Never in a million years would I have envisioned a player having to return their Heisman Trophy because of NCAA infractions.  When I heard the news that the New Orleans Saints star running back and former USC standout Reggie Bush voluntarily forfeited the Heisman, I was somewhat shocked.    To be sure, I am not taking up for Bush.  Although he is an incredible athlete to watch on Sundays and Monday nights with the Saints, he was wrong for accepting money and other benefits from sports marketers during his tenure at USC.  But, in fairness, it is relatively hypocritical to see the NCAA being an aggressive watchdog and enforcer, while concomitantly bringing in well over a half-billion dollars in revenue from college athletics.

It is safe to state that most stars in the big-money college sports such as football and basketball are African-American athletes who evolve from low-income and lower middle class status.  Although these “amateur” athletes receive free tuition and education, room and board, and other benefits, most, if not all, of these stars remain significantly poor.  Some critics and cynics would simply make the assertion that most college students are fiscally challenged.  So, there should be no exceptions for student-athletes, even if they are the primary reasons why stadiums and arenas are jam-packed.

Do I disagree with the NCAA disallowing players from making money while they are students?  Resoundingly, no!  But, I do believe that the NCAA should implement at least several actions to help prevent even more major infraction cases, penalties and suspensions.

First, sports marketers are not regulated by the NCAA.  This is a major problem.  In a recent press conference, outspoken Alabama football coach Nick Saban stated that, “Agents should stop acting like pimps and instead act like grown men with integrity.”  It is tragic that these “pimps” can provide star athletes with cash, employment, free professional and personal services, automobiles, homes, “bling” and other expensive items without any repercussions.  Of course, some commentators would state that these star athletes should exercise self-control and not accept any of these items from agents.  But, let’s be real.  It is pretty difficult for these young kids who have no money to resist such temptations.  The NCAA should regulate sports marketers, fine them for violations and stop expecting colleges to be responsible for these “pimps” interacting with their athletes.

Second, as Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples once stated, “If a school considers a player so special that it believes putting his number on a replica jersey will bring in more cash, the player deserves a piece.”  It is relatively tragic when the replica jersey of a star athlete is sold for at least $50, and the actual athlete does not receive anything.

An exemplary case occurred recently with Georgia receiver A.J. Green.  After the Independence Bowl on last year, the star SEC receiver reportedly sold his jersey for nearly $1,000 to an agent and was recently suspended for four games.  Was Green wrong for selling his jersey for such a significant amount?  Absolutely.  Should Green receive some profits from the sale of his replica jersey in Athens, Georgia and around the nation?  In my professional opinion, I think he should but only after his eligibility with the university expires.

Third, the NCAA should allow colleges to give decent stipends to student-athletes up to an agreed limit.  With the NCAA consistently bringing in revenue over $700 million, most coaches at major Division I colleges making over $750,000 and colleges raking in millions, it is relatively unjust for players not to receive anything.  I truly believe that the frequency of infractions will significantly decrease if these players are giving an allowance to help them get by.

Until these real issues are addressed, college athletes will continue to get pimped not only by agents but also by the NCAA.

Anthony Jerrod is a speaker,  public policy expert and author of Carnal Striving Spiritual.  

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BILLIONS...

Cookie Pie said:
When you go to college , you are not a child anymore . Working adults should get paid ! How are these kids supposed to eat ? Some athletes are there through scholarships and would never be able to afford attending some of these schools without one .... So how are they supposed to get along without money ? The colleges are making millions of dollars a year off of these young men and women , I believe that they are entitled to some of the money . So to answer your question ..... yes they are being pimped hard !!! By the school and sports marketers .
No one is saying they should be paid per se. But I went to FSU... and by NCAA rules. These kids are not allowed to accept free meals. Shoot I was @ fsu when the f&s stood for FREE SHOES. LOL the basic needs are met. Tuition, room & board. But what about clothes heck money to take a chick on a date or even to hang our w/ the guys. Truthfully they shouldn't even accept gifts from their LOL boos. Its a dirty dirty game... some of the schools & coaches take part in it but When the poop hits the fan, its the athlete that takes thefall & is the bad Guy... FYI: this even goes on in some high schools...
I agree! Many of their families will accept money from "friends" to give to them so it can look like they're providing for them. I have a cousin that plays hockey, and he went to school in Minnesota and alumni/boosters/agents would hook those white familes up. This boy was driving a brand new Camaro, hitting bars every weekend, paying for abortions left and right (seriously, he knocked up 3 girls his first year). His parents (who look down on our black side of the family) barely make enough to make ends meet, his mom is a dental hygienist and his dad is a contractor. Somehow they pulled all of this money out of their a****? Please. They should at least allow athletes to work on campus for a few hours a week to make a little money. I know some will try to work in the off season, but it doesn't help them for the rest of the school year.


