This blog is not all personal finance, all the time. Even I can get bored talking about the same topic over and over again. There are a lot of interesting topics that have financial implications but aren’t directly related to the average person’s personal finances. Remember Teacher Pay vs. Athlete Pay?

Here’s another interesting sports topic that, if you are any kind of sports fan, you’ve probably discussed at one point or another. Should college football players earn a paycheck?

We are focusing on college football because no other sport brings in nearly as much money. Men’s basketball also brings in money but isn’t on the same level as football. As for other male sports and all female sports: don’t make me laugh. Those sports do nothing but spend money that football and basketball bring in. If you even want to consider getting paid, you have to do something that is worth paying for.

I got this idea after reading an article from Greg Doyel at CBS Sports who says college athletes are already paid enough through scholarships and housing allowances. For the opposite opinion, I give you an ESPN article from Rod Gilmore.

To summarize, Doyel says they don’t need to be paid because they already get a free education and even make money on living expenses and books. Plus it would be impossible to create a system where players are paid based on their true value to the program. Gilmore argues that graduation rates are so low that most kids really aren’t even receiving an education in exchange for their time on the football field, and they deserve to be paid for bringing in a crapload of revenue for the school.

They are both wrong.

Here’s how it should work.

  1. College athletes should not be paid by the schools – They play an amateur sport. If they want to be paid to play then they should¬† join the UFL or CFL until they are old enough for the NFL. And I don’t care how low the graduation rates are. It’s not the school’s fault that the kids aren’t graduating. If those kids wanted to get their degree, then they would.
  2. College athletes should be allowed to seek endorsements while in school – If I’m a D-I college athlete, I’m allowed to have a job but I’m not allowed to have endorsements. How does that make sense? As long as I’m doing the endorsement as an individual and not as a “member of the USC football team”, then I don’t see the problem. Who cares if I’m a college athlete? I should be entitled to make money however I want. If I am allowed to work the cash register at McDonald’s, I should also be able to do a commercial for McDonald’s. I honestly don’t understand why this isn’t legal today.
  3. Follow me on twitter@kevin_is_money (shameless, I know)

Problem solved. If you want to be paid to play a sport (ie, be a professional athlete) then join a professional league. If you want to make money acting or doing voice overs while you are playing a sport, it should be allowed just like any other job.

Despite the fact that my logic is infallible, I still want to hear your opinion. How do you feel about compensation in NCAA sports? What’s your solution and why is it better? I’m sure I have some sports fans out there;¬† let’s make this my most commented post ever!