College Athletes Get Nothing And Like It

Editor’s Note - Donnie, THG’s Old Blackhawk Writer, is back to get to talk the state of College Athletics

Am I the only person in the fucking world who thinks that paying college athletes is completely ridiculous? Recently, there have been a number of college athletic programs under investigation because their dumbass players are accepting gifts and money from agents and boosters.  Reggie Bush has been exiled from USC and has since forfeited his Heisman Trophy.  The craziest part of this whole scenario is that college athletes in general seem to be getting the benefit of the doubt.  This is not to say that there aren’t blood sucking agents out there, but don’t tell me that the players have not been well educated on how to handle these situations accordingly.  Don’t tell me the solution is to pay college athletes in order to curtail their inclination to accept improper benefits.  Do these kids have no sense of accountability in this?  I, for one, am fed up with the notion that big time college athletes should be monetarily compensated.  People continue to endorse this and now the athletes themselves are jumping on the bandwagon.  Now, I understand that it is only a few individuals who are hurting the reputation of the whole.   I know people who played division one college sports who are, to this day, some of my best friends and continue to exude character traits that I strive to attain.  However, this topic has gotten out of control and my temperature continues to rise as people constantly support this idea.  Here are nine reasons illustrating my opposition:

  • I realize that universities are making TONS of money and they are ruthless. This is America, it’s a capitalist economy, the school is not doing anything that you are not trying to do…make as much money as possible.  My point is, as an athlete, don’t use the excuse that the school is using you to make money for their own selfish desires, when, essentially, that is now what you are trying to do. Athletes use college sports as much as the colleges use them.  Let’s be honest, big time college athletics is as much a pedestal for exposure as a business.
  • There is already a blurry distinction between college and pro sports, paying players would only heighten the blur.  There are two types of sports: Amateur and Professional. We can’t just pay every athlete who ever plays a sport.  If you are good enough you will eventually get paid.  Are we going to start paying the kids in the fucking little league world series now?
  • How much do you pay players? Does everyone get paid equally? Where does the money come from?  I sure as hell don’t want it coming out of my tuition if I’m a student. As humans we always want more. Eventually, kids will be negotiating collegiate contracts and complaining about how much they make compared to others i.e. starting quarterback vs. place kicker.  There is already enough of that crap in the pros.  Paying players will spin out of control.  Also, how do you decide what to pay different kids from different schools?  Does the starting QB for Duke make the same amount as the starting QB for Florida? Hell, they’re both D-1A programs.  Are kids going to start choosing schools based on how much they’ll make as a college athlete?  If that isn’t the biggest indictment of this whole fucking issue, I don’t know what is!
  • Not enough time to get a job? Get over it you play D-1 college football…you get to do that everyday!  There are plenty of kids in college who go to school full time, work shitty jobs to pay their rent and bills, and, on top of that, come out of college 10s of thousands of dollars in debt. Yea they get to work, but all their money goes towards paying college loans.  You get a free education (which many of you selfish, narcissistic assholes don’t even fully take advantage of) and no debt.  Oh yea, and you get to play football everyday.
  • Part of life is working hard for nothing, view your time in college athletics as your internship.  i.e.  I interned for 10 months for no pay, went to school, and worked full time to kick start my career.  Now I commute hundreds of miles a week to work 2 jobs that pay me shit.  I’ve had to move in w/ my parents just to pay my bills.  Often I am up before everyone in my house and home after everyone is sleeping, and I’m happier than I’ve ever been because I’m pursuing what I love!  The  biggest problem in this country is this “gotta get mine” attitude.  In that sense, you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.  Whatever happened to fulfillment, joy, and great experience being your payment?  Money is not everything. I don’t care if you have no time, you chose to play D-1 football because you want to parlay that into a profession. Oh yea, you get to play football everyday.
  • You are surrounded by money and temptation?  Excuse me for expecting you to exhibit, I don’t know, DISCIPLINE, a pillar of good character and integrity! Don’t take money, don’t take gifts, don’t take anything!  This day in age, everyone in college athletics is overly educated on this.  My fucking Grandmother knows that athletes shouldn’t accept improper benefits.  It’s that simple.
  • You are not as good as you think you are! A miniscule percentage of people actually make it to the pros, much less become superstars.  For former college athletes, don’t get bitter because you turned out to be an average pro and couldn’t capitalize at the peak of your marketability.  I’m sick of all these former athletes who are stepping forward about this, when the issue didn’t even exist during their college days.  This is why kids should be able to go pro whenever they want.  The NFL, NBA, MLB and other mainstream pro leagues will deflate your ego quickly.  How many “blue chip” athletes have we seen go the pros and get absolutely destroyed?  I contend that there are a great many!  You think you are worth so much money….prove it!
  • Playing college sports is a privilege not a right.  You know when you go to college that you won’t be getting paid, if you’re pissed about that…here’s some advice…don’t fucking play! You go because you love playing football, what the fuck is wrong with that? You get top notch facilities, training, clothing…amenities that many people who work their asses for their entire lives will never have the opportunity to experience or enjoy.
  • There are millions of kids who can only dream of being in your position. Put in the time, work hard, and ENJOY IT.  Football is a great game and you should relish the opportunity.  Hard work IS rewarded in this country.

