Should College Athletes Be Paid?

Over the past few days, Texas A&M Quarterback Johnny Manziel has been at the center of attention and controversy in the world of college football. ESPN reported that he took part in an autograph signing as part of a “five-figure” agreement in south Florida at the BCS Championship Game in January. Since the report surfaced, many radio and television hosts, pundits and more have debated as to whether or not college athletes should be paid.

I do not think that they should be paid. However, it is absurd to think as well that the NCAA can continue to cash in on player’s likeness either in video games, merchandising sales and more. If anything, that money should be used collectively as a post football fund for players or something along those lines. There are two big problems I have with players being paid. The first one is that each sport has a different value to it. Like it or not, men’s basketball and college football are by far the two most popular sports for colleges. The value to which a player like Tim Tebow or Johnny Manziel has to their school is immensely more than a women’s basketball player at Kennesaw State. There are also different values to the players themselves and that could cause a distraction to teams also. If the third string quarterback knows he’s getting paid considerably less than the first string quarterback, there could be rifts along the way and just seems like it would be an unnecessary problem.

The second problem I have with college athletes getting paid is that it ruins the purity of these sports. Olympic athletes don’t get paid and they are representing their country, not a school. The NCAA should forever remain an amateur organization. Honestly, once there are so many dollars being thrown around, it ruins the game. Quite frankly, it already has.

College administrators over the last decade have gotten incredibly greedy once they realized how popular college athletics had gotten and wanted a slice of the pie. As a sports fan, one who respects sports for what they are and their history, I really question the decision some of these colleges are making. They’re ruining rivalires like Syracuse-Georgetown in basketball or West Virginia-Pittsburgh in football. You don’t fix what isn’t broken. The problem is now, athletic directors main goals is to make money for the school, which a lot of them do thanks to big time television contracts and such, but at what cost?

College sports are being ruined by greed. Once colleges become all about money, you can bet athletes soon will follow. Obviously, the example used for years to come will be that of Penn State University. The idea that so many adults lied and covered up what had been happening with Jerry Sandusky and those kids for years to protect the brand that is their football team is an utter disgrace and should be an example of how college athletics have gotten to a point where money matters over ethics and it should never come to that point. That is inexcusable and they should be ashamed. But I am sure they’re not the only ones that are hiding something.

Many people who do not think college athletes should be paid usually say they already are. Their tuition is paid for and that usually costs upwards of 100,000 dollars, not only that but with a college degree, your potential job prospects are exponentially higher. College sports gives some kids from bad backgrounds and broken homes a chance to succeed and better themselves in life. That fact is often overlooked. Without college sports, who knows where some of these players would end up.
Dollars funnel.

Another reason why I have a big problem with athletes getting paid is that fairly often, you will see a former player become a paid coach or work in some capacity with another team down the line after their playing career is done. While that is to be expected to an extent, the college scholarship is only supposed to guarantee the student athlete an education, it is not supposed to help get them a job as well, especially in how tough of a job finding environment their peers are working in. That is not right. That element of it is absolutely ridiculous and who colleges are hiring should be heavily investigated, because there are some elements of it which just seem broken. An example I’ll use is recently I applied to my alma mater, Monmouth University, to work in the same department that I worked for three years during my time as a student. There was no contact for an interview, even though the job was basically the same thing I’d been doing as a student. There was a girl at Monmouth I know who was on the women’s basketball team and upon her graduating, she took a job at Monmouth with the basketball team. What annoyed me about it though, is she was basically one of the last people off the bench and to be fair, her accomplishments on her biography were far more prolific at her high school than at Monmouth. We’re both graduates of the same school. You have to treat alum the same way. Either you give preference to both former students and athletes or you don’t, it should not be a one way street. My money is just as good as their money.

The only two things that would work when it comes to compensating players potentially is to either give each player a monthly stipend, which I’d be fine with, or creating a school “salary cap” in which you could give players a maximum or minimum amount of money they could get and I think that’d be fair to without starters making so much more than backups. That is the only way I think players could earn money.