JustMe said:
No one is saying they should be paid per se. But I went to FSU... and by NCAA rules. These kids are not allowed to accept free meals. Shoot I was @ fsu when the f&s stood for FREE SHOES. LOL the basic needs are met. Tuition, room & board. But what about clothes heck money to take a chick on a date or even to hang our w/ the guys. Truthfully they shouldn't even accept gifts from their LOL boos. Its a dirty dirty game... some of the schools & coaches take part in it but When the poop hits the fan, its the athlete that takes thefall & is the bad Guy... FYI: this even goes on in some high schools...
Of course they are, (the short answer) The NCAA, clears $$$$ EVERY year like no other.......They need to revisit the system, and reevaluate the penalties for these students. They are made out to be the bad guys, when EVERYONE who is apart of the system is not only aware, but in some way apart of the problem
Yuuup
Denise said:
Of course they are, (the short answer) The NCAA, clears $$$$ EVERY year like no other.......They need to revisit the system, and reevaluate the penalties for these students. They are made out to be the bad guys, when EVERYONE who is apart of the system is not only aware, but in some way apart of the problem
yes indeed... I've had people constantly tell me "while you no doubt can do the work, you are over qualified"

Jamal Black said:
With all due respect, the value of their "education" is over inflated number one. It should not cost 25-30k a year to go to collage for anybody. Tuition should be free, or next to nothing, if we truly wanted to provide an education to everybody equally. And make no mistake about it, part of the reason why education is so high it to keep certain people out, and also because it's really a for profit business. The amount of money collages make from the constantly revised textbooks alone is a whole scandal in itself.
Secondly, earning a degree today no longer means much anymore in terms of landing a job because companies have either closed up, or outsourced the work all together. So, in other words, there are simply not enough jobs to go around regardless if you have a degree or not, and from what I'm gathering, having a degree can actually work against you in this economy.

tHeOfFiCialLuRKeR said:
I just graduated from college not long ago & these players are taken care of! Especially at big named schools! The value of their education is their payment. If you pick a school that cost $25k a year and you stay 4 years, that's 100k! And technically you work for the school in exchange for your services. Add in the fact that school pays for your travel, gear & whatnot and you are technically making the money you should be making! Except it's all spent on school.
Players get helped big time on these squads! If they get married, which I was shocked to find out that most are married, they get wife in school too!

At FSU I was told that they would maker as comfortable as possible, by offering some of my classes in my dorm! Ppl give them free things at various places all over the towns these schools are in. And let's face it some of these students are NOT smart enough to even really be in college.

If you need to think of it any other way, then just think in most careers you need to do an internship. That allows you to master your skills, same thing with sports in college. Which is also why the NBA & NFL no longer take ppl from highschool! Ppl better stop complaining about not being paid b/c soon they will get like the air line business! Give you a college kid, a salary, then make you responsible for paying your tution, boarding & etc. And make rules that you have to attend the college full time, which there hoes that salary! Pay to Play! Oh and take taxes out of your money too'
Why does this thread remind me of Forest Gump???? You know the part where he says 'After 5 years of playing football, I got my college degree.'
From what I know from male and female athletes in my family, these schools like their athletes dumb. The dumber you are, the less questions you and your family are going to ask. Colleges with strong baseball programs have it bad. I know most of the women on this site are black, so we tend to look at basketball and football, but I've heard horror stories about kids being deported. A soccer player that I used to go to church with was from Russia and was almost deported twice because he went to the NCAA about what his school wasn't giving him that was promised to him. He told me that most of the foreign kids just get here and play dumb, they don't want to rock the boat before they can properly apply for citizenship or defect.

SPICE said:
If we're talking about 'book smarts' anyone can be 'book smart' if they apply themselves. Let's face it, these boys are not thinking about academics, they are looking at the contracts at the end (hopefully). If those middle school kids can't read, that is not the fault of the school, their parents are responsible for that.

If there is 'special admission' for players that is an insult. That's dumbing them down already and writing them off. But the statement still upsets up me. I know some dumb people with degrees and a lot of smart people without degrees.

Although we say get that piece of paper to get a good job (which means for most people a 9-5 for someone else and maybe a 1-3% increase every year) there are many ways to achieve success without college/university. You just need the audacity of hope, commonsense, street smarts and opportunity.

For most of these 'boys from the hood' they choose this path and unfortunately it stinks. The school makes $$ from showing the college sports on TV etc. It's a job IMO and they should be compensated or they don't play if they don't 'earn' those grades.

tHeOfFiCialLuRKeR said:

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