By Eric N. Ellington
Featured Columnist

Should the NCAA and Universities pay collegiate athletes?

Absolutely not.

I truly understand how the NCAA exploits college athletes, but there is no way in the world anybody could implement a system where the a student athlete gets compensated for play.

Let's just say "college signing day" for a high school prospect, would have a entirely different meaning. It would be the Wild Wild West if college players could get paid.

They would find themselves in a world of trouble and danger -- gambling, extortion, boosters, etc. It wouldn't be safe for an 18-year-old kid to be running around campus trying to sell his jersey and other team memorabilia, or copping off a national championship ring for some tattoos.

College is a place for higher learning, where people can obtain a decent education, grow and mature, and put oneself in a viable position to earn income after completing. These student athletes need to remain patient and appreciate the opportunity that's bestowed upon them.

Creating a situation where the student athletes can be compensated could potentially put these young adolescents in extremely unsafe and risky situations. Major universities would be bidding for player services (this still happens, albeit under the table). Parents would also expect compensation as well.

Remember the Reggie Bush and Cam Newton scandals? Those scandals would be the norm if student athletes could be compensated.

Players would be getting extorted, signing contracts with shady agents and dealers, paid for performance, fixed game, etc. They would be all over the news.

I could see it now the news headlines now, "Player get's killed after a financial dispute over signing autographs." Or here's another one: "South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney involved in a fight after a financial dispute over free tattoos after having a ..."

In fact, collegiate players do get paid --a full scholarship, free room and board, meal plans, training facilities, access to professional coaching and training and an opportunity to play professional sports. Even if they don't go pro in their respective sports, student athletes they can obtain good jobs after college.

If someone can find a fair way to implement a system where compensation can be awarded, I am willing to listen. I just don't know how it would work.

Would major universities be the only one's paying players? Who would get paid and how much? What about other sports, like basketball, soccer, rugby or a litany of other sports most universities offer Would women student athletes get paid too?

Most of this this heated discussion have stemmed from the Ed O'Bannon lawsuit vs. NCAA and the recent comments by Jay Bilas towards the NCAA.

O'Bannon's lawsuit against the NCAA purely boils down to "sour grapes" because his pro career didn't turn out as expected. Bilas comes off as being a hypocrite himself.

I'm pretty confident Bilas benefited greatly from the athletic scholarship he received at Duke University. The opportunity afforded to him allows him to be a major broadcaster on ESPN .

Take a look at a few of his controversial tweets:
College Athletes are not professional athletes. Student athletes will put themselves in dangerous situations if college athletics chooses to go down that route. I truly understand how the NCAA has profited greatly from college athletics, but it does not mean you should pay the amateurs.

Definition of "amateur": a person who engages in a pursuit, esp. a sport, on an unpaid basis.

Let's not get all caught up in the "Johnny Football" hype. I'll be the first to admit, its a bad rule. However, it's still a rule and Manziel brazenly broke the rule. I don't want to see him suspended or gone for the rest of the season, and honestly neither should the NCAA.

Manziel will be one of the biggest draws in collegiate football this season. Just give the kid a one-game suspension or some type of probation. Let's move on from this and return to enjoy watching college athletics.

Manziel has had many supporters. The Texas A&M University Chancellor stated this in an interview with NBC 5's Chris Can Horne Thursday.

“I also think that there’s something, you know this is just me talking not as chancellor of the system, something is wrong with the system when we can make money off of our football players, the NCAA make money off of our football players and they can’t be treated like Olympic athletes."
Current NFL players Dez Bryant and Adrian Peterson have also voiced their support of Manziel.

What do you think of this whole situation? What should happen to Johnny Manziel? Should NCAA pay the college athletes? 


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