Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Should the NCAA Pay Athletes?

The long standing discussion about whether student-athletes should be paid is gaining steam again.

Former NCAA athletes Ed O’Bannon and Sam Keller have brought lawsuits against the NCAA asking them to share its wealth with the athletes.

O’Bannon and Keller are intelligent enough to realize they are fighting against a billion-dollar industry with mighty clout and mighty lawyers. But even if reform happens in some way, then the fight is worth it.

Players are being paid now. It is just illegal. Boosters, sports agents and others are definitely supplying the money.

The NCAA argues athletes receive scholarships and room and board as a form of payment. I can tell you that Division I athletes aren’t staying at $30 motels or eating at fast food restaurants while on the road

Call me old fashioned, but I am not in favor of the NCAA paying athletes. How could it develop a fair system that would pay athletes on even a somewhat equal system? And frankly when you start actually paying athletes, you have professional sports with a different set of challenges.

I think the NCAA should provide a set number of scholarships to schools’ general fund based on sports Top 25 polls. All schools finishing in the Top 25 at the end of the season would receive the number of scholarships per final ranking. You could take the football and basketball polls for the men and the volleyball and basketballs polls for the women. This would give schools a tremendous boast in an age when major cuts are plaguing colleges and universities finances.

O’Bannon and Keller are providing awareness. Now it is time to put that awareness into action via the courts or some other element.

Do you believe athletes should be paid? Why or why not?

No comments: