I can't believe college sports have come to the point of debating whether or not the athletes should be paid! In my head, its a no-brainer. NO WAY!
Most are scholarship athletes who are given what they need by the university—whether that's food, housing or even clothing. Plus, the argument isn't a fair one. When we talk about paying athletes, no one is talking about paying the lacrosse player who spends countless hours practicing or the swimmer who is the best at what they do.
Rather, we are talking about basketball players and football players exclusively.
It seems that these conversations have been ramped up because of bad behavior by players, universities, boosters and other shady characters. But the talk of how to properly pay players is even harder to put together. While no one is going to mistake me for a math major (my lack of math skills is partly while I studied journalism in school) I have a simple but effective plan to pay them.
Let's break it down in these simple, hypothetical terms.
The NCAA should allow these football players and basketball players to earn money through endorsements, merchandise and autograph signings up to $10,000 dollars every academic year. However, all the money would not be directly pocketed by the athlete. I'm thinking of a setup something like this:
Player- 20 percent
The university- 25 percent
NCAA- 30 percent
Other sports at the university- 25 percent
Now, no one can complain that these athletes aren't getting compensation to play. Plus, they are helping out their fellow athletes, like the lacrosse player who likely won't get a lucrative endorsement deal.
Also, I would implement a zero-tolerance policy within the NCAA that if you are given any type of benefit from booster, you are immediately banned from collegiate athletics for life. You are also responsible for paying back the sum of the gifts and benefits to the NCAA. Everyone should be held accountable.
I really wish this wasn't a topic for debate. That we could go back to the days where college athletes were just happy to be playing, and schools weren't turning blind eyes to the corruption in order to rake in the dough.
But we seem to be past those days, so plans like this may one day have to be implemented.