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Time For Pay For Play

Joe Nocera follows up his earlier New York Times piece accusing the NCAA of being a cartel in the manner of OPEC with a 6-page proposal for paying college athletes for their efforts.

He limits his pay-for-play proposal to only the male football and basketball participants, and he is not oblivious to the Title IX conflict and recognizes many of the other difficulties of such a practice including many of those cited previously here on ASoB, but his reasoning and that of others provides much food for thought. He concludes with this:

To hear the gnashing of teeth by those who believe that money will soil college sports is to hark back to the days when baseball was on the cusp of free agency, or the Olympics was considering abandoning its longstanding adherence to amateurism. In both cases, critics feared that the introduction of serious and legitimate money would damage the sports, turn off the fans and lead to chaos. Instead, baseball and the Olympics got much better.

College sports will become more honest once players are paid, and more honorable. Fans will be able to enjoy football and men’s basketball without having to avert their eyes from the scandals and the hypocrisy. Yes, it’s true: paying players will change college sports. They will be better, too.

I'm in general agreement with Nocera's deprecative view of the situation as it currently exists and expect a steady but deliberate move toward a more equitable distribution of revenue.

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