallying the average cost of out-of-state tuition ($44,000), books ($1,100), room and board ($9,000), and the newly increased “stipend” ($7,200), the players already cost about $60k a year. But wait, there’s much more.
Football players are allowed to travel home for free a varied amount of times per year, some schools as much as six total round trip tickets. Players are provided the retail cost equivalent of roughly $3,000 in university apparel, $1,400 in equipment, and over $5,000 in tutoring and academic assistance provided without charge to every scholarship player.
Add in transportation, trips (such as Michigan’s controversial spring break in Orlando, in which only 40 hours, or roughly 20% of the total duration, encompassed football related activities) and it is very easy to see how some estimates have claimed nearly $150k a year cost per player to major universities.
Yet, somehow, as I suppose is the way of our “give me free college!” and “forgive my loans!” generation unwilling to work for anything, or apparently read a book about our grandparents that overcame more on a daily basis than our “safe space” ridden pity party of imagined self-importance could handle in 1,000 lifetimes, we want even more for the “exploited” players.
Right. Free education, travel, clothing, food, books, tutoring, housing, and acceptance into schools a vast majority of players would’ve never gotten into (for instance, Michigan’s average ACT for the incoming class is a 32, the NCAA only requires a 17) sounds like a Fortune 500 CEO’s golden parachute, not the compensation of a three star slot receiver.
But this is the world the SJW and PC patrol has created. So you know what? Fine. Pay them. Pay them whatever the fuck you want. Continue bankrupting the overwhelming majority of college athletic programs that operate with a deficit, decimated non-revenue sports (and for you SJWs sound the alarm! This includes all women’s sports) that rely on football revenue to survive. Go ahead.
But at least have the decency to allow the schools to run their program like a real business, like the NFL on the collegiate level. What I mean here is be careful what you wish for.
Let Tennessee cut the three star “developmental project” that hasn’t panned out midway through sophomore year. Oh, you failed a drug test? Pull a Josh Gordon and get suspended for a year — enjoy paying full tuition! You want to see your family? I hear there’s a sale on Travelocity, so buy it yourself. You have a career injury? Sorry, scholarships are only one-year renewable. Good luck in life. Will Grier, you took steroids? Tuition at Florida is $45k out of state, we will need that check for your suspended time.
Oh wait, that’s not fair? But these “exploited” athletes, you know the 10 or so actually worth a dime from a theoretical endorsement/revenue perspective (try to name the starting offensive and defensive lines of your favorite team….now how about your school’s rival….okay now how about the second and third string lines, all of which are likely on scholarship….right) need to not only have everything provided for them for free, have the security of four-year scholarships while almost all NFL deals are not guaranteed, no risk of injuries causing their dismissal while NFL players largely lack any semblance of security outside of a singular season, have the impossibility of being “cut” (though some claim the SEC does this anyway) as half of every NFL roster is purged annually, AND get paid?
Yes, Johnny Football made Texas A&M millions, but for every Johnny, there are literally 1,000 Jake Heaps. Don’t know who that is? Exactly..
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