With Northwestern football recently winning a landmark ruling from the National Labor Relations Board that grants scholarship football players the right to form a union as university employees, the debate has commenced about whether unionization could be good or bad for college football. Two of our writers, Zach Bigalke and Alex Brooks, have divergent opinions on the subject. You can find Zach’s article here.
The Northwestern football organization now has the right to form a union. All of this came about because the players want to be paid for the work that they put out every Saturday during football season. But no matter what they do, there is no way the NCAA will pay them a dime.
If they pay these Northwestern players, then the other colleges will fall in line and do the same. The NCAA would then have to pay every athlete, whether it be for football or tennis. They would also be paid the same amount, because they can’t value one sport higher than another. It wouldn’t be fair, and then the sport getting cheated would take the NCAA to court.
See where this is going? It is a slippery slope that college sports may be headed down if the Northwestern players ask for pay.
So if the Northwestern players get paid, every other college will end up having to pay their athletes. Next comes the part of how much payroll is allocated to each sport. They all have to be equal if the NCAA wants to avoid more lawsuits.
Sticking with football, does this mean that a small football school’s players, such as those at San Diego State, would make the same amount of money as a player for Alabama? We all know that Alabama’s players are better — but does that come into effect? If so, then the NCAA would have to value each player’s stock and pay each based on that valuation.
The quarterback would, for the most part, make the most money, while the guys blocking for him would make much less. I’m not sure about you, but if I were paid less than the guy I’m blocking for I would be pretty upset; I might even “miss” a defensive lineman or two.
The NCAA needs to do something about these athletes rising up to get paid. I want to get money as much as the next guy, but they are getting a free education.
The free education is grossly undervalued in this situation. Most people would kill for a free education, yet these players are treating it like it is nothing. The argument is usually made that “they aren’t there for the education.” If they aren’t there for the education then they must be good enough to go pro, correct? So won’t they get their paydays in time?
And for those who won’t go pro, they just got a free degree. They are starting off their adult lives without massive amounts of debt like the rest of the college students in America. If players are going to just discredit this, then take away sports scholarships.
This is the only way I could see this “paying college players” situation working out. Get rid of the scholarship that these athletes don’t want. Use the money you saved by getting rid of those scholarships, and divide it by the amount of athletes that the school has playing for them. Whatever that number may be is the amount of money that each player will make.
It pays the players, which they apparently want. That is the ONLY possible way that the NCAA and schools should pay the players.
If they get rid of the scholarships, go ahead and pay them. If they keep the scholarships, the players need to suck it up and be happy. Millions of kids would love to play Division 1 sports, including myself, and would do it for free without complaining about it.
The way players should make money is through advertisements, selling memorabilia (including autographs), and making appearances fees.
The NCAA and schools shouldn’t pay the players a dime, but they shouldn’t be allowed to prevent the players from going out and make money off of their fame either. If Johnny football wanted to sell his autograph — and if somebody is willing to pay for it — by all means let him.
The NCAA and schools shouldn’t have the right to a player’s name. If NCAA wants to make sports games again, let them. EA Sports can pay the players whatever amount of money to use their name, number, hometown, etc.
If a car dealership wants to have Andrew Wiggins talk about how great their cars are, and is willing to pay him a thousand bucks or whatever, by all means let the kid make some money. The NCAA’s restriction on this income is equivalent to a college denying an average student from getting a job because it was off campus.
At the end of the day, college is just a stepping stone into life, whether it is to go professional in a sport or to go out and get a job. So let them go EARN money, not just give them it for something for which they are already compensated.