10.Apr.2014 Paying Players
Riley on paying players:
I do have some thoughts. Really, I’m just interested in what that will all mean someday. I know we’re in for some big changes through the years. I just don’t know what that all means right now.
You can sense the apprehension in his words. He knows this would be the end of the sport, officially (it died unofficially several years ago via ESPN/SEC).
And a player’s perspective:
Running back Terron Ward
This is a job. We put in a lot more hours than a lot of teachers do. I feel like yeah, we shouldn’t be paid like professional athletes, but the scholarships that we have now, we’re barely eating off that. So yeah, I’d say getting paid more than what we are right now would be very, very nice and very, very helpful for people that don’t have outside help. You know, people that don’t have money coming in from their parents or other supporters. So I think that’d be very, very good.
Most people have to pay for their own college (including room and board and food), so for players to be crying about not having enough money for food the last few days each month doesn’t sit well with me. They also get to be the big men on campus while possibly earning a shot at the NFL. Yet, we are supposed to feel bad they have to dip into private money for a few meals? After all fringe benefits, they have ~ a 50k per year standard of living, while the average non-scholarship student is losing close to that.
Terron Ward’s view is short-sighted and selfish. It would be good for him for a few years, but bad for fans of Oregon State. Since scholarships are booster funded,there will simply be an arms race from the big donors at the big schools, but once that process peeks and players are still crying that they don’t receive enough, then private money will come in from NFL teams.
Anyway, I encourage college football to go down this path. It will blow up the sport for good. Better to burn out than fade away, and right now it’s a slow fade. I expect that NCAA football will become minor league baseball mixed with the corruption of boxing. I think Riley suspects this, too. One thing he does understand is the game is under attack. It’s why he was lukewarm about expansion. With the money comes added problems, as every middleman in America suddenly wants his cut.