Sports are about getting a competitive advantage over your opponent. Getting a competitive edge can mean many things. Training faster, longer and harder can help. Studying film, the playbook or the course can help you get to know the opponent.
There are honest ways of getting an edge, and there are dishonest ways of getting an edge. College sports are going down a dishonest slippery slope that I am not sure it can climb out of.
College athletes dream of becoming pros and making millions of dollars. They are impatient and want to be rewarded for their hard work and talent skills now, in college, instead of waiting to get those big paychecks in the pros.
There have been many allegations and examples of athletes taking money or gifts. Bribery has no bounds in college sports, ranging from the West Coast with USC’s Reggie Bush, to the South’s allegations of Cam Newton and Mississippi State, to the Midwest where recently Ohio State’s Terrelle Pryor has been making headlines.
Is there any solution to college athletes taking money or gifts from boosters to attend their college instead of somewhere else?
Yes. Take away what these college athletes dream of all their life, and they will stop accepting bribes and money. Take away their chance to play professional sports. It would be one of the harshest penalties in sports, but it would work with the help of the pro leagues like the NFL and NBA.
If a college athlete is caught accepting gifts or amounts of money, then they should be banned from their future professional leagues. These athletes wouldn’t think about accepting money if there is a chance of them being banned from the big leagues.
It would save headaches for professional team’s public relations. Instead of focusing on how to have Reggie Bush talk about giving back his Heisman Trophy, they could be focusing on another issue.
There will always be superstars in pro leagues, whether they were superstars in college or not. If this ban went into effect, it certainly wouldn’t deplete the talent pool of the pros.
This would make competitive advantages in terms of players choosing their college based on tradition, championships and academics, instead of which college can offer them the most money. College athletes would focus on the present, instead of focusing on the boosters' presents.