Pay for play: Good for college football?
Published: Sunday, January 9, 2011
Updated: Sunday, January 9, 2011 21:01
EA Sports' NCAA Football video game series has an addicting feature in the game called "Dynasty Mode," which lets you go through a mock recruiting process. Too bad there isn't an option to let you pay players, because that would make the game a lot more realistic.
Naturally, most college football fans frown upon players getting paid, saying that it destroys the integrity of the game and makes it unfair for schools that have small financial endowments.
I think that paying players could actually be beneficial for the game.
I remember reading an article a while back in Sports Illustrated about Josh Luchs, a former NFL agent who paid players in hopes of becoming their agent. Luchs said it was how the "agent business really worked," and that most players receive some type of payment throughout their college careers, especially if they're NFL bound.
College football isn't what it used to be. An integrity-based game that offers players a chance to earn a free education has turned into a multi-million dollar business. The recruitment process, which in the pre-SMU "death penalty" era was a chess-match between programs, has turned into a battle of boosters on who can offer the bigger cash payout.
If the NCAA allowed universities to give their players monthly or weekly payments (they certainly can afford to do so), it would severely reduce the amount of cash payments and illegal benefits received from agents and boosters. I'm not saying to pay college football players millions of dollars like NFL players, but they deserve a piece of the pie.
I think that universities should be able to pay their players an equal amount, and give performance-based bonuses to their star players (such as an increase in pay if they receive all-conference or All-America honors).
Football players, who have no time to work a job because of extremely busy schedules between school, football practice and gamedays, wouldn't have to stress anymore over money. Most of the players who come from poor backgrounds would be a support-system for their family.
Lastly, it could possibly prevent players from leaving school early to enter the NFL draft because they need money. Too many juniors in college football do this now and, with the exception of the elite players, get drafted in the mid or late rounds.
With the addition of an NFL rookie wage-scale soon to be in place, rookies drafted in the later rounds wouldn't be making much more than six-figures a season. If players were getting paid in college football, maybe these players would stick around another year to earn their degree.
Player payments might actually restore integrity in college football.