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The NCAA Is About To Tread In Very Dangerous Water

Andy Lyons, Getty Images

This week, NCAA presidents are meeting in Indianapolis to discuss ways to improve college athletics.  They are talking about a proposal where they would soon allow individual conferences to decide for themselves whether they want to pay athletes more and award them longer scholarship terms.

If the rules pass, each Division I conference would have the option to award bigger, longer scholarships to athletes.

What a horrible mistake!

If this happens, you can say goodbye to any sort of parity. This is the beginning of the end for college athletics. The playing field is already unequal, now the big conferences would totally take over. It would essentially tell everyone that this system is completely unfair so deal with it. No, let’s not fix the problem – let’s just make it worse!

Most college athletes that get a full scholarship go to school to get a degree. Less than 1% of Division I athletes become professional athletes.  They already get a much more privileged education than their fellow students that do not play sports.

If college football got the opportunity to pay players, it would turn into the MLB. It would really be about the haves vs. the have-nots.  The scholarship limit is working. Parity is pretty good now. There’s a level playing field that makes the little guys actually have a chance – like Boise State and TCU.

Kevin C. Cox, Getty Images

Those non-BCS schools would be totally segregated from the big conferences. This isn’t what college athletics is supposed to be about. Big-time schools would offer more money and a 4-year guaranteed ride while smaller schools (and even the less powerful schools in the major conferences) would have no chance at those players.

To start paying the athletes would cost athletic departments millions of additional dollars. In a time of budget cuts, having a program ask for more money is insane. Not only that, but most schools won’t be able to afford this. If you want to pay the football team (85 scholarship players), you need to pay 85 women as well- see Title IX.

The bottom line is college athletes should not be paid. They are already getting paid with their scholarship. That’s at least $200,000 over the course of their college career. Most football players go to school for 5 years.

The old quote, “College students can work while in school while student-athletes can’t,” is dead wrong.  College athletes are allowed to work – just not during the season.  Student-athletes are also allowed to take out a loan – just like a normal college student – to cover additional expenses.

Do you know why most normal college students have to work? TO PAY FOR SCHOOL.  I’ve never met a working college student that said they had to work so they could afford to go the movies, take their girlfriend on a date or eat a pizza!

The average student spends years paying off student loans. Even if scholarship athletes never make money as a professional, they have far fewer debts to cover when they graduate than other students do.

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