I’d love to get Jay Bilas and Nick Saban in a room 1-on-1 to talk about paying college athletes. Bilas recently sat down with J. Brady McCollough of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and spoke at length about the subject:
Last summer, ESPN aired a show called “College Football: Blueprint For Change,” which featured a roundtable of important voices. Bilas was the only person with no affiliation to football who was invited to join the panel.
Surrounded mostly by skeptical ears, Bilas described his plan to fix college athletics: an Olympic model in which players are not paid directly by their schools but can benefit from outside sources using their name or likeness.
“A music student who’s on a full music scholarship can cut a record,” Bilas said that day, “can play at Carnegie Hall, can be on TV, can be in a movie, whatever they want. Regular students get paid all the time.”
At one point, Alabama coach Nick Saban, who makes more than $4 million a year, said “It’s not a business. … Nobody’s really making money. I mean, we get paid salaries.”
Bilas responded, “I’ll say.”
If you’re wondering about video of this event, here’s a cut up version. There’s plenty of talk about paying players in the middle of this (but very little from Bilas). I suggest waiting for Rod Gilmore to make a lot of sense only to have Kirk Herbstreit laugh and say he’s “crazy.”
You know which side of this argument I’m on, so there’s no need to club you over the head again with that opinion. Also, I’d put Floyd Mayweather money on Bilas to record a first-round KO. [Post-Gazette]