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College football players: the unpaid workers

Kris Thomas

Staff Writer

The National Football League: the ultimate endgame for all inspiring kids growing up with the dream of playing professional football. But what is the drive of pursuing this goal? The bright lights? The love of the game? One major factor that helps the motive is the money.

Before heading to the NFL, college kids play football to ensure that they can make the leap into the NFL. However, the game has changed dramatically in college football over the past several years.

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Instead of human beings, college football players are viewed as pawns for the ever expanding business venture of the NCAA. The NCAA continues to use their college football players as pawns in their financial chess game. Colleges have been continuing to profit off these young adults with TV deals and sponsors. Despite their direct involvement in this venture, the college athletes haven’t seen a dime of the profit.

Division I college football and men’s basketball teams made a combined profit of $1.7 billion in the 2013-2014 school year, according to federal data. That money is soaring with new broadcast deals and money makers like the college football playoff system.

Last year was the first ever installment of the college football playoff system. The teams included were Florida State, Alabama, Ohio State and Oregon. In 2012, ESPN signed a deal for 12 years to air the new college football playoff system. The deal according to the Wall Street Journal, the deal is to be estimated around $5.64 billion, which is $470 million annually.

The athletes will not see any of this money. So what is the solution towards this dilemma? Pay them? Continue to try Unionize? Or keep the same system in place? The first step into changing something so heavily integrated is to bring awareness to the issue. Dwight Horsey, the Director of Financial Aid, shared his thoughts on the topic.

“If players were to get compensated, they might not need aid. So maybe if the school was giving them money for scholarships and also getting compensated, there wouldn’t be a need for financial aid for them because they can pay their own education and living expenses,” said Horsey.

Horsey touched on about his cousin that was recruited to play division I basketball but was unable to due to a knee injury. “He not only lost his basketball scholarship, but he couldn’t play basketball again. He was done. He didn’t finish college and his school didn’t pay for any of medical expenses.”

Dwight continued on about there should be a plan to distribute money for the injured players. “When you have sports like football, where there’s a potential you can get hurt, that compensation could help to take care of their needs.”

Although a concrete solution hasn’t been thought of yet, bringing awareness to this topic is the first step towards a change. One day, handing out a full ride scholarship isn’t going to be enough.