A four-team postseason starts in 2014, and ESPN has already signed on for a dozen years. You know it’s just a matter of time before the four-team playoff become an eight-team affair, then an eight-team endeavor morphs into a 16-team version. Why not? With labor costs so low, schools would be foolish not to add a few more playoff rounds and cram a few more millions into their already bloated accounts.
If that cuts into your time for classwork and taking final exams, so be it.
Maybe you haven’t gotten the memo yet, but our colleges and universities aren’t all that concerned about providing an education that will actually enhance your life after football. They tout tougher academic standards and improved graduation rates, but they’re mainly concerned about keeping you eligible to take the field.
That’s where your real value lies.
When you look around the classroom, you’re likely to see many of your teammates. That’s not mere coincidence. Last year, The Associated Press found that schools continue to be adept at a tactic known as “clustering,” where they put a bunch of you in the same class, one they figure will make it easier for you to pass. They probably didn’t bother asking if you were actually interested in that field of study.
Even with clustering and all the extra tutoring they provide, three out of 10 football players still fail to earn a degree. Better hope you’re good enough to make it to the NFL. And if you are, you’ll be in for a real eye-opening experience. While the stadiums and media coverage might seem largely on par with what you just left behind, there is one big difference.
Yep, in the NFL, they actually pay you to play.
At that point, it might occur to you, “Hey, why didn’t I get a paycheck for the last four years?”
A few folks are on your side. South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier suggested that he and his coaching colleagues, who also make millions off you, reach into their own wallets to provide a little somethin’, somethin’ for the help. His plan was derided as folly, the ramblings of an aging coach who doesn’t really understand how the system works.
Actually, he knows exactly how it works. But you’re young, so we’ll let you in on a little secret: People in power are real reluctant to give up their loot, and they’ll go to great lengths to tell others why they don’t deserve any of it.
Just last week, after Maryland was lured away from its historic association with the Atlantic Coast Conference by the promise of more riches in the Big Ten, another coach floated the idea of giving the players a cut.
As it stands now, the NCAA won’t even allow schools to provide a little financial assistance to help your family travel to a bowl game, the bowl game you made possible.
“It would be great to be able to take care of their families or guardian, to be able to help them fly to a bowl game,” Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald said. “And take some of the money and allow them to get more money from bowl gifts and things of that nature that they’ve earned.”View Entire Story
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