Brandon's Blog

Paying college athletes & an alternative

Last week NFL player Arian Foster said he took money in college. He also said there was a time when he had to choose between paying for food and paying rent. His coach bought him food and that is a violation of NCAA rules. The coaches and university are making millions off of him. But he doesn’t make a penny. Foster is lucky to be in the NFL but very few college players make it to the NFL. I think Foster is well aware of that and knows that most are as lucky.

And now there has been a lot of talk of paying college players. I would take things a step further. Right now, high school seniors go to college, play 3 or 4 years with perhaps a red shirt year, then enter the NFL draft. I would replace college football with a minor football league. Not the Canadian or Arena League, where players go who are good enough for the NFL, but a league between high school and pro. Have a 10 or 12 game season. A player is only eligible for 4 years, but would get an extra year if a certain amount of time is lost to injuries. This league would have to have a draft of high school seniors. This would create the parity that allowed the Saints to go from 3 – 13 in 2005 to 10 – 6 in 2006 and ultimately win the Superbowl in 2009. It would stop just a few schools from becoming powerhouses. No more recruiting players.

But most important of all, the players would get paid. Coaches would get paid like they do in both pro and college. If the league is successful, owners, like in the pros, would get rich instead of the colleges.

But while this league is taking place, these high school graduates should be taking some sort of class to prepare themselves for life after football as very few high school athletes make it to the pros. I’m sure there are many other things that would have to be taken in consideration.

There would be a lot of opposition to the this and it would take a lot of capital for it to work. I doubt there is anyone out there with the resources to take that risk. However, anyone who denies the current system is broken is kidding themselves. I’m sure Arian Foster would be the first to agree.

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