General Sports

Rhett Bomar stirs up an age old controversy

   Quarterback Rhett Bomar, whose potential was sky high; potentially end his football career by taking money he didn’t earn. This brings up the age old question should college athletes get paid?   By now, we all know that Rhett Bomar and J.D. Quinn got kicked off the Oklahoma football team for getting paid for work that they didn’t do. But really, can you blame them? Who wouldn’t take $18,000 for a summer job while doing absolutely no work whatsoever? Let’s face it; anyone is going to accept that job, especially in college when you never really have much of an income. That’s why I think we need to start paying college athletes.

Now, I’m not saying we pay them like we pay pro athletes, what I’m proposing is giving the players a monthly allowance. Everyone gets the same amount of money no matter how good you are.

When you’re a college athlete, you don’t have much free at all. You have practices and games to go, and when you’re not participating in your sport, you have to balance studying and a social life. There’s not much time in there for a job and playing a sport in college is now becoming a year-round commitment. Since all the other students have the opportunities to get jobs and get paid, then athletes should too.

Since most schools booster clubs give money to players already, whether you want to believe it or not, they can raise the money for the team’s allowance. All the players would have to do is fill out a form and agree not to get a job outside of the sport they’re playing.

The players’ allowance get also help keep the players in line. If a coach finds out that a player is skipping or failing a class, they can take their allowance away for that month or however long it takes for that player to start going to class/passing the class. For more serious offenses, such as Bomar’s two underage drinking incidents, the coach can take away the allowance for several months or the full season. With money involved, most players will be smart enough to realize that going to class and getting paid is better than skipping class and not getting paid.

An allowance will help put an end to rumors that college sports are corrupt. Many people believe that many college athletes are already getting paid; the allowance would minimize the number of incidents where players are getting paid from outside sources, because the players wouldn’t be allowed to have real jobs.

Sure, paying college athletes may break the long standing tradition that college athletes aren’t paid and just play for the love of the game, but how many of today’s players are really just playing just to play? You play hard in college to get paid as a pro. That’s how it works, whether anyone wants to admit it or not.

6 replies on “Rhett Bomar stirs up an age old controversy”

A real tough one I voted for your column because it makes a compelling argument for a monthly allowance for athletes. To be honest, though, I doubt every player is playing for a shot at the pros. Despite 7 rounds in the draft, only a select few actually get much of a chance to compete professionally. I believe Oklahoma’s punishment is really telling us that we should crack down on the dealership that was paying them. I absolutely agree that this is not the players’ fault, but I still don’t think it means we need to give them an allowance (but college players really aren’t doing well financially in college just because they have a football scholarship).

A quick spelling and punctuation mistake in the first paragraph try to kill this.

I see your argument, but I disagree. If kids started getting allowances, believe me, a lot would think it’s not enough and be looking for more. You say that this would end corruption? I think the opposite would happen. I think it would open the floodgates. I, for one do not feel sorry for college athletes. They don’t go wanting for much. Free room, board and the possible chance of learning something doesn’t sound like that bad of a deal to me.

All being said, welcome to SC and it’s good to see a fellow Steeler fan here. I’m going to need some help here this year.

No it’s not that… it’s just the anti-steelers group here that I’ll need some help against.

What about the eligibility question… I think you raise an excellent discussion opportunity with this article.

Another angle to consider is the eligibility for college athletic scholarships.  If student athletes are paid in college sports, why would athletic scholarship eligibility then be limited for those who have played in semi-pro or quasi-pro leagues?

For example, in college hockey, an athlete is not eligible to get an athletic scholarship if they have played major junior hockey in the CHL.  There are no salaries in major junior hockey, but housing, equipment and travel allowances make the players ineligible for U.S. College scholarships.

Paying college athletes might open colege sports to allowing former semi-pro athletes to enter college on scholarship.  Imagine how that could change the nature of college sports.  It would, in effect, make college sports an entirely different kind of semi-pro sports.

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