The arguments and ultimatums of Paterno and Emmert fail. Both deserve fair market value, and the only reason to question their salaries is because they are part of a cartel that restricts athletes from realizing their fair market value while others profit. Many would gladly “switch places” with a college athlete, but that is not a legitimate argument for denying athletes the opportunity to profit in the marketplace. There is no valid argument or data to support the notion that allowing compensation to athletes would compromise the educational mission of the NCAA.
The idea that a college athlete should play only for the love of the game is nonsense. If it were true, why give a scholarship at all? A scholarship athlete at UCLA does not love the game any less than an athlete in the Ivy League, and his education is not compromised by cost of attendance. And, it is not compromised by more than that.
Bilas backs up his point by mentioning Clemson QB Kyle Parker and his $1.4 million baseball signing bonus. Then, Bilas drops some more science:
I don’t believe college athletes should be paid as employees. Rather, I believe barriers should be removed that limit an athlete from receiving fair compensation for his or her image and likeness. There is no legitimate reason why a college athlete should be denied the opportunity to enter into legitimate, legally binding contracts to, among other things, hire an agent, do paid appearances, appear in advertisements, endorse shoes and apparel or otherwise profit from their names and likenesses. It would not sink college sports, substantially limit the NCAA’s massive television profits or negatively affect the education of the athletes or any other student. It would simply be fair.
Boom. Boom. Boom. As a curtain call, Bilas brings up the Olympics. A jolly good show!
That’ll be all for today. Enjoy … the Zambrano experience tonight. Which White Sox player will he plunk?