The college football season opens up this weekend. And like any season, there are many teams that began the season with the hope of bringing home the National Title. And while some have title aspirations, others just want to improve and actually make a bowl game. Along with the aspirations of teams, there are also big games and big venues that will be used this weekend as well. Alabama will be playing USC on Saturday in the house that Jerry Jones built. And while the Crimson Tide and Trojans are playing against each other there, the LSU Tigers and Wisconsin Badgers will be facing off at legendary Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. All the while, most of us will be glued to our televisions watching and cheering for our favorite teams. But while all this excitement is going on this weekend, we all will be missing what is really happening in college football this entire weekend.
The exposure for players is going to be good for guys like Leonard Fournette of LSU and Chad Kelly of Ole Miss (Ole Miss takes on Florida State in Orlando this weekend). But the exposure for them will also be good for the NCAA as well. All these teams will be helping line the pockets of the NCAA while they are scoring touchdowns and making big plays. All the commercials and ad time that sponsors buy will be filtering money into the pockets of schools and the NCAA all season long and this weekend will be no exception. And while that is happening, all the players on the field will get a pat on the back and a cheer from their fans while not getting anything monetarily. Does it seem right that all these players are making money for universities and they see none of it? To some it does and they justify it by speaking on the scholarships that players get to play. But let’s dive a little further into the pimping of these players if you don’t mind.
The players get a scholarship and that is undeniable. Many would love to have no student loans when they finish school. But let’s take a big-name player like Leonard Fournette and use him as an example here. Fournette is a big draw to LSU football. Sponsors aren’t dummies and they know that he is one of the best players in the country. And with that tag, they know many people will be tuned in to watch him play. And with that, the sponsors are willing to pay top dollar to get that advertising time. I bet if you add that money up over time, that it equals to more than what his scholarship equals to. Add in the fact that LSU is selling jerseys with Fournette’s number on it (without his name on it but everyone knows it is his jersey) and there is even more money that is missed out on by players that the school and the NCAA get. Fournette gets a free ride to school but then he misses out on the money that was made off of him. And you can guarantee that the money made off his name is more than what his scholarship entails.
Many complain about college players and those that are mad that people want them to get paid. But what people fail to realize is that these big universities and the NCAA make enough money off sponsorships and ad sales that they can break these kids off with something. They speak of amateurism and the fight to keep that, but that is all a farce. The real truth is the NCAA is out there pimping hard and the kids are getting the short end of the stick. But yet some continue to be blind to that picture. An education is good but so is the money that the NCAA is getting and not sharing with its workforce.
The General Mike Patton is an up-and-coming writer from Nashville, TN who brings a fresh and non-biased opinion about sports. From his radio experience in Nashville to his time as a sports writer for Free’s World, the website for radio personality and former co-host of BET’s 106 and Park Free (www.freesworld.com), The General is definitely one you want to get to know in the sports world. You can catch his work on SPORTSAWAKENING.COM. Mike grew up rooting for the San Francisco 49ers, Chicago Bulls and Chicago Cubs, and remains a passionate sports fan who expresses intelligent opinions.
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