Will these two teams be playing for more than pride next season? PHOTO: USA Today Sports
There is a growing movement in college football to pay players. Dennis Dodd wrote a good piece on it on Wednesday and how it figures to be one of the key issues at the upcoming NCAA Convention. In the article, Dodd quotes NCAA president Mark Emmert as saying "it seems to be a much less controversial notion than it was 18 month ago....it is being seen as less threatening."
With the NCAA now starting to get on board with the idea, Mississippi Democrat Omeria Scott has proposed legislation to pay college athletes in the state of Mississippi.
One interesting thing about this bill is that it's based on performance, not of the individual but of the team. The bill calls for "every University eligible for a postseason bowl game to place into an escrow account 33% of all revenue received by the University for being accepted into, participating in, and winning a bowl game."
The money would be paid out, to each athlete, their pro-rated share when the athlete graduated. The legislation is to take effect after July 1, 2014 if ratified.
This is an interesting proposition because it rewards performance and not just of an individual but of a team. It would also solve that pesky issue of if a team is "motivated" to win their bowl game. Yes, the players wouldn't get an immediate reward but they would be playing for a little bit of cash down the line and if you were a player who was on a team that won four straight bowl games, you could be sitting on a nice little nest egg when you got your degree. Oh yeah, that's another kicker, the payment is tied into the degree so there is more motivation for the "student athlete" to get their degree.
I like the legislation at it's heart. I think it means well and I like how it benefits the team and individuals but I think that there needs to be a more immediate reward for college football players when it comes to pay. Could this be part of the equation in the ultimate answer to "how do we play players"? Absolutely. But by itself, it just doesn't seem to have enough meat.