Moneyball

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You’re a star athlete. Throughout your athletic career, you have always been the best player on the team, the leader. Like many college students, you are nearly broke economically; however, your university has made millions off of your athletic accomplishments. Other students can be seen wearing your jerseys at games, and teenagers across the country hope to play as your virtual likeness in NCAA Football on their PlayStation. Is it fair that you are uncompensated for your performances on the field?

For years this issue has been hotly debated, should college athletes be paid for their athletic feats? In recent weeks, Texas A & M’s star quarterback, Johnny Manziel, has beeen in the national spotlight for possibly selling his autography for money. After being investigated, Manziel was only suspended for one half of a game, but the controversy brought national attention to this important issue. During Manziel’s legendary Heisman Trophy-winning campaign in 2012, Texas A&M generated $37 million in media revenue. Manziel himself did not earn one cent of this money.

As the popularity of college sports, particularly football, reaches extraordinary heights, the NCAA, the governing body of sports, faces a growing dilemma. While they ban the practice of an athlete profiting off of his own actions, the NCAA gift shop and university bookstores around the nation sell the jerseys of dozens of college football stars.

Athletes are forced to watch helplessly as the NCAA and universities profit at their expense. The 1991 Michigan basketball team, commonly referred to as “The Fab Five,” is considered one of the greatest college basketball teams of all times. But their accomplishments on the court were erased from the record books because a booster was found paying the players several thousand dollars each.

South Carolina football head coach Steve Spurrier proposed a plan that would give athletes roughly $300 per game, a rewarding incentive for athletes risking their own safety on the field each week.

Despite these calls for paying athletes, other coaches remain firmly against the idea. Syracuse men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim said the idea of paying players is “the most idiotic suggestion of all time.”

WSHS offensive lineman Evan Gregory agreed with Boeheim because “athletes are being paid through scholarships,” more than making up for the lack of a financial reward. Gregory also believes that paying star players, like Johnny Manziel, would only “make other players jealous.”

The true problem with this issue is that both sides are unlikely to agree to a permanent deal anytime soon. As Gregory said, “Everybody has their own opinion.” Unfortunately, it appears this problem will continue to plague college athletics.

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