The recent news that Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush should have his award returned has started a new debate concerning payment for football players. I have always contended they are already paid simply by means of their perks and scholarships. If the average football scholarship is $50,000, that is a lot of money for going to school.
But RT, he's not just going to school, he's playing sports, you say. True, but you can't split the whole in this case. He has to do both. He must attend classes and pass the coursework (depending on what school you go to). The athlete gets his schooling paid for, housing and all his meals and many medical expenses. That is a tremendous expense to cover for any organization or family. Even if you call it something else, a rose by any other name... And guess what, most don't go to school in the summer.
Some point to how much money a school makes off his performance to justify payment. Well, my corporation doesn't pay me based on what the corporation makes. My salary is my salary and is defined by the position I hold. And by the way, that's $50K per year or $200,000 over four years. That is the median income of families in the United States. That's called payment.
How much would you pay a quarterback versus a second string punter? To give an athlete extra money serves no useful purpose for the universities. That type of payment structure is reserved for the NFL. Why not pay the athlete on the swimming team? You already do, you give them a scholarship as well. That's another $50,000 (possibly less depending on the sport) to participate in a sport while you are attending school that generates absolutely no income for the school. It is actually a drain on the athletic departments to fund these sports.
If my corporation paid for my home, utilities and food, I would certainly work for less as all the major expenses would be taken care of. Oh, I guess they already do, it's called my salary.