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NCAA should change stance
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The Southern Standard sports desk is once again welcoming me into its arms. It’s almost like the desk has its own gravitational pull the way it keeps dragging me back every time I get a little distance.
Former sports reporter Steve Warner has made the move from our community to the supposedly greener pastures of DeKalb County. Steve has been promoted to editor of our sister newspaper, Smithville Review, so he’s no longer writing sports for us. This after we were finally figuring out his playful style. I guess Smithville presented an opportunity for him to earn even more money.
I mention money because the NCAA has long held an interesting belief when it comes to money. NCAA scholarship athletes can’t use their fame to earn any.
University of Central Florida kicker Donald De La Haye made headlines last week when it was announced he had been booted from the football team because of his YouTube videos, which were earning him money. The NCAA says its athletes cannot be paid for representing their schools.
It’s a ridiculous stance that needs to change.
Said De La Haye, “They wanted me to give up the money I made, wanted me to take down my videos, which I worked so hard for and wasn’t comfortable doing. It was just very unfair in my opinion, and now I’ve got to deal with the consequences. And the consequences are no more college football. And since I can’t play college football, no more scholarship. Life hit me fast, very fast.”
We send our kids to college so they can gain knowledge that will hopefully help them earn a better living. Then when a kicker makes a little cash off a YouTube video, the NCAA declares this wrong. What gives?
The University of Tennessee doesn’t mind earning millions upon millions from football. Yet the NCAA has determined the players who make the Vols so much money aren’t supposed to profit.
I say if a player has worked hard enough to become starting QB for the Vols, he deserves more than a scholarship. Let him make money from a YouTube video, or earn a little cash by appearing in a commercial. Who is this hurting?
The NCAA fully realizes most of its athletes will never play pro sports. That’s why it continually pushes the importance of gaining a college education so athletes have something they can depend on when their playing days are finished.
That being the case, the NCAA should allow athletes to take full advantage of their small window of opportunity. Let a popular UT linebacker who will never make the pros get a good start in life by earning some extra money on endorsements and such.
Instead of leaving college with nothing, perhaps he will walk out the door with enough money to start a small business or buy a new car. Either way, he’s stimulating the economy. That’s what college should be all about.