At the same time, to feel sorry for players because they don’t get paid is misspent empathy. The deal they’re offered is to play football in exchange for a free ride to college. The deal, as deals will, comes with rules. Take it or leave it, just like everybody else. The Man offers you a deal and you take it or leave it. No one can force you to take it. If you don’t like the deal being offered by the university, you’re free to do something else. How about community college? How about going down to the temp agency and signing up for general labor? Dishwasher at Outback Steakhouse? What’s that you say? The university sounds better than those other options? You’d like to exercise and occasionally read amongst 20,000 cute young women rather than do those other things that are available to you? Now you do realize that someone else is going to profit from your work, just like what happens to 99 percent of other folks in the world? And you still prefer playing football and getting a degree to apprenticing to be a plumber or enlisting in the Army? OK then. If you’re sure.
My mind isn’t totally made up on the issue of paying NCAA athletes, but this is a great read: John Brandon sends a letter to ex-Ohio State coach Jim Tressel - Grantland