NCAA Athletes: Want to Get Paid? Talk to the Guys that Already Do


Okay I’m doing it, I didn’t want to but I am.  As it always is like clockwork, every single year.  March Madness and the NFL Draft share the same window of round the clock coverage and always, like clockwork, the talk of college athletes being paid comes up.  It’s a debate that some could dribble on about for days about (some have).  I’m not going to do that, I’m also not here to pretend that I’m an expert at law or NCAA sanctions or any of that stuff.  To me this is just like every other big time money dispute.  Until it’s dragged into court, nothing amicable or fair is going to happen, ever.  This may sound like I’m a jerk but if I could have a $6 billion operation and somehow pass off those making the money for me as something other than my money making soldiers (like students maybe?).  I would do exactly that and spend a couple hours a day counting my money and figuring out ways to exploit tax loop holes and such.

The NCAA has a unique advantage in this war and one that won’t be broken for quite sometime if you ask me.  Ultimately it’s going to take a “revolution” by a group of players.  Again, I’m not a lawyer, but I’m sure a clever one could come up with a rights violation here. Based on the fact that these athletes cannot earn a fair living since their professional leagues have “banned” them for in basketball’s case one year and football’s case three years from entering their leagues and earning a “fair” wadge in their profession.

Back to the NCAAs advantage, who’s going to take them on?  A bunch of high school grads?  Come on, remember yourself as an 18 year old college freshman?  Even if the 1% banded together that’s a tall order, again, the opponent, makes $6 billion a year the last I heard and trust me, it hasn’t gone down.  What this is going to take is a once in a lifetime talent like Lebron James in high school.  One that is nationally recognized as the next great thing as a HS freshman like Lebron was.  Then he’s going to have to get the top football players and the vast majority of the All-Americans in both sports to band with him.  Then they are going to have to get a few things together.  A big time lawyer team, like the OJ Simpson murder trial team to do some serious pro-bono work.

Most of all, they need the support of the current players in the NFL and NBA to support them.  They need companies like Nike, Adidas, Reebok etc to back them.  You don’t just need money these days to fight capital hill, you need people who have money who work for or represent companies of national prominence, and most of all, make tons of money to back them (and possibly bank roll them at the same time).

Again, tall order.  Who’s going to organize that?  Think Lebron James talent with Tiger Wood’s father.  We’re not there yet, but with technology and the national marketing that has spread to the high school games.  The top young talents in the country are now starting to get to know one another before they are in middle school.  It’s not beyond the realm of possibility to think that someday a group of highly talented, highly motivated young men will find a way (or be lead there by a determined parent(s)) to get something done.  Until that day the debate is just a bunch of pointless dribble because nothings going to be done about it.

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