Do college players really need to be paid?
Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel is on the cover, along with the statement that it's time to pay college athletes.
Columnist Sean Gregory is the one who makes the case for paying college athletes, and delves into the intricacies of a hypothetical system that could go about doing that.
There are some who believe that the college game should remain strictly amateurish, and college athletes shouldn't be able to profit at all off their star status, beyond the scholarships that they receive from the school.
Personally, I'm somewhere in the middle.
I don't necessarily think that schools should actually pay the athletes a stipend on top of the scholarships, housing, food, books, and other supplies that they already receive. I do, however, think that the NCAA is absolutely out of control with its senseless monitoring of what the players do for money in their off time.
The thing is, the schools don't have to pay players in order for the players to get a few dollars worth of spending money. If the NCAA would lift their un-American and anti-capitalist regulations on what a young adult is allowed to do, everything would work itself out.
Currently, Johnny Manziel isn't allowed to do anything that could potentially result in him profiting off his status as a football player for Texas A&M University.
Despite the fact that Manziel's signature is something that has considerable value on the open market, Manziel is not allowed to sell that signature. If he had a car, he would be allowed to sell the car. If he had any other widget, he would be allowed to sell it for whatever the market value is. His signature, however, is off limits.
Exactly why is that? What is the harm in allowing NCAA athletes to profit off their hard work, like everyone else in America does on a daily basis?
The fact is that there really isn't any harm in that. For some reason, many years ago, the NCAA decided that it was important to ensure that their athletes were amateurs and they decided to be extremely strict about what the word "amateur" means. Even Olympic athletes are allowed to have sponsors who help fund their training and help increase their quality of life in exchange for endorsements, yet NCAA athletes risk suspension if they accept even the smallest gift from the wrong person.
In an even more ridiculous example, guys are allowed to play professional baseball, and then change their mind and come back to school to play football, if they so choose. Former Heisman winner Chris Weinke played 6 years of minor league baseball before returning to Florida State to play football. Somehow, he was completely eligible as an amateur athlete, yet when Manziel was (allegedly) compensated for a few hours of his time, he was in jeopardy of missing the entire 2013 season? That's just ridiculous.
We don't need to pay college athletes. It's not necessary. If schools want to, they should be allowed to do so, as far as I'm concerned. But it's not absolutely necessary to cut them a check from the school. But why prevent them from making money on their own?