Real change feels inevitable for college football

Before you start dropping comments pointing out that this item has nothing to do with pro football, anything that globally affects pro football’s minor league system could affect, one way or another, pro football.

And it’s hard not to think that serious, profound, and fundamental changes are coming to college football.

The epiphany came during my Friday morning segment with Joe Rose of WQAM in Miami.  The conversation turned to Terrelle Pryor and then college football and then the possible changing of the rules, and while talking through the issues with Joe it all started to make sense.

So one of my weekend projects, if I choose to accept it, will be to reduce to writing down some of the various thoughts that emerged while talking to Joe, and to assess how this could all affect the NFL.

For now, you can listen to the segment with Joe Rose for a preview.  Or if I ultimately choose not to accept this self-imposed homework assignment.

22 responses to “Real change feels inevitable for college football

  1. I do not know why I clicked that link and listened to that interview. Now I feel dirty.

    Are you really trying to float the idea that a university has no costs with athletes and they are basically getting nothing for playing? Each university has a total amount of costs and that amount is spread out over the students. Your premise is, you can add an athlete to the class with no extra cost. Sure, you can also add a straight A science student to that class as well.

    The difference is, that straight A science student will be much less likely to need tutors and special help. It is very unlikely he will get the benefit of high level coaching in his sport since his “high level” sport is his education, a benefit already offered and the reason the university is there.

    Science student training staffs? Nope. Special training facilities for science students? No extra ones because they can dissect a frog faster.

    While the university can add another student to a class, why should they do it for an athlete over someone more academically qualified? The athlete’s skill in a sport gets him a chance at a very expensive education.

    If you think that those educations are so easy to come by, I have one son in college and another entering soon, I can give you the address for you to send the check, or maybe you can call the university and explain it is just one more seat in a room.

  2. Seem to be a lot of drama associated with West Virginia football these days…lol. Of course, no mention of that on this site. They are planning to fire the head football coach because he is trying to dig up dirt on his replacement? Is digging up dirt on other people a major at WVU? ^O^

  3. They need to change the rules about draft eligibility for one thing. When Mo Clarett petitioned the NFL to make himself eligible for the draft, Ryan Kesler, who currently plays in the NHL for the Vancouver Canucks was a fellow student athlete. Kesler was about a year younger than Clarett at the time, but he was drafted without controversy into the NHL at 18, and signed a huge contract before he was 20. Two star athletes in their respective sports at the same school at the same time, entirely different set of rules AND OUTCOME.

    If people pay to watch minor league hockey and baseball they most certainly pay to watch minor league football with players like Terrelle Pryor, Malcom Floyd, Robert Quinn, Marvin Austin, Greg Little, Jon Baldwin, etc. on display.

  4. tmc4real says:
    Jun 10, 2011 6:55 PM
    If you think that those educations are so easy to come by, I have one son in college and another entering soon, I can give you the address for you to send the check, or maybe you can call the university and explain it is just one more seat in a room.

    The universe doesn’t revolve around you, your children, and your family’s collective situation.

    The players bring in a lot more money than the worth of a scholarship. Unlike your children the players are not allowed to have jobs, not allowed to accept gifts, and endure the demands of College Football, which is a full-time, unpaid job.

    Tell me, tmc4real- do your children have full-time, unpaid jobs to tend to as they earn their degrees?

  5. But they are getting paid.

    The average 4-year College Scholarship in the US comes in at around $8,000 per year.

    They get that free, along with a free gym membership and free medical services. And because the NFL recruits from college football, each player is technically speaking receiving a free apprenticeship in being a football player.

    All in return for playing football for the College team.

  6. Here is the thing, colleges have grown to be incredibly diverse business institutions that now offer more than merely an education. For a potential athlete, college is they best place to go if you want to become a pro athlete. They have the best coaching staffs, trainers and most importantly, exposure.

    Going overseas is a crap shoot and frankly, probably pretty scary for a 18 year old and his parents. To go to a foreign country where they may not speak english and have inferior resources is taking an unnecessary risk.

    Some of these players are students, but the truly elite ones are not. All they are concerned about is becoming a pro athlete. So instead of playing this charade, why not just give them money? Everyone wins. The athletes get money, the programs get to continue reaping money from a pro athlete training system that they smartly created and the fans get the benefit of playing college sports games with the actual athlete’s names and they don’t have to deal with silly things like Reggie Bush technically not existing according to the NCAA.

  7. @endzonezombie …

    The travails of West Virginia have been covered at length on the college site. Why would you expect them to be covered here? This is PRO football talk. 🙄

  8. Change is coming to college football because the justice system is going to require it. The Justice Department is going after the BCS, and class action suits have been filed on behalf of players who were forced as teenagers to sign away the rights to their names and images throughout eternity so colleges could continue reaping $$$$ on them long after they’re pumping gas and working at Mickey D’s.

    I’m not sure what else is going to come of it, but one way or another, we’re going to get a playoff tournament. Those kids are going to get a cut of their own merchandising. And I hope they’ll get some sort of salary/stipend to cover their day-to-day expenses.