The bottom line is that although college football and basketball are very popular, the vast majority of college athletes play because they enjoy the sport they play and it gives them a chance to get a college education. That is what an amateur athlete should be. Once college players start getting paid, it will ruin college sports as we know it. It has become way too much about money in a hurry and has really irked some fans that some great rivalries are being ruined and some of these moves do not make much geographical sense either. The NCAA is really a cesspool as you have seen recently because so many of these teams cheat and cut corners to win, or even worse they do it without ethics like the Nittany Lions did. The NCAA has to be cleaned up as a whole and I think paying college athletes would only make things worse. There is that saying in NCAA commercials, “There are over 380,000 NCAA student athletes and almost all of them will be going pro in something other than sports.” That is absolutely true. For every Johnny Manziel, there is probably 10 unknown college athletes, who put in the same, if not more, effort than Manziel does, but they’re never seen on television or maybe even heard of, they play for the competition, for the enjoyment and to test their limits. That is what a student athlete and amateur should be and once it is no longer that and only about earning dollars, college athletics will be destroyed, and there is no turning back from that.

San Antonio Spurs Outlook for the Western Finals

Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan are going to look to continue their NBA Finals dominance going 5-0 during their time with the San Antonio Spurs. What may make it even more sweet with a series victory this time around is that this is easily the best team they have played in the NBA Finals and Lebron James is now, unlike in the 2007 finals, in the peak of his career. He has a lot more help around him this time and while he has always been a great athlete, he very well could be the best athlete in the world at this point.


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Jersey Wrong

Let me start by saying I am a proud New Jerseyan. I love my state and couldn’t imagine growing up anywhere else. New Jersey has long been a national punch line and has received much criticism over the years due to their politics and corruption. They have a large image problem as most people nationally perceive us as basically all Tommy Devitos from Goodfellas. That image was unfortunately only reinforced by the very popular Jersey Shore program, which is a misnomer considering only a couple people from the cast were actually from Jersey. Still, I love the people here and all my state has to offer. New Jersey is so diverse geographically and one of very few states where you can go from mountains to the beach in about an hour.

New Jersey is facing another image problem and that is all the negative attention Rutgers University has been getting. Rutgers is making the state of New Jersey look bad and people need to be held accountable for their actions. This all started when a video surfaced of ex Rutgers basketball head coach Mike Rice berating and abusing players on his team. He was eventually let go as well as the athletic director, Tim Pernetti. But there has been a significant amount of debate over whether or not university president Robert Barchi should get fired. To say he only saw the video of the abuse when the rest of the nation did sounds a little sketchy and is a bad way to start his tenure at Rutgers considering the abuse took place within his first couple months. They also hired former Rutgers player Eddie Jordan as the new head basketball coach, but then a minor stir was created when reports came out that he never actually graduated from there after it was reported for years that he did. rutgers-logo Continue reading

The Spurs Are Who We Thought They Were

This NBA season has been full of interesting storylines–the emergence of new powers in the Western Conference such as the Golden State Warriors, the Chicago Bulls surprising many people by getting to the second round, the coaching carousel and more, but a major theme throughout the year was that the San Antonio Spurs were much too beat up and old to make a trek back to the NBA Finals. Yet come the first week of June, that’s exactly where they’ll be competing against the Miami Heat in search for Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich’s fifth title with the franchise.

All this team knows how to do is win. Popovich missed the playoffs just once with the Spurs. It was in his first year at the helm, back in the 1996-97 season. He has only lost in the first round of the playoffs three times. This team is the model of consistency in professional sports, yet are constantly overlooked by flashy superstars and bigger cities. Yet the Spurs always play their game and play it very well. They play team oriented and while they do have a superstar and all-time great in Tim Duncan, have plenty to complement him as well such as Danny Green, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and more. They are also one of the more international teams in the NBA which is probably why many people in the United States find the Spurs boring. But it is that same “boring” style of play, that has made the Spurs to be as successful as they are. They are the best sports franchise in the United States since the millennium, including teams such as the New England Patriots. The Pats missed the playoffs in 2 seasons of the 2000’s. The Spurs haven’t missed the playoffs since I was 7 and have more titles than New England as well. ginobili-duncan-popovich-parker-cha Continue reading

Cleveland Cavaliers win NBA Draft Lottery…again

For the second time in three years, the Cleveland Cavaliers have the luxury of selecting the first pick in the NBA Draft. They beat out the Orlando Magic and Charlotte Bobcats, who had the highest chances to secure the first draft pick.  To represent the Cavaliers team, as it was when they won first draft pick two years ago, was Dan Gilbert’s son Nick, who was born with Neurofibromatosis, a nerve disorder that causes tumors to grow anywhere in the body at any time. He has seemed to be a lucky charm for them and with two number one picks, the Cavs are going to be pretty good in the near future. gilberts640 Continue reading