College Athletes: It is time for NCAA to pay up

Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 8.55.12 AMBy AJ Brown | Staff writer

After an impressive drive, quarterback Johnny Manziel backs up and is looking down a clean pocket. He spots receiver Mike Evans and fires a bullet in between two defenders. Evans snags the ball and splits the defenders for Manziel’s first touchdown of the day, but that wasn’t the most memorable part of the sequence. Afterward, the Heisman trophy winner, Manziel, looks up into the blue sky and rubs his fingers together like he was rubbing money together. He did this the same day he got suspended for the first half for allegedly selling his autograph for money.

The 20 year old out of Tyler, Texas, was the first freshman to win the Heisman, boosted Texas A&M revenue by $40 million, and raised ticket prices by $25. How much did Johnny Manziel get from the university? $0.

Even though he might be getting free schooling that cost the university $18,000, that is nowhere near compared the amount of money that the university made of him.

This situation isn’t just happening to Manziel, but every athlete that plays in the NCAA. Players that are worth millions to their universities are getting none of the money they are worth. This might have been okay years ago when revenue sales and ticket prices matched the amount of their tuition cost, but now the universities are making over $100 million dollars on these students.

The NCAA rules state that these young athletes are not allowed to get money because they are amateurs, not professionals, but they have also begged both basketball and football to create rules making them play college sports before entering the draft. The NCAA has also made it illegal for these students to sell any memorabilia. Why? All to keep these players limited and have the NCAA be more important than the players themselves.

A lot of the time these young athletes come from poor areas and don’t have money at all. They live off pizza, Ramen noodles, and whatever the team food is. How do you expect these athletes not to sell their stuff and try to make money off their brand?

It doesn’t help that the NCAA doesn’t have rules that make universities help these players from being exposed to agents that are hounding these athletes for early representation. Also, when boosters across the nation, at every university, are offering them money under the table. Even some of the football teams themselves are offering these athletes money and other improper benefits, but as soon as these players get caught, they are always taking the biggest hit.

The players lose millions of dollars they would have got in the draft because the scouts drop their stocks. They get suspended from games and the media puts them under the spotlight because of what happened.

The universities might lose a little money or some scholarships, but never enough for them to stop these actions, just modify them so they don’t get caught.

It’s time for the NCAA to pay up and give these athletes some money. Maybe a salary for players, depending on their performance. This needs to happen.