Why College Football Players Should Not Get Paid To Play

Lisa HornePac-12 and Big 12 Lead WriterOctober 4, 2008

We've heard the arguments a million times. Football players make schools a ton of money and should be able to reap some of the rewards. Players are risking permanent injury by playing for free. Players are being used.

Blah blah blah.

Apparently, the gift of a free education is not considered enough anymore. Fine. But it's not just that five-year full ride the players get. It's all of the other stuff.

Free food. Any of you naysayers want to pony up the dough to feed an offensive lineman for a week? And it has to be healthy too. That's at least 500 bucks a month.

Free insurance. It costs approximately 400 bucks a month per person for decent insurance. Multiply that by 85 scholarshipped players...per month. Gulp.

Free publicity. Just how much is it worth to have ESPN talk about your team every week? To show your mug? Your stats? Think an agent can do better? For free?

Parental mentoring. Some of these players come from single-mom households, with no paternal influence in their life. How much is finally having a father-figure in your life worth?

Housing allowance. I know a few hundred thousand families who foreclosed on their homes might be thinking you got it pretty sweet. Live in a dorm and it's free. Act spoiled and want to live on your own? You still get a monthly stipend/allowance for that.

Free travel. I wonder how many kids who live in a small town ever will have the chance again to travel to California, Florida, Hawai'i or other beautiful spots. For free.

Travel costs. Ding, ding, ding. This is a killer, even for big programs. The cost for buying food, hotel rooms and such is a nightmare for teams on the road. The players never have to look at a bill. The school eats it all up.

The bill for Ohio State's trip to Los Angeles was $346,000. Over 24k was due to fuel surcharges. With most commercial airlines dinging you for a second bag and excessive weight, can anyone even imagine what those charges were? All that equipment? All that excess weight? Ohio State had to charter two planes. One was not enough.

The cost for NCAA football teams to travel for the '07-'08 season was 42.6 million dollars. Grasp that. Just for travel.

Universities and colleges spent over 42 mil to pay for players who, except for an elite couple hundred, will never set foot on the gridiron again. And they want to get paid???

Don't they get enough already? Can we stop future Divas-in-the-making now?

Only a small percentage of all active players actually make it in the NFL. Why should a perennial third stringer get paid to sit on a bench? Should Matt Cassel have been paid while at USC? He never started a game but is now starting QB for the Pats.

Maybe, just maybe, these student-athletes could cut down their expenses a bit. Maybe stop buying iphones, ipods, laptops, diamond studs, Sirius radio, GPS devices and expensive cars.

Stop paying for $5 beers at nightclubs and then getting into trouble which may require the school to hire you a $350 dollar an hour lawyer to defend you in a civil suit.

Study, instead of paying tutors to do your work for you.

Last time I checked, the student came before athlete. Student-athlete.

Respect that. And get that degree. Ask Gino Torretta or Jason White how important that is—two Heisman winners who actually had to go out into the real world and get real jobs.

Players need to start showing up and playing and instead of thinking they can coast through the games and land an NFL gig. The odds are against you.

Whether you make it there or not, make sure and send a thank you note to the school who gave you unlimited opportunities. A school that spent at least a million on you, the bench warmer, to represent the school. They are already paying you.

Don't stare a gift horse in the mouth. Just keep your mouth shut, study, and play.