Today’s New York Times includes a nice story of how Boise State and the Western Athletic Conference lost millions of dollars when the school’s kicker missed a 26-yeard field goal. Coaches, advertisers, ESPN, and many others make big money from the college football game. The players take large physical and life risks. They might get scholarships, which are worth less than they should be given the rigors of college sports and the low graduation rates. They rarely receive much else, unless they are in the definitionally tiny minority who become successful professionals.
To add insult to injury, players risk serious penalties if they violate the NCAA’s insanely hypocritical rules. The furtive nature of their compensation causes all sorts of problems, and initiates players into a corrupt world which does not serve anyone well except for their coaches with shoe contracts and others who can appropriate a greater share of the profits.
I look forward to the day that some judge issues a short decision which simply states: The National Collegiate Athletic Association is hereby enjoined from regulating player compensation.
I wonder what would happen if colleges were allowed to openly pay players. Commenters, what do you think?