A major debate in sports today is whether or not NCAA football players should be paid to compete; and while there are many pros and cons to the argument, it’s a valid one as the entire landscape of college football has changed in the last 50 years for everyone, but the players.
FBS football is more than a sport today; it’s a business and like most businesses its number one goal is to make money. Coaches of major programs make millions, universities makes millions for winning bowl games, but the players who win those games get nothing more than a scholarship, some don’t even have that.
NCAA football players have very hectic schedules that include early morning workouts, classes, practices, and meetings. Some players can barely find time to sleep let alone find a part-time job to make some extra cash like many of their classmates.
With the rising cost of goods, it can be very challenging for players to get through the week or travel home on the holidays to see their families, if their parents don’t have the extra money to send to their sons. The issue became center stage when some players said they can barely afford to eat at times in 2010.
Many argue the players get a full-ride scholarship and that’s enough. Although getting a full-ride covers tuition, books, and housing for athletes it doesn’t cover every expense you have at college. Many college athletes today still leave college in debt. Their debt is less than an average college student, but there are fees they have to pay like everybody else and they can’t work to pay them either.
Many argue it’ll change the amateur landscape of the NCAA game to pay the players, which is true, but the entire landscape of major college football has changed a lot in recent years. First of all the game is played faster than it was 20, 30, 40 years ago. There’s more teams competing at the highest level, more conferences, more bowl games, etc. Finally, there’s more of a business aspect to NCAA football than 40 years ago when it was more about school pride, it’s a business now. Major universities strive on fans to fill their stadiums up and these stadiums are designed to hold more than just students, alumni, and faculty. They’re designed to make money—–a lot of money.
Is it time to change the landscape of NCAA football and pay the players? You be the judge.