THE BLOG

No Money in NCAA Football?

11/07/2011 09:24 am ET | Updated Jan 07, 2012
  • Maya Ana Callender 17-year-old senior at the Institute for Collaborative Education in NYC

The first college football game that took place was November 6, 1869, Rutgers University against College of New Jersey (now known as Princeton University). That day marked the day of future NFL stars being produced, great rivals between different colleges and the football stars themselves, not being praised for their accomplishments in a check.

In the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), there are 27 different conferences that allow division 1 college football programs to compete against different schools in order to win a championship and other rewards -- for example, winning the Heisman Trophy or making it into the National Football League.

Usually when a college student wants money, they ask their parents or get a job themselves. But a college football players' day consists of practice, meetings about football, keeping up with school, visiting hospitals or making appearances with teammates and, when they find time, hanging out with friends. But when do they find time to have a job?

People would think since college football programs make so much money, the football players might get a little bit of it.

Rumors have it that the Big Ten conference that has Penn State, Wisconsin Badgers, Ohio State, etc. made around 8 million dollars in the year of 2009-2010. The Big 12 conference that has Baylor, Texas A&M, Missouri Tigers, etc. made around 7 million. The Big East conference that has Syracuse, Rutgers, West Virginia, Pittsburgh etc. made around 4 million. The Pac- 10 that has USC Trojans, Oregon Ducks, and UCLA etc. made around 5 million. And the SEC conference that has Florida Gators, Auburn and LSU Tigers etc. made around 8 million.

After seeing a couple of the amounts that college football produces, it is not fair that the people who are the primary reason why the NCAA make that type of money, the footballers, do not get paid.

The reasons why college football players should not get paid are because these players are getting a full athletic scholarship to college and are meeting the financial assistance they need. Not only that, but they get publicity from ESPN, CBS Sports and some players already take the experience for granted, like LSU quarterback Jordan Jefferson and his linebacker Josh Johns getting into a bar fight and being charged with battery. Yes, that's wrong. But maybe if they had a little positive feedback, not in words, they would make less mistakes.

It's really scary when the smartest players get hurt. LB Mark Herzlich from Boston College, now healthy playing for the New York Giants, suffered from bone cancer during college. Or even worse, at Rutgers University, Eric LeGrand became paralyzed in his junior year against Army.

There are players who do have the time to find jobs. JJ Watt, a linebacker for the Houston Texans, delivered pizza. He went to Wisconsin University. Then there is Tim Tebow, who is in a sticky situation with the Denver Broncos but played quarterback at the University of Florida. Tebow worked really hard in college and after reading his book, it is clear that he couldn't have time to find a job, even though he wanted the money to buy Christmas presents for his family.

I'm not saying that college players should get paid like NFL players. And I am not saying they should get free stuff on their own. But getting paid, like Watt, for minimum wage won't hurt. The college football players are the faces of their team and college for free. If it weren't for these players, there would be no football.

When people hear Mark Sanchez, Clay Matthews III, Matt Cassel, Troy Polamalu and Reggie Bush, they think of them now in the NFL, but USC is still making money off of them because future NFL players want to know where they came from and start where they started, which all connects back to the University of Southern California.

This is an ongoing investigation, and after seeing a scene from The Blind Side, maybe there should be people looking out for the young players. A majority of football players come from rough backgrounds. When they get close to fame they will sign anything to make them closer, which sadly means there is probably no lawyer present.

In The Blind Side Michael Oher was in the NCAA headquarters by himself, they asked the mother to leave, talking about money and his adopted parents, all regarding Ole Miss Football. The way the woman was questioning Oher would have not been allowed in a court house. It sucks to think that this may go on to different players who just want to play football.

Maybe that's why college football players do not get paid, because the main reason is they just want to play. And the NCAA knows that loud and clear.