Friday, December 24, 2010
The NCAA is not my daddy
What is the NCAA's problem? Not only do they refuse to allow players to sell their own jerseys, but they are now suspending five Ohio State players because they allegedly sold their own awards, and traded their signatures for tattoos. The NCAA is telling players that they should not be able to benefit from their popularity, even though their college makes millions by showcasing the very same players. The players are expected to market for the college, give their lives, bodies, and hearts to the college, and expect nothing in return.
Each year big time universities make over a hundred million dollars each from the football program alone, and yet the players are not even given a stipend. If a team makes a BCS bowl game, its conference gets 5-10 million, yet the players who got the college there get nothing. Each football player is required to spend almost three hours a day practicing football, and that doesn't even count the amount of time put into studying film and working out. Players are required to devote a large portion of each day to football, and yet they are given nothing. If a player is taking a full credit load (as required), spending three hours a day on football, and spending extra time preparing for games, how is a player supposed to work and support him/herself outside of school? How do players go out to eat, grocery shop, purchase clothing, or go to the movies with friends? They don't.
Each player from Ohio State being suspended by the NCAA is a legal adult. These players have the right to sell their awards, signatures, or whatever else they own. Why should players not be able to personally profit from something that their employers are profiting greatly from? Do not tell me that they are getting to go to college for free and that is their reward. I know several people who go to college for free and still need to work outside of school because they need money for other things. Besides, only the players on a full-ride scholarship get to go for free.
Playing football is not an unpaid internship; it requires players to put in hours of work each and every day of the year, and most internships (that I know of) allow you to trade your signature for tattoos. It is time to stop treating college athletes like unpaid laborers. Sorry universities, but your “free education” is not enough; perhaps it would be if it were actually free.