As much as we’d like to crow about the purity of college football, it is a business. They sell college football tickets don’t they? We all know that. There are billions of dollars generated from college football. And yes, that college football money does find its way into the support of other college sports.
But the vast majority of the money finds its way into the pockets of the sharks in industry. Coaches are paid millions, networks rake in cash, and sponsors reap the benefits of college football exposure. Yet the players who make it happen are supposed to be grateful for room, board, and an education. And they should be. But they should also get a bigger piece of the pie and for me, there’s one good reason. The players who can’t cash in in the NFL.
Imagine you had a son at Ohio State. He’s a good player but not NFL material. So in his young life he’s got maybe five years to bask in the spotlight. Suddenly, the golden boys and the thugs are selling their jackets for cheap tattoos. Ohio State gets sanctioned. The victories are gone. The bowl games are gone. And your son is saddled with the bad rep that goes along with the whole mess. It’s enough to make a father want to choke someone.
Instituting some kind of pay scale in college football, one which would prevent the money grab and the financial pressures college football players are under could go a long way in preventing the kind of scandals we’re seeing now. How long is it going to be before a betting scandal emerges, one that devastates the entire game? Not long if college football doesn’t do something quickly.