Look I get it, there are tickets, jerseys, video games, souvenirs, and concessions being sold largely because of the players on the field.  “Everyone,” so to speak, is making money except the players.  But, from my perspective, I don’t watch college sports because they’ve become part of pop culture or major money generators, and they shouldn’t be played for that reason either.


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17 Responses to “College Athletes Get Nothing And Like It”

  • To Donnie, i hope u realize that realize Quarterback is not the hardest, Being an offensive lineman is the toughest position. You have to be strong mentally and physically, and they are generally the smartest people on the team. So suree quarterbacks realll toughh

  • Thanks for the comments commentsectionbandito. Ryan Mallet was doing an interview with Dan Patrick about a month ago and admitted that it was possible to work DURING the season. Now this is the quarterback, and one of the best in the country this year I might add, of a major college football program saying that. So you have one of the most highly touted players in the country, playing the most difficult position in sports making these comments. Also, I wrote in my column that players should be able to go pro as early as they want. As soon as they get crushed in the pro’s, they’ll be wishing they had a free education to go back to.

  • If people decide to pay you, no one should be able to say they can’t. I mean they earned that money, why can’t they do with it as they please? In fact, rich people should be entitled to a lifetime supply of free weed and hookers, since they can obviously circumvent the law to acquire these things with their vast wealth.

    No internet comment section ever has intelligent discourse, but can’t people think a little bit before they type? Athletes have these things called “offseasons” where they practice much less than they do during the season. Maybe they could use this time to seek employment? I doubt it would be hard to find given the fact that people actually know they can work hard.

    And for F’s sake, do you know where a lot of universities get the big bucks? RESEARCH AND RESEARCH GRANTS. The best you can get at some places for undergraduate research is housing. Yet, my university alone receives almost $200,000,000 for said research. Just food for thought for those meatheads out there, athletics isn’t the only big fish in the pond.

    Football is a choice. I’ve seen people give up their lives to THEATER for god’s sake, just as time consuming, same levels of talent required, and none of the glory. If you need to get paid to do something you love while you’re on a free ride, you frankly don’t love it and deserve a smack upside the head.

  • Anoynymous is dead on.Finally someone gets it.Yeah the Obannon lawsuit is going to change college sports forever.I love the point you make.They should be able to make whatever legal money they can like any other college student.If they can’t because of a “rule” then it is a labor employment contract and not a scholarship. Total anti-trust issues and collective bargaining issues front and center and there is no where to legally hide….

  • You are so far off….if it is a scholarship, then they should be able to work or receive money for personal appearances etc just like any other student. Cheerleaders, film students, music students, business students are allowed to make money outside their scholarship and there is no restriction….but the NCAA wants no competition for the billions….not millions of dollar…billions.. that they make off of these players…so hypocritical….hey if they go to class and stay out of trouble then the NCAA should but out…it is none of their business legally where they make additional taxed income….It is Anti-trust and they are breaking several labor laws….the Ed Obannon law suit keeps moving through the courts and I can not wait until the NCAA is exposed as the exploitative fraud that it is….

  • Be careful Seth,
    First of all you’re going out on a limb on every comment you just made.
    I interned for CBS. You may have heard of them. They probably weren’t making much money off of me personally, because I was an intern, but I contributed to their productions which makes tons of money. It’s kind of like how the 3rd string quarterback doesn’t personally make that much money for the school. Why should he get paid? You’re talking about 1 or 2, maybe 3 players a year per team who are marquis players and drive revenue. Secondly, I was not a college athlete, but I was an athlete. Finally, I was paying ALL of my bills during that time, you know why? Because I sucked it up and made it work. Because I wanted something and I enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity to earn my stripes in an industry that I loved. I know this sounds crazy, but, it paid off. Hard work paid off, as I was employed by two companies before my internship was over.
    Finally, if not getting paid was the main reason you stopped playing then I gather you were pretty good. At the same time, if you were good enough to get paid, I find it hard to believe someone with your talent would quit. Many of the kids, who like you, don’t/didn’t get paid, come from slums. How do they keep playing? I sense there are some other circumstances at play here, otherwise you would have played until you were eligible for the draft, and then…gotten paid.

