So Sean Miller will likely be out of a job soon and that’ll probably be the least of his worries. The NCAA is about to get all topsy turvey right before tournament time, leaving us with a 68-team field that probably features 1-seed Middle Tennessee State.
Jokes aside there’s a hard hammer that’s coming to many athletic departments around the U.S., uncovering a secret that most of us already knew: NCAA players are getting paid upfront and under the table. The collective gasp that you hear is from people who have their head in the sand and truly believe that this hasn’t been happening or are purely pretending to do so. We knew Cam Newton’s bag man existed, we knew he wasn’t the only one, we were just waiting on the day the next one got caught.
See, we’ve known Reggie Bush’s family receiving money was nothing new, we also know full well that the NCAA can’t do much outside of meaninglessly vacate wins that already happened and maybe sanction a school, giving them the Ole Miss treatment, but there’s SERIOUSLY a way we can put a stop to all of this madness. Two simple solutions could seriously curtail what students are being offered by boosters. Make no mistake: boosters will still happen and larger, more established football and basketball powerhouses will still have the leverage to pay who they wanna pay, but you can level the playing field and help out that struggling basketball player at Georgia Southern as well as the superstar at Auburn.
- Expand the monthly stipend that would effectively cover meals, gas money and entertainment. It’s another thing to add to the athletic budget, but guess what, these schools and the NCAA have it. The NCAA has made billions off unpaid labor for student-athletes, and it screws football and basketball players just as bad as it does Softball and Bowling. There should be one consistent stipend for each sport based on overall national revenue that any player on a scholarship, whether full or partial, should receive. This benefits students from lower income families who don’t have help from homeand players at smaller universities. If you have someone within the athletics office that can assist with budget, that’ll help them too.
- Allow players to make money off their likeness. There is absolutely no reason why Jalen Hurts shouldn’t have been able to get sponsorship and endorsement deals before Tua took over his job. No reason why Todd Gurley should’ve been involved in mess regarding his jersey. These players don’t get to benefit off the work they put in on and off the field, but the University and NCAA do, that’s ridiculous. What’s even wilder to me is that the people most opposed to this solution believe in the free-market and capitalism. This one is incredibly obvious to me and should have been implemented long ago. Think about it outside of football and basketball too, think about those smaller communities that rally around their softball teams, and how some of those young women have some serious local starpower. Imagine them being able to make some money off of that and put it away for the long term. Or spend it now, their choice. Imagine a guy like Darious Williams at UAB profiting off his likeness and play during The Return.
I don’t know how much we can give those players, I don’t have the numbers on hand. I may have to tap Andy Schwarz for that, but we’re seriously telling players that the “free education is enough” when it really pales in comparison to what the University and NCAA make off of them (we’re talking maybe a $100k arbitrary value vs. billions in revenue), the fact that they see none of that should strike you as odd. I’ll let Richard Sherman sum it up: