We have heard the argument a million times when it comes to whether or not college football players should be paid.
But what about the students and the jobs they can hold?
Students aren't often thanked for the success of the football program, but there are plenty of ways they help contribute. It may be on a much smaller scale when you compare their contributions to somebody on the coaching staff, but everybody plays some part in making sure everything gets accomplished at the highest level.
Whether you are calling the plays or cleaning up after the stadium empties, students should be appreciated for the job they do.
Here are some of the best jobs a college student can have that help contribute to the college football team.
Post-game cleaning crew is exactly what it sounds like. You are expected to help clean the stadium after everybody leaves and the game is over with.
This isn't exactly the best job in the world. Think about how most treat a movie theater, and then times that mess by several thousand. There is popcorn, sticky wrappers, peanuts and empty cups everywhere. Oh, and make sure to watch for that bubble gum stuck to that ground right in front of you.
Cleaning up after nearly 100,000 people can't be fun, but there are plenty of people out there that would take this job if you would like to keep complaining.
So, grab your broom and dustpan and get to cleaning row after daunting row.
Team manager is a much better job if you are somebody who would actually like to be involved with the team. Often up close and personal with the players and coaches, you are responsible for all of the dirty work as a team manager. Don't worry, there is no picking up trash when it comes to this job.
Instead, a team manager makes sure everything is set up for practice before the players even arrive out on the field. They get there before everybody and are often the last one to leave. Team managers unlock the gates, open the equipment sheds and get everything set up from the yard markers to the pylons so the coaches don’t have to do it.
This is probably one of the tougher tasks a student can have, and it doesn't come with a lot of recognition. However, unless you are a coach or a team trainer, this is as close as you can get to having an impact on the team itself.
The pep squad leader has a bunch of responsibilities.
Instead of just arriving and doing what the rest of the members have to do, the leader is almost like a second coach and does a lot of the work behind the scenes.
Some of this would include scheduling the practices, making almost any and every big decision and keeping the peace if things ever get out of hand with certain members. On top of all that, the leader is also responsible for calling and preparing the cheers at each and every game. It would seem like the leader of the pep squad does more than the actual coach.
While this may be the case in certain situations, at least it doesn't involve picking up garbage, and it's hard to complain when you are surrounded by many beautiful women every day.
Team trainers are pretty much the same as athletic trainers. Often students looking for a future in the medical field, they are responsible for making sure the athletes are ready to play and are in tip-top shape.
These trainers can participate in physical therapy to players recovering from injuries, can help treat minor injuries after plays and can even recommended diets and exercises to certain players who need to get in better shape.
Having this title does not make you Dr. James Andrews. It does, however, allow you to be close to the team and play a solid role in the team’s success.
If you are looking to become a college football coach, taking the route of graduate assistant is your first logical step. Just look at some of your favorite head coaches' resumes, and there is a good chance majority of them started off with this position.
The graduate assistant is similar to an actual coach, but he doesn't receive anywhere close to those hefty contracts. He also doesn't end up on television as much and, nobody is interested in interviewing him. However, the graduate assistant works with the players, helps prep the scout team for upcoming events and can even participate in making sure some of the smaller positions (long snapper or place holders) are ready for game day.
The graduate assistant is basically a coach in training, and landing this job sets you on the right path to success if that is the journey you would like to take. If you have further interest in this position, Amy Daughters of Bleacher Report did a more extensive breakdown of what exactly life is like for a graduate assistant.
Becoming a marketing intern is a lot of hard work that helps keep the school's name buzzing.
As an intern you are responsible for coming up with marketing strategies that help promote the school. You can assist with getting the brand and the logo out there. There is also a chance you could help put together a Heisman campaign video like the USC Trojans did last season for wide receiver Marqise Lee.
In today's college football world where media is so big and social networks are everywhere, marketing has become much easier and is an even bigger necessity. With recruiting taking off and kids wanting to play for the popular and trendy school, the marketing team must play a strong role in helping out in this department.
Event workers are people who work in the event management department. The list of jobs and responsibilities can include various things, and all of them have a role in making sure everything runs smoothly during the games.
In this department you could be somebody who hands out stat sheets during the game. You could become an usher that helps the crazy college football fan find his seat. Just remind him to watch out for the gum that is sticking to the ground.
This also includes working in the promotion department, where students are responsible for getting people to sign up for contests. There is also a chance you could become the lucky guy who gets to fire off the t-shirt cannon into the crowd.
You have to imagine that working in the event management department is a lot of fun.
Can the tutors receive any love?
We are seeing more and more college football players forced to go the JUCO route because their grades aren't good enough to play at the big boy level. Even though players have made the team and are playing at a quality school, those grades must maintain a certain level or there will be trouble.
Tutors, for the most part, have it made because you get to pick your own schedule and usually are the one that decides where to meet up. It is also a chance for you to show off how smart you really are as you try and teach the star running back how to breakdown an impossible algebra problem.
Players are still students at the end of the day, and I'm sure more than a handful of tutors are responsible for keeping some of the key players on the team at some point.
If you have a passion for film or television, being able to work with the video department during the games would be a dream come true. Good news is that some schools do allow students to work during the games and pickup valuable experience as a videographer or cameraman while the action is happening.
Even if you have little interest in cameras and filming, having this job sure beats many of the others on the list.
Being able to see the game up close and knowing that you are responsible for what others are seeing has to be a neat feeling. This job can't be easy and it has to include a lot of pressure, but this is easily one of the cooler jobs a student can have.
If you weren't athletic enough to make the team and lacked the facial features to become a cheerleader, you can dress up in a costume and become the mascot of the team.
Seriously, how awesome would that be?
Being a mascot takes a ton of work, as many tryout, but you can count on one hand how many actually land the job. There are usually about three to four students that earn the role, and it takes a special person to be able to entertain the crowd dressed up as a duck.
The benefits of having this job are that you do get to entertain people, you get to travel with the team and you have one of the best seats in the house at every major event.
It could really be a lot worse than this.
This is a job that usually is only offered at some of the smaller schools. Programs such as Alabama, Oregon, Texas and many others are constantly on major television to the point it doesn't allow students to become a play-by-play announcer. Instead, those games are done by guys from CBS or ESPN on a weekly basis.
Still, some schools allow students to announce the starting lineups and do the introductions, while some are even lucky enough to call the plays as they are happening. Every sports fan in the world has wanted to have this job at some point, and if you are like me, you have actually practiced your catch phrases in the mirror.
Being able to hold this job for a few years not only puts you ahead of the ball game in the communications field, but it makes a dream come true for any sports fan.
Nope. A journalist at the college level won't receive the attention Erin Andrews does, but writing for the school paper and covering games is the best it can get for an aspiring journalist looking to make a career out of sports writing.
Everybody who watches sports has an opinion, and there is nothing better in the world than being paid to voice that opinion. Even if you are not being paid from the school and writing simply for experience, having a major outlet such as the entire school is worth scribbling a few thousand words about the team.
Not only do journalists get to voice their thoughts, but they also get to attend the games, get up close to the players and become somewhat of a star on campus.
If your goal is to become a journalist, doing something for your school is a brilliant start to help get your career off the ground.