One college student’s view of the Todd Gurley situation


Let me preface everything I’m about to say concerning Todd Gurley by saying this.

I do not believe student athletes should be paid by their respective institutions.

While, yes, some schools, especially those in the SEC, make billions of dollars a year off of football revenue, schools still have volleyball teams and soccer teams and gymnastics teams and basketball teams and swim & dives teams and…well, you get the point. So, simply put, there wouldn’t be enough in any school in the nation’s budget in order to pay every single athlete. If a school did do that, it’d be like that scene in Bruce Almighty when everyone prays to win the lottery, he says yes, and the winnings are $3.50.

However, having said that, what I do believe is student athletes should be able to make money off of their own likeness – be it from video games, school’s selling jerseys with the actual player’s names on it and yes, especially exchanging money for autographs. I ask you – what’s the difference between Todd Gurley and myself? I’m a collegiate senior, he a junior. I want to be a sports broadcaster, he a football player. When I’m not in class, I do either blogging (all across this great Fansided network) or doing high school play-by-play in my city in which I go to school in Kentucky. When Gurley’s not in class, he’s at practice and playing the sport he’s darn good at and loves. So again, what’s the difference? Gurley is known nation wide. At the same time, I’m getting paid for my out of class experience, and not only is Gurley not allowed the same luxury, if he receives money anyway, he’s banished from playing.

I have no problem with the NCAA wanting to glorify and maintain the, “purity” if you want to call it that, of amateur sports. However, if they want to do it, it’s going to need to happen on all fronts. To truly keep the NCAA as an amateur institution, then we need to disband the Pac 12 Network, the Big 10 Network and, yes, the SEC Network. (Just for kicks, I’ll allow ESPNU to stay.) The NCAA needs to crackdown on Las Vegas, because if players can’t profit on themselves, why should I be able to profit on them? Yes, it’s been said by just about everyone over and over again how hypocritical the NCAA is; no, we won’t pay our players, but what we will do is charge other companies billions of dollars to sponsor our product. If I want an autograph so badly from one of the volleyball players at my school, and are willing to pay $20 bucks for it, why shouldn’t I, and the athlete, be able to do that? (And, also, I’m not sure if anyone has noted this yet, but $8 for a Gurley autograph has to be some sort of steal, right?)

For the life of me, I can’t seem to figure out why the NCAA wants a hold over these athletes lives in a way that few, if any other, institutions have. However, what I will say is this – with almost all of these huge scandals happening in the SEC since 2011 (Cam Newton, Johnny Football and now Gurley), I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say it, if nothing changes with the NCAA and their rules, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see conferences leave the NCAA to create their own entity. And I’d put good money on it (because I can, and that’s dumb) that the SEC will lead the charge.

The NCAA bounded to social convention by disbanding the BCS. We can only hope that come sooner rather than later, they do the same with not allowing athletes to profit off themselves.