Creating a Bill of Rights for College Football Players

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Creating a Bill of Rights for College Football Players
USA TODAY Sports

Not only will Dec. 15, 2013, mark the official end of the college football regular season—Army and Navy square off on the 14th—it is the 222nd anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights.

In the words of the History Channel (not quite on air yet in 1791), our nation’s 10-amendment Bill of Rights was “designed to protect the basic rights of U.S. citizens.”

The original version of the U.S. Constitution, which went into effect in 1789, didn’t protect individuals' “basic political rights,” making the amendments necessary to what has proven to be a comprehensive document.

In much the same way, modern college football is a pretty sweet setup, but it’s a scheme that has not done much in the way of protecting the liberties of the many athletes.

While college football players are safeguarded generally by the overall plan, there are gaps in coverage that leave the guys who provide the talent—at no charge to a multibillion dollar industry—exposed to unjust treatment on an individual basis.

So, what lofty words would James Madison (the first author of the nation’s Bill of Rights) conjure up in defense of the sacred individual rights of college football players?

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