In Response to OJ Mayo Debacle, What Can Be Done to Improve College Athletics?

Luke MillerCorrespondent IMay 12, 2008

The recent news about two former USC Trojans receiving benefits from agents has brought the issue to the forefront.  The question now is what can we do about it?

First, we have to decide if it's even important.  I don't know the details of the OJ Mayo or the Reggie Bush case.  Often, where there's smoke, there's fire, but I don't know for sure exactly what, if anything, they got outside of NCAA regulations.

I do know that NCAA regulations become an issue if a father coaches his son.  The son, as a player receives housing, money, food, and other benefits from the father, as a coach.  This was a case actually considered by the NCAA!  They considered fining the school and the coach because he took care of his son!  

That's ridiculous, so when rules like that are broken, it's not a big deal to me.  Most NCAA regulations border on craziness anyway, so they don't really concern me.

Should we just outright pay college athletes?  No, they already get paid.  If you think a college athlete on scholarship ever has to pay for any necessities, you are mistaken.  They get everything paid for.  All they have to do is have the patience to wait on extras until they go pro. 

However, these are young, impressionable men.  Most 18-22 year olds I know don't always make wise choices.  If they are guided by selfish agents and money-hungry parents, bad decisions will be made. 

There are a lot of factors in these situations. 

Yes, the kids have to take some blame. 

Yes, the rules are stupid.

Yes, they will be influenced by bad, money-hungry people.

Yes, they already get a lot for free.

However, in my opinion, it's not really important.  Sports is a big money business, and no one will be totally clean.  It's not that important to me.  I already know it's all about money.  As long as the agents don't buy drugs and hookers for the kids, I think I'm okay with it.