Is the Day Where NCAA Athletes are Paid for Playing a Sport Drawing Near?

By Mike Atkinson

So student-athletes are finally allowed to pursue revenue for their efforts.

While it isn’t exactly pay-for-play yet, it certainly seems like a shift in that direction. I’d like to focus on how this will affect college football specifically.

The idea that we could be drawing close to a day where athletes can receive payment for playing makes me sad, and I’ll tell you why. What makes the game of college football so great compared to other sports is the fact that the students are playing for reasons other than money. It keeps the game competitive and forces the athletes to work as hard as they can.

Since college football players are currently unable to make money playing the game, they know the only way to get the paycheck they are looking for is to perform well enough to make it to the NFL. Those athletes who don’t make it play for the love of the game.

Now, the issue here is allowing student-athletes to receive a cut of the revenue their sport brings in. That sounds nice, but do we really need anything else inflating the heads of these athletes?

Certain athletes already feel as though rules don’t apply to them, yet we wear their jerseys around town and praise their efforts on the field, regardless of what happens away from it. Now we want to allow them to make money off of the game as well? If there is anything else we could give these guys to inflate their egos even more, it’s money.

At what point do these players stop going to class because they are making more than the professors? Obviously that’s an exaggeration, but the idea of students making money to play a varsity sport just rubs me the wrong way.

It’s not necessarily the revenue split that bothers me, as much as the idea of college players one day receiving contracts to play the game. Unfortunately I wonder if we are really that far off from that day. If this ever happens it will ruin college football; here’s why.

When comparing the two levels of play from college to the NFL, one would have to believe that there are times when NFL players are only in it for the money. With contract holdouts becoming more and more prevalent in the NFL we have to ask if this is something we really want to see in college.

Could you imagine a college football player skipping spring drills because he didn’t get the amount of money he felt he was worth? Also, when we pay the football team then we have to pay the basketball team. When we pay the basketball team then we have to pay the baseball team, the gymnastics team, the women’s basketball team, etc. This is a dangerous idea.

Then arguments and lawsuits surface about the amount players can make.

We are not at this point yet, but the time could be coming.

Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeAtkinsonRS or visit his Rant Sports Author Page.

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