I am very happy right now that the "Pay to Play" bill is getting closer and closer to becoming the law. It is about damn time that these kids get to benefit off their likeness and jersey sales in college sports. I wrote, maybe a week or so ago, how I have totally flipped to the side that these kids deserve some kind of compensation, outside of a scholarship. The money that the schools, and coaches make off the superstar players on their teams is insane, and the fact that the player sees no kind of return, well it is asinine.
My wife and I talked about this very subject the other night, and she actually disagreed with me, saying that a scholarship was enough for the star players because soon they would be making a fortune. I countered with the fact that some of the highest paid employees in certain states are coaches, usually of the football teams. She did not know that. I know that Jim Harbaugh is the highest paid employee in Michigan. The same can be said for Nick Saban and Alabama. I wouldn't even be shocked if guys like Jeremy Pruitt and Willie Taggart are the highest paid employees in Tennessee and Florida, and they are coaches of struggling football teams.
All of this is to say, if the coaches, their staffs and the university, and the NCAA, can profit millions upon millions upon millions of dollars, why can't the kids bringing in the profits see a dime? That is why I am all for the "Pay to Play" act. This makes me so happy. I love that California has already passed it. I think Florida has as well. I know places like Ohio and New York are in the process of getting this passed as well. And it is about damn time.
I am going to go back to some of the players I mentioned from my first article. And while my wife isn't wrong, Chris Webber and Zion Williamson are set for life now, the fact that they got nothing in college, and the school and coaches got millions, is sickening. I want to go back to the UNC-Duke game from last year, the one Obama was in attendance for. The tickets were upwards of 10,000 dollars, everywhere you looked , people had Duke jerseys with the number 1 on the back, Williamson's number and there were so many branded shirts in the crowd for both schools. But, the 10 players on the floor, most notably Zion, got none of the money. People, random students, were wearing his jersey, and he didn't see a dollar. Same thing goes for Webber at Michigan. He would go into the bookstore at school, see his number 4 jersey for sale for upwards of 60 bucks, and he could barely afford a meal at McDonald's. That is criminal. And, it isn't like these kids can get a job in the offseason. Their sport is essentially their job in college. One, I think it is against the rules for an athlete to have a job, and second, they have no time. I had a friend that played division 1-AA football, and he never had an offseason. During football season, he was up at 5 for a morning practice, then off to class all day, then back in the afternoon for a practice, then film study, then study hall, then lights out. This was all year long in fact. Even when football was over, he still had weight training, study hall, film sessions and anything else that the football team needed him to do. He didn't have time for a job. And this was 1-AA football. So, just imagine what the top flight, top prospects have to go through in D-1. It has to be insane. I'm sure a guy like Jerry Jeudy from Alabama, a top flight receiving prospect, and one of the top prospects in the nation, has zero time to focus on anything other than football. Yet, he has been at Alabama for three years, people wear his jersey in the stands and he sees nothing from it. He has to deal with a curmudgeon of a head coach, who is making money hand over fist. He has a university that is throwing him out there to promote Alabama football, from which they make tons of money. And he just has to sit back and accept that he has to wait until the NFL draft before he can make any money. That is so wrong. And Jeudy is just one of the many prospects, across all major sports at big time schools, that is being unfairly kept away from profiting off their name and image.
Point is, I'm fully on board with guys like Draymond Green and Richard Sherman. I hope this destroys the corrupt and immoral NCAA, and I love college sports. But, it is high time that these kids, who are being put on national TV, having their jerseys being sold, having to talk to media members and being portrayed as bastions to their university get some compensation. Tim Tebow is an idiot and the people who think a scholarship is enough are wrong. Too many student athletes have been taken advantage of for far too long, and it seems like their time may finally be coming. I know if either one of my kids ends up playing a sport in college, and they are good enough that people buy anything with their likeness, name or face on it, I would want them to see a share of that money.
Lets hope the "Pay to Play" act is the wave of the future needed in college sports. I fully support this law.
Ty is the Pop Culture editor for SeedSing and the other host of the X Millennial Man Podcast.
SeedSing is funded by a group of awesome people. Join them by donating to SeedSing.