Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/14/14

College athletics have been one of America’s pastimes for more than a century, and some of the greatest moments of American sports have come as a result. Who can forget Kevin Moen plowing over a Stanford University tuba player en route to the end zone after five laterals? Or what about Doug Flutie’s Hail Mary in the final seconds that propelled Boston College to victory against Miami in 1984. Still too long ago? How about Trey Burke’s bomb from the parking lot that lifted the Michigan Wolverines to the NCAA finals just last year? College athletics are not only entertaining, but a fantastic outlet for young people to get involved in sports and lead an active lifestyle. Before I begin to rip apart the NCAA, I want to make it very clear that college athletics are fantastic- I played them. What isn’t fantastic is the fact that an organization holds “student athletes” hostage, leaving them no other option besides playing for free and generating the NCAA millions. $871.6 million to be exact. That’s right, the NCAA made nearly a billion dollars last year and paid exactly none of it to its main money-generating employees. But, some argue, the college game is purer without money! Once money is involved, the athletes become corrupt! First of all, if you think there isn’t “money involved” when it comes to college athletes, you must not watch much television, subscribe to a newspaper, or have access to the internet- there are scandals every year involving money. Secondly, have these people ever thought about that statement? I’m not sure I deny that money can corrupt people, but does the paycheck that comes in the mail from working 9-5 “corrupt” anyone? And what about the coaches? Do their multi-million dollar salaries corrupt the game? Players like Marcus Lattimore risk severe injury while receiving zero compensation, healthy or injured Just a thought. However, I’m not here to argue that collegiate athletes should be paid- I’ll leave that to the NCAA. What I’m here to argue is that athletes should be given the opportunity to be paid. In the pros. I really don’t care if college athletes get paid or not. As long as they know what they’re signing up for, let them play in exchange for a scholarship (a pretty good deal). But the fact that this collegiate play is required is archaic. It’s nothing more than the rich and powerful becoming even richer and more powerful. The NCAA has been operating this way for decades, and will continue to do so until Chief Justice John Roberts reads this piece (he and Clarence Thomas are big isportsweb fans) and realizes he needs to swing the hammer of justice down upon the NCAA’s greedy head. There is the simplest of solutions to the collegiate athlete conundrum, but the NCAA can’t handle it because it threatens the popularity of their game, thus threatening their millions in income that they need to buy Lamborghinis and gold toilets. Tell me this: in what other profession could a person be compensated for their talents immediately, but has to do it for free for three years because of labor laws. Please let me know in the comments section if you come up with one, but as creative as you may get, there isn’t one. If I am a competent bricklayer, for instance, I can probably go out and find work in one area of the country or another. If I so choose, I can go to bricklayer school and perhaps increase my marketability as a bricklayer, in turn demanding a higher salary. This is the basis for the free-market economy that the United States of America was founded on. Supply and demand: people have a demand for bricklaying, so they will pay for that service the same way they pay to consume sports. If the rules requiring athletes to attend college were eliminated, what would the negative side effects be? The world would not implode. Collegiate athletics would not cease to exist. NCAA president Mark Emmert would probably still make close to $2 million a year. And what’s more, men and women with talents that people pay to see could be fairly compensated for those talents. College sports would be just fine- coaches are great recruiters and they would show these athletes why they should come to campus and would surely have a plan for how to improve that athlete’s game, thus improving draft stock and monetary gains.  If the athlete was truly great out of high school, maybe they do forgo college for the pros, but I’m sure the big leagues would be more inclined to take a guy with college experience over player without it. This will encourage players to go to school for at least a season, with the potential to go pro after that. This seems to work in the MLB and NHL. Why the NCAA refuses to see this clearly displays their monetary motives. My plan isn’t just the best answer to the problem, it’s the only one that can be instituted feasibly. Unfortunately, this will require the cooperation of the NCAA as well as the pro leagues (NFL, NBA) that stand by the NCAA’s bylaws. And that simply won’t happen. The legality of this system must be questioned in order for anything to change. The NCAA somehow gets away with violating antitrust laws due to their political clout, but this has to end. College sports fans, this won’t mark the end of college sports. Just the end of college sports as we know it. And the college sports we know are full of corruption, shortcomings and legal loopholes. Want the so-called “purity” restored to college sports? Let them play because they want to, not because they have to.   Follow me on twitter @ScottPeceny

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Irving scores career-high 55, hits game winner

FCS star QB considering transferring to Oregon

Gronk on interest in his partying: 'I'm a baller'

Jim Harbaugh looking to flip No. 1 quarterback recruit

Colts' suspension of Richardson voids $3.1 million

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Five players replacing the biggest names in Pac-12 for 2015

Report: Broncos hire Phillips as defensive coordinator

LeBron James misses Cavs-Blazers game due to wrist injury

Iceman: Thompson’s 37-point quarter doesn't break his record

Mayweather visited Pacquiao’s hotel room for private meeting

Seahawks GM: Russell Wilson's contract 'presents challenges'

Jimbo Fisher's extension could be worth $44 million

Morris twins investigated for possible assault

Padres are bringing back the brown pinstripes

Phil Jackson's old Knicks teams used to deflate balls

David Blatt: There should be more LeBron MVP talk

Richard Sherman, girlfriend expecting son during SB week

WATCH: Marshawn, Gronk play Mortal Kombat with Conan

Armstrong: I’d use PEDs again under same circumstances

Top five free agent quarterbacks

Report: NFL investigators to consult physicist on Deflategate

5 X-factors for Super Bowl XLIX

Best prop bets about the Super Bowl broadcast

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Blatt wants more LeBron MVP talk

Best Super Bowl ads of all-time

5 X-factors for Super Bowl XLIX

Ten worst teams to ever play in a SB

Six MLB teams going all-in on 2015

Patriots' keys to Super Bowl victory

Seahawks' keys to Super Bowl victory

DeflateGate ball could fetch $50K

Doug Baldwin ready for Revis Island

Top storylines for Super Bowl XLIX

Barnes unhappy with NBA over fine

Does MLB need more offense in the modern game?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.