5 Reasons We are too Critical of College Athletes
If they don't get paid we shouldn't be so harsh
You’re sitting at home in your armchair and you forget the person you are yelling at could only be 18 years old. This person may never have seen this level of competition and probably puked before the game because of nerves. Can you really put that much pressure on a kid? No, you just can’t. Put the pressure on the coach. Put the pressure on the athletic director. Anywhere, but the player. The player gets his criticism from them. Do you really think you know more than the coach? If you do you’re just lying to yourself.
I should probably mention that I am a huge advocate of paying college athletes. The amount of money that comes from some programs is beyond ridiculous. They help create opportunities for the entire school. There is no reason the players shouldn’t get some of that money. Football is a huge topic of discussion because it is the biggest money maker. Of course it’s not just football and other sports shouldn’t suffer because they’re not as popular. All sports add to the image of the school.
I know they are getting some money, but that is not the point. My opinion on the matter is all athletes should get paid the same amount, depending on the level of play. Those that make it to the pros should have to pay that money back. Call it a temporary loan. It’s just more incentive for players not to break the rules that are in place. The NCAA is basically saying that the athletes can’t exploit themselves, but the school can. There is just too much money.
The amount of school swag sold every year is ridiculous. You should see my closet. Over half of my cloths have a sweet WSU Cougars logo on it. I wore it for four years, and still do, rooting for a team that went 9-40 as I shouted "fire Paul Wulff" from the stands. I am not saying this is true for every college alumni, but you’d be hard pressed to find a graduate that doesn’t have at least 1 piece of school flare. This is all money. Most of it does not find its way into the players hands
Players are expected to behave better than NFL players, but yet they don’t get paid like an NFL athlete. It is true that NFL players get fined or suspended for some of their actions. The fine is a slap on the wrist compared to getting kicked off the team or losing a year of eligibility. If we put too much pressure or build these kids up too high, we set them up for failure. I’m not saying don’t cheer for your favorite player. Just treat them like they are people, not like gods, but people who can and will make mistakes.
They Don't Get Paid to Play
Athletes like Reggie Bush broke the rules in college. His Heisman was taken away and the NCAA dropped a bomb on USC. This could have all been avoided and there are many others like him, who got caught, and also many that don't. Ticket sales, boosters, concessions, clothes, or whatever. You name it and the school has found a way to generate revenue from it. The school basically becomes another brand. Yes, these athletes get an education and it is very valuable, but as a graduate myself, the grind never stops. We still have to find a job and most of these athletes are going to go pro in something else besides that sport. Why shouldn’t an athlete enjoy what they have while they have it? They’re probably not going to get paid for it later, why not pay them now?
They Are Basically Forfeiting Their College Experiance
College is about new experiences, education, and growing up. You are out on your own for the first time ever. Athletes are not really on their own. They have the coaches and trainers on their backs like a parent. They don’t get that time to go crazy and make mistakes, because if they do, they might lose everything. Should an athlete get punished when he goes out and has too much fun and gets arrested? Absolutely, but should he lose his livelihood? Probably not, athletes are human beings too. They make mistakes. Growing up is about learning from our mistakes. How can athletes grow up if they are not allowed to make any?
They are Students
Class can be stressful. Some athletes are cut some slack, but for the most part they have to worry about class just as much as the rest of us. It becomes very difficult to worry about a game when you have a test in the morning that is worth 25% of your grade. If you fail you can’t play football, basketball, baseball, or whatever you have given your life to. The pressure is enormous and fans should not add to it. Booing a dropped pass, a missed field goal, or an interception is hard not to do, I have been guilty of this myself, but we can all try a little harder to realize what we are doing before we "boo".
College Sports are Full Time Jobs
Terrelle Pryor tried to make a little money on the side and the NCAA tore him up. He worked hard in college, like most athletes, he tried to make some money he got caught. Most sports require you to practice everyday. You’re exhausted physically, but now you have to go home and finish your paper. By the end of the day, you can barely move and your brain hurts. Don’t forget not every athlete gets a full ride, some have to get jobs on top of all of this, so now you have three different obligations. There is just not enough time in the day to get the job done. Something is going to drop, whether it’s your grades, your performance, or your production at work.
Critisism Can be Crippling to any Young Person
Cam Newton was worshiped in college and he had a great rookie year, but as soon as he has trouble, like in his second year, he crumbles. He can still bounce back, but we have to give him a chance to learn from failure. He didn't that chance in college. Another example in this situation is Ryan Leaf. Although he did not receive too much bad criticism in college. Mostly because while he was there he was the biggest thing to ever happen to Washington State University. He was a god in a small town. He went to the pros and he had never struggled before, and when he did, the media ate him alive. This is what happens when you build a man up so high anything short of greatness is failure. Some athletes, Peyton Manning, live up to their perceived greatness. Leaf did not. He is not the only example of this, but he is one of the biggest busts of all time, so it’s hard not to mention him. .