  • While you were interning was someone making millions of dollars off of you? I’m guessing no right, and I am going out on a limb here but you weren’t an athlete were you. Also, while you were interning who was paying your bills? I love all of sports, but playing without pay is exactly why I had to stop playing.

  • Just throwing this out there - the NCAA signed a 14 year, $11 BILLION deal with CBS for the Men’s Basketball Tournament. Add in the NCAA’s TV deals with ESPN, CBS for SEC Football, and every other channel, you’ve got so much money it’s hard to fathom. I’m willing to bet the NCAA can find a way to pay each athlete $2000/year from those BILLIONS of dollars. This takes the heat off athletic departments to fund the stipends, and gives an equal amount to every D-I athlete. This issue isn’t a school specific topic - it’s an NCAA topic, so they should be the ones to pony up.

  • Most of you people who try to disagree with Donnie are fucking retards. I dont have time nor the patience to go through in detail over every comment, but I am a former college athlete and I work in a division 1 athletic department.
    In no way shape or form should any athlete ever be paid. There is no greater difference in the size of athletic budgets than Division 1 Athletics. Top programs clear 100 million annually… Those schools being Texas, Ohio State, Tenn, Florida (not hard to fathom).

    The bottom schools struggle to make ends meat and still put a team out on the field. (Take notice of how many schools are dropping D1 Athletics programs, it happens everyday). So if you start paying these kids, you can kiss their ass good bye- any chance at seeing any “Miracles” or “Cindarella Story’s from ever fucking happening again, meaning the special year Butler had this past year in NCAA, bc I can tell you in fact, that there is no way they could every compete by playing players while they already operate off a budget less then 10% of what their instate rivals do in Bloomington.

    Point being before I go off on a tangent, the general finances of college athletics are that only the top programs make a profit, less than 8% actually, and if you pay the players, you will without a doubt create the most uneven playing ground in any sporting culture.

    If the players have a problem with the strict guidelines, practice schedule, early morning workouts, christmas eve, christmas day, fucking new years eve, missing spring break bla bla bal more fucking whining… then step back and realize what you are getting… a “chance” at a free education (chance meaning if you step out of the geology and sociology apartments and take a major worthwhile), you get experiences of a lifetime and the opportunity for people to be talking about your name for decades, you develop character and the chance to battle adversity (something the frat kid only knows about by loosing a 3rd straight beer pong game), you get better cafeteria/meal food- no room for argument there, and again… you get to walk out onto that field everyday, as man donnie says… …

    …. athletes.. step up to the plate, realize you are the marketing flagship for the university… if you cant handle the heat or dont have the juevos.. join the fucking chess club… i hear 100,000 people show up to watch those events every saturday….

  • Greatings, ЎGracias por el artнculo. Cada vez que quieres leer.


  • I’m a huge fan of this column. If we start paying college football players, why not high school football teams too? Think about it—the money people pay at the door for a football game on a Friday night gets spread around to all the sports and “activities”-the quiz bowl team possibly included.
    One thing to keep in mind—a lot of those full-ride scholarships are actually paid for by endowments established by wealthy boosters.
    I say keep this great spectacle reserved for amateurs; personally, I don’t want to pay $300 to sit through a game I’m probably not going to remember much of anyways.
    Just a couple of random thoughts…

  • Hey man,

    I’m not gonna react to each of your points one by one, but rather just in general. I am 100% FOR paying college athletes, from basketball to football to track/field to softball, ANY interscholastic varsity sports. I believe this because college sports have become such a massive amount of revenue for colleges, and to say that giving an athlete a full scholarship is enough no longer is apropos. To me, it’s not just practice and games - it’s all the things we don’t know about: mandatory study halls, community service appearances, film study, curfews, etc. Whereas a normal student might have class from 9-11 and then say 1-2 and then he’s done, the athlete has lifting from 5:30-7, class 8-10, then study hall 10-11, then class 2-3, then practice 3-6, then night study hall 8-9 (for example) and then with lifting again at 5:30, I don’t think this athlete is staying up past 10:30. This athlete has no time to find a side job to afford pizza, or going on a date, OR having their parents come watch them play if they attend a school far away (and this is something you ALWAYS hear about football players taking advantage of from boosters). Save up money during the summer then, some say! Well, NCAA sports has become a 24/7/340 business. No longer do they get summers off - they might get 1-2 weeks, but then it’s right back for summer school (to help make up classes they couldnt fit into their schedule why? Because of their crammed daily schedule!) or summer practice. Ultimately, I feel the NCAA will eventually find a way to give every athlete some percentage of their school’s athletic revenue. I’m not saying $10K/student; I’m just saying give them something like $3000/year.

