No pay for college athletes

Only the best should be paid

Jake McCraw, Student Life Editor

Football is the most American sport ever invented. It comes from the roots of our civilization and has impacted the lives of everyone who has had the grace of stepping out onto a grid iron. It is a system where the best of the best athletes make it to the National Football League and are paid to play and entertain. However, recently this system has seen a glitch. As of this season, college football players are now allowed to be paid for playing.

The new ruling was made by the National Labor Relations Board allowing college athletes to unionize and benefit from the revenue they bring into the school. The first college team to adopt this new policy this season was Northwestern. As of this season, Northwestern is literally paying their athletes.

This new policy has quite frankly changed the game. There are already rules stating that athletes must spend at least three years in college football before they are allowed to move onto the NFL. By allowing them to get paid is implying that they are the equivalent to a professional athlete, which clearly isn’t the case.

Football has become too commercialized in America and has turned the sport against its true meaning. As a high school football player, I have had the benefit of understanding what true football is. It’s not about the paycheck you get from playing; it’s about being part of a something bigger than you and playing for your brothers on the field.

When the story about athletes being paid first came on the news it shocked me. A football scholarship to Northwestern is about $175,000 for four years of school and that’s not including books and food or any of the complimentary apparel, tickets, and equipment, which would add another $10,000. So saying that Northwestern athletes should be allowed to be paid is saying that they should make more than $46,250 per year.

According to a the American Community Survey Briefs the average American makes $51,371 per year. This means that a Northwestern Football player would make more than the average American while playing a sport that they love.

The scholarships and the free apparel are what these athletes are being paid with. They are getting a free college education and having the time of their life in college and yet they want more. The only way a football player should get paid is if he is good enough to make it to the NFL. Allowing an athlete to know that he is good enough to make money for playing in college is disrespectful to NFL athletes. Many people don’t understand that college football players are not the best of the best. That’s what the NFL is for. If an athlete is good enough to play in the NFL then he is good enough and deserves to get paid.

As a possible future college football player I’m just glad that I’m going to keep playing the game I love. I’m not worrying about which school is going to give me the most money. Any chance to keep playing is an opportunity that I intend to take advantage of. That’s how college football should be viewed. High school athletes are blessed to have an opportunity to play at the next level and that opportunity is worth more than any amount of money.