• College football, agents, and…the devil.

    No, I’m kidding. I won’t be talking about the devil. Unless you consider agents devilish, which in some ways I do.

    For a long time, I was completely against college football. This was mostly due to my experience in college with college football players. Most of whom are less than smart, lazy and disruptive in class, and get away with murder simply because they play football. As a person who was in college to get an EDUCATION, I was understandably frustrated at having to deal with these assholes in my classes.

    Obviously, not all college football players are stupid. Nor are all of them lazy and disruptive in class. But my experience was that the majority of them were those things. Plus, the only full tuition + room and board scholarships my college offered were to athletes, predominantly those who played football. As an academic, you could receive a full tuition scholarship, but you were on your own for room and board.

    I should mention here that my university? SUCKS AT FOOTBALL. Or at least, they did while I was there, and had for about 20 years prior to my attendance. And why, you ask, did they suck so much at football? Oh, that would be because they CHEATED and were awarded the harshest punishment pretty much in the history of college football.

    The cheating? Paying the players. There have been scandals and scandals about paying college football players. The worst of it is when the agents sneak payments (in any form) to college football players, in order to secure a debt to them in the future.

    In my opinion, this is complete bullshit. It’s taking advantage of kids who are barely old enough to vote, some of whom are incredibly poor.

    And who gets punished? The kids.

    If you’re in college and it’s been your dream to play football because your family has nothing and you see it as a way to make something of yourself and provide for your family, do you think it’s really acceptable for some manipulative agent to dangle a car in front of your face? And then you’re expected to turn it down. If you don’t? The consequences are serious.

    But not for the agent, who knowingly engaged you in questionable activity.

    I was always against college players receiving pay for playing sports. Until I talked to my Aunt Dana, who played basketball in college. She said that when you’re a college athlete, you’re expected to practice at least several hours everyday. There’s no time for you to have a job. You’re up early, you have class, you (theoretically) have to study, then you go to practice. In what time are you supposed to work, too?

    She makes a good point.

    Especially if you come from a family who has little. Yes, you’re probably at school on scholarship, so your room and board and meals are paid for, but what about spending money? What about your car (if you have one) or sending money home to your family?

    College football players make tons of money for their universities. Probably more than most other sports, depending on the university. Of course, I don’t like it when they use this as an excuse to cut women’s sports funding, but facts are facts.

    Why not pay them?

    No, I’m not suggesting we open up the chasm and allow agents and NFL teams to pay them. But why not pay them SOMETHING? Why not, as part of their tuition, give them a monthly stipend for spending money, across the board? Schools are raising tuition for all kinds of other reasons, this would probably be only a drop in that bucket, if it needed to be done at all.

    And not just football players. All college athletes.

    Moreover, let’s start punishing the agents who try to manipulate our college players. If you offer a college kid money to play? You can’t do any NFL scouting for a year. Something like that?

    The problem, of course, lies in catching them in the act. It’s hard to prove, and usually it’s only the players who get caught and punished. Grossly unfair, in my opinion.

    There must be a solution, though. I say we find one.

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