  • Biff, point well taken however:

    1)I never suggested that it is easy. I’ve played sports with strict workout regiments, I know how much it can suck, but I would rather be out exercising and doing calisthenics then stocking shelves at wal-mart in the middle of the night.
    2)If you prefer to roll out of bed hungover and after the football team has lifted and gone to class, don’t play.
    3)”nothing but tuition and books,” I can’t agree with that statement. This is exactly the point, the value of a college education is being compromised. Do you know how much books cost? Also, In most cases you are looking at tuition costs of $100k or more. I would hardly call that “nothing.”
    4)There is a contingent of students who have everything paid for, including social life, by parents or whomever, but its hard to make an argument for stipening athletes when there is also a large contingent of students who work around the clock to PAY for school.
    5)Possible solution: I know that students can request extra money for living expenses through their student loans. Perhaps, Athletes could look into that for help.

    Thanks for the feedback!

  • oh christ:

    1. tuition and money generated by the athletics dept are separated; in fact, athletic revenue subsidizes your tuition as well as the university’s research endeavors.
    2. Football, Men’s basketball, and in some cases hockey and baseball subsidize all other collegiate athletic scholarships; essentially the football team pays for the women’s water polo team, and the men’s wrestling team, and the women’s soccer team, and the softball team, and the men’s diving team. Why? Title IX. Not only do you have to spend an equal amount on women’s athletics, but the coach’s have to make the same amount. So the assistant women’s basketball coach at Ohio State clears around $900k, but brings in virtually no revenue to the athletic department whatsoever. I can’t believe I am saying this next line, but that screams of socialism to me.
    3. Clearly you never played football before because if you did, you would know football practice fucking sucks. Have you ever heard the Ray Lewis quote where he essentially says you get paid to practice, but you play the games for free? Granted, that is in reference to professional athletics, but irrespective of that it rings true. I personally sympathize with guys who, by the time most students roll out of bed hungover, have already had an hour long weightlifting session, are in now inclass, and have another 3 hours of practice and meetings later that day. I realize plenty of students work their way through school, but if that doesn’t constitute working your way through school then I dont’ know what does.
    4. Because of the absurd demands placed on them by these ridiculous coaches, often times players struggle to balance their academic and social lives in the limited time they have away from their sport, and as such, struggle to take advantage of the academic opportunity presented them. Suggesting that they work more would only make this problem worse, not better.
    5. Here is what you completely miss: players receive a stipend for living expenses during the season, but as soon as the season is over they get nothing but tuition and books, which is why you see star running backs working the door at scummy college bars on Saturday night. I don’t mean to suggest that one should sympathize with them for just because they have to work a job while in school, as many students, scholarship athletes as well as everyone else does, but what I am suggesting is that it’s easy to have something given to you, but once it’s taken away things become more complicated.

    I generally agree with the statements saying, you knew it was wrong and you did it anyways; no excuse for that. But the argument where you’re saying that lots of people work while they’re in school is pretty whack- playing football constitutes a full time job, in addition to taking a minimum of 12 credits (NCAA rules dictate such). Again I must point out that football practice fucking sucks. You don’t get to “play football everyday”; usually practice consists of painfully boring walk-throughs, calisthenics, and drills where you run to the left, then the right, then back, then forwards based on which way your coach is holding the ball.

    My only suggestion would be to take a small slice of the revenues generated and rather than subsidize the women’s underwater basketweaving team, give the players an equal, reasonable stipend year round to deal with living expenses. Once you do that, then you have more ammo to lash out at the bad apples who take improper benefits, right?

  • Great point Little Cat! The reality is they are compensated. The reason they are not paid is because we have leagues for that….the pros!

  • Very well-written article. You make some solid points. I’d also point out that with all the expenses with college athletics including so many sports, facilities, coaches, etc. they actually don’t make mad money.

    Check out this article:

    Only a few of these schools are making bank, 14 out of 120. With that being the case, how can they actually pay players or even make the argument that the school is making tons of money off them.

  • I agree with some of your points but fundamentally disagree with one. You pass over the fact that so much money is being made. Its more than so much, its millions upon millions. Don’t pay the athletes a lot but give them some compensation, theres a middle ground in there somewhere

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