Do CFB Players Deserve Academic Course Credit for Their Time on Field?

Carl StineCorrespondent IMay 6, 2013

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 01:  Defensive end Jadeveon Clowney #7 of the South Carolina Gamecocks rushes up field during a 33 - 28  victory against the Michigan Wolverines in the Outback Bowl January 1, 2013 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

There are plenty of articles that have been written about college football players and whether they should be paid for their talents on the field.

Heck, even Steve Spurrier, in light of the SEC's recent lucrative television contract, suggested that some of the revenue should be given to players.

But what about the academic side of that coin?

As pointed out by Bill Speros in his excellent piece about college football stars and their classes, the stereotype that has been perpetuated that athletes don't care about education is flat-out false. That doesn't mean that they are all model students, but consider the time requirements and dedication these players show to the football program.

College football players participate all offseason in "voluntary" workouts. They spend a month in the spring and another in the fall hitting the field for two-a-days.

And during the season, there is travel, much time and plenty of work involved in being successful on the football field.

As a matter of fact, football is the thing to which players dedicate more time than any other pursuit at their institution of higher learning.

So shouldn't they receive some credit for that time?

As it stands, universities and the NCAA like to try and ignore the reason players are at the schools in the first place, continuing to place emphasis on the student part of the term student-athlete. Meanwhile, everybody in the world knows that these kids are athletes first, and always will be.

Like it or not, that's the case.

So instead of acting like they don't know why big-time college athletes are on campus, colleges and universities should give them more academic credit for the time they spend bringing in revenue for their schools.

Most players currently earn one credit hour by participating in football.

That's pathetic. These guys are involved in team meetings, workouts, practice, film sessions, position meetings, not to mention the hours spent on weekends traveling and participating the actual games. The time commitment involved in playing not just football, but any college sport, is more than many professionals commit to their jobs.

The business of major college sports is what it is. Football makes money, so it thrives, and players continue to play and represent a "brand," the name of their program.

It's time these institutions started showing a little love for the players by giving them more credit for their time.

Nothing ridiculous, but maybe three credit hours per semester would be a start—or even four. Just something for their time.

And let's not start on the "They already get a free education" nonsense.

How much time does anybody like to give away for free to a career? None, you say?

Then quit asking college kids to do it. Give the players a little more academic credit. It's not going to hurt anyone and would help lighten the academic load a little bit.