  9. Tommyf15:

    An education worth 100k is far from no pay. However your point is 100% correct in this being about money being made off of these students. It is important to also look at smaller programs who don’t generate as much and all of the “busts” in college scholarships. I think to keep college football a tradition based team, collective more than individual sport, and competitive balance the scholarship compensation should stay. What I find ridiculous is the off field rules. A high profile student athlete should be allowed to earn money via endorsements, commercials, and marketing which to me is not even arguable, I also advocate agency contracts which is certainly much more debatable. To me it’s a players career and if someone wants to pay him while he’s in school for the right to represent him when he leaves, he should be free to make that decision and earn his money. It’s the best way to minimize the risk of loss due to injury at the collegiate level and allow the big time stars to still make big time money without impacting tuition costs, the ability of small schools to attract talent, and not completely changing the landscape of college football. Basically olympic rules. Feel free to respond to me, I enjoy debate on this topic.

  10. Just to clear up this myth, only 14 schools made a profit off athletics. So most schools are not making money off these kids.

    These kids do get paid though. Even if you want to call college football a job (which is being pretty one sided, but fine) they still get paid (in tuition cost alone) well above minimum wage.

    Also, schools do not draw in more or smarter kids because of sports according to an NCAA study.

    If colleges were to pay student athletes, they couldn’t just pay the really good football players (Title IX).

    There should be more rules in place to protect college athletes who actually want to get a degree, or if they get injured. But paying the players is a stupid idea.

  11. I have posted before and once again that when you talk about changes in college football or basketball you have to remember
    Title IX. You pay football or baskeball players in college you will also have to pay all people in all sports or drop the sport.

  12. “But they are getting paid.
    The average 4-year College Scholarship in the US comes in at around $8,000 per year.
    They get that free, along with a free gym membership and free medical services. And because the NFL recruits from college football, each player is technically speaking receiving a free apprenticeship in being a football player.
    All in return for playing football for the College team.”

    Don’t forget about the girls. They get lots of girls they wouldn’t get if they didn’t play on the team. That is a FACT.

  13. I listen to you and Joe every Friday at 8:00 AM. You always entertain me on my way to work. I hate to think that Joe Rose provided you with an epiphany on anything. (Just Kidding)

    I hope that you will ponder the manner in which college sports has been subjected to NCAA neglect. The NCAA has an obligation to both the student athlete and the fan to maintain high standards of conduct as well as display leadership within college sports. The NCAA looks the other way when teams that make conferences lots of money do bad things. Fans are your best policemen, yet the NCAA treats these sources of intelligence as whistle blowers. They need an active investigative arm not a passive one.

    Their unholy alliance with bowls and the BCS does not help either. All NCAA tournaments should be handled in the same way for all divisions. I don’t have a problem in allowing Bowls to bid for tournament games but the playoffs should be the same for all divisions.

    Conference champions must be included equally. Since there may not be 16 conferences, I don’t have a problem with playing some games to determine who can be added to fill out the tournament. (best of the top 20 non conference champion teams)

    I feel sad for student athletes who have become so jaded by the sleazy reality of college sports that they have lost sight of civil behavior all together.

  14. Let the players take loans based on future income. If the kid is a stud that will make it big, let him mortgage his future.

  15. A college education–no matter what its financial value–isn’t worth anything to a kid who’s had no college prep and isn’t intellectually or academically ready to take advantage of it. A lot of these players have been advanced throughout their careers because of their athletic prowess. They haven’t been required or encouraged to develop academically–and in some cases, they’ve actually been discouraged from learning because it takes time away from practice. The adults around them who profit from their athletic skill exploit what is useful for their needs, not for the kids. And most of these kids never see a pro contract, or if they do, they are cut before the end of their rookie season and left with nothing … no football career and no usable education.

    And as for Title IX, of course I support women’s athletics. But I don’t support requiring these young football players to pay for the entire roster of sports programs at their universities while they walk away without compensation, without a cut of the merchandising of their jerseys and game DVDs, and without a marketable education. The other athletes aren’t carrying the school on their backs.

  16. College football players don’t have to be “paid” for playing, but they should be paid for their likenesses being used in video games and in promotional materials. Use the EA Sports money and create a little pot for everyone in 1-A Football and Men’s Basketball. Divide it up amongst the players and give everyone 10,000 dollars a year or so. If someone put you in a video game wouldn’t you want to be compensated for it.

    Players should also be allowed to sign autographs for cash and sell their jerseys. It’s already going on, why not just accept it. These kids are not going to school for an education they are going to play football and basketball.

    The universities make millions of dollars off of “student athletes,” you as a taxpayer are not subsidizing big time college athletics in any way.

  17. @sportsinhd …

    Exactly! That $10,000 a year or so stipend is what I mean by compensation–just some walking around money and getting a cut on merchandising of their own names and images.

    I wanted a college player’s jersey for Christmas. Unfortunately, the NCAA won’t allow player names on jerseys because that would weaken their position in court. But the reason that number is a big seller is because it belonged to that player. I could have gotten a bootleg jersey with his name on it–for five times the cost of the official jersey. It would make more sense for the NCAA to sell jersey with the player’s name and give him a cut.

  18. Deb

    I totally agree. In fact I believe the Olympic model is the best framework, or better yet, foundation to build a working college structure. Basically, the Olympic structure allows players to be paid for all off field money making activities but regulates countries paying for players by not allowing players to be paid for playing. Someone please argue the opposing side to this as I am waiting to here the other side of this argument. To me it makes perfect sense.

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