Despite my glow from the weekend’s results, I still have deep misgivings about the morality of college football. And I’ve gotten some nice email feedback from people — the hypocrisy in the game is so apparent — adults making nice livings off the back of young men’s efforts, young men who have few alternatives, no voice, and ultimately no power.
I don’t expect the system to change. Certainly not dramatically. But it’d be nice to see some gentle progress:
* I’d start with getting a baseline of data. The NCAA should do a random survey of players 5/10/15/20 years out of school and find out what help these players need or could have used. If we are going to direct more funds to these players we should have an idea about what they need. Absent this data tho…
* I’d set up a pension plan for the players so that they and their kids can get a little something later in life. Might be as little today as a tuition plan for their kids.
* I’d give a player lifetime tuition credit. The player can come back to the U at any time and take classes towards a bachelor’s degree. The cost is minimal and it could be a huge benefit.
* The players need some representation in the decision process about the spending of the proceeds. Not sure how to do this but I don’t think it is right that the players have no voice at all today in how proceeds are spent. The fact that OSU can fund a huge number of varsity sports is nice and maybe that is the right thing, but maybe not — maybe the football players would vote not to fund the fencing, pistol, and riflery teams (real teams).
* Certainly they should be allowed to leave school early like NBA players and play pro ball. It is ridiculous to force a young adult to go through the hoops of college if they have no interest or aptitude for college.
And a good point raised by a friend, the NFL should help fund these programs as well. The NFL has been getting a free farm system for years, there is no reason for this.