College athletes seek compensation

Curtis Manlapig, Editor-in-Chief

Sports nowadays are all about one thing: money. Whether it is advertising merchandise, selling tickets and signing players to lucrative contracts, sports have become fueled by money.

For the most part though, this money stays up in the professional ranks. Recently, there have been some rumblings in the sports world about the possibility of paying college athletes. Seriously?

There is a class action law suit led by former NBA players Ed O’Bannon, Bill Russell and Oscar Robertson that will attempt to get college athletes compensated for items that would be sold using their name or likeness.

In Mark Koba’s Feb. 3 article on, “How college athletes could end up getting paid like pros,” Koba explains that the NCAA does not allow college athletes to be paid because upon entering college, their marketing rights get waived.

“Analysts contend the lawsuit has the potential of permanently altering the status of college sports and could end up with collegiate athletes being paid,” Koba said.

A main problem with this is where do you stop at when it comes to paying these students and does every college athlete get paid the same? A person who is on the college rowing team is as much of an amateur athlete as a student on the football team with the only difference being the football game may be on TV.

Networks like ESPN, CBS and Fox are paying ridiculous amounts of money to show these games and people are watching. Often times college sports can be more entertaining because every player is close in age and there is more uniformity in skill and the TV networks cash in on that.

TV advertises these players and that is how the talk of paying amateurs comes to light.

Paying college athletes would be complicated but there may be something that can end all the talk. The decision should be up to the player if he or she believes that they are ready out of high school to join the pro ranks. They should be allowed to bypass college and explore those options.

Major League Baseball is the only professional sport of the big three that offers this option. Players can enter the draft out of high school and go straight to the professional level although if opting for college, they cannot re-enter the draft until their third year. The NBA used to allow this and players like Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett flourished in their NBA careers despite not attending college. The NBA requires a minimum of one year of college.

This rule hurts the college game and potentially the player. Recently, an athlete who goes to the University of Kentucky tore his ACL in a game. This player, Nerlens Noel, was the number one rated player for the upcoming 2013 NBA draft. The NBA should rescind the “one and done” rule for players like Noel who were already top rated out of high school. To help the game, change the rule to allow players to  go pro out of high school or attend at least two years in college before applying for the draft again.

This would not only help players begin their professional careers, but it would help college basketball maintain good competition as well as the student obtaining more of an education to prepare them for the real world.

Amateurs are just amateurs and should not be treated like pros.