I’ve never understood the hissy fits coming from the NCAA haters who go on and on about how student athletes aren’t paid for their work. That may have been more true when college was cheaper, but when the price for a mid-level state school is more than $100k and a top-flight private college is easily $250k or more, many of these kids are maxing out their earnings while getting these degrees. Many of these football players will be lucky to clear $60k/year after they graduate. And as I’ve pointed out before, the school year is really close to half a year and they’re only playing football for half of it.
But I digress. Since this blog is devoted to trashing the reputation of the college industrial complex, I will drop all of that bluster and join forces. William Rhoden at the NY Times reports on the revolt of the college football players at Grambling. They students are annoyed enough to skip practice and skip some games forcing the school to forfeit their homecoming. Whew. They know how to stick it to the administration and those goobers in the development office.
Their complaints? Super long road trips on the bus and a bad floor in the weightroom. Uh, guys, quit dropping the weights and letting them slam into the floor, okay?
Rhoden conflates their story with the National College Players Association, a group trying to unite all of the football players. Their complaints are a bit more high minded. They want the stars to earn some cash and they want the schools to do something about the concussions. Heck, they want insurance to cover the players for life if they get really injured.
If I were the Grambling president, I would follow the lead of the University of Chicago and drop the program. Sure, both schools had legendary coaches with insanely long records of winning games, but both looked at the program and decided they were too expensive. And that’s what it looks like right now. If we’re at a point when even the football players are complaining about concussions, maybe we should just ice the sport?
But I still like the larger picture. Kids are talking back to the industrial complex. They may not like the answer they get, but hey, they’re still not just sitting still and taking it.