We should look at college football the way we look @ American Idol.
The latest comments by Josh Rosen, the ongoing Donald De La Haye story, and the ever present thought (by some) that college athletes deserve to be paid has spawned a thought in my mind. Throughout the years in this business, I've gone back and forth on the issue. Watching the overwhelming popularity of Tim Tebow in his Florida days, and the sensational popularity of Johnny Manziel, you can certainly make a case that in a free market America, these guys should be able to profit off their likeness. But here's the reality, and here's where I stand now, and until this debate one day fades away.
College athletes who are in school under scholarship are compensated with free education (which has become increasingly expensive), free room and board, and free meals. All thing that will dig a big whole in your pocket if you had to pay that yourself. But more importantly, they're given a platform. Much like American Idol, a show that gave talented, undiscovered individuals an opportunity to sing in front of large crowds and an even larger TV audience. They do so without getting paid. Many who have competed on that show (much like the many who have competed in college athletics) have then had the opportunity to go on and make a great living for themselves. American Idol, much like college football, basketball, and baseball say to their contestants/athletes: Here's a free and large platform. What you do with it from here, is up to you.
Back to my example of Tebow and Manziel...Do you think either is hurting for money? The answer no, and if they are (Manziel), it's only because they squandered it themselves. They are given the platform, and if they excel, they will become rich 99% of the time.
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