Justice Demetrio

All rise. The Justice is back on the bench to right the injustices that plague America. This week a case comes before the bench due to the noise made from the Justice’s place of birth Evanston, IL.

Last week athletes from Northwestern University filed to unionize in order to receive wages for playing college sports. The debate to pay college athletes has been around for over a decade, but it continues to pick up more steam every year making it a hot topic. The time has come for Justice Demetrio to solve this issue for good.

Case #000000003 NCAA Athletes vs. The NCAA

The NCAA is a shady organization, there is no other way to put it. People opposed to the practices compare the use of college athletes to slavery. While it is always a bit much to compare anything to slavery, the NCAA does take advantage of a free labor force, to limit overhead, and increase profit margin.

Anyone who went to college and is paying off college loans monthly with no end in sight, would argue college athletes get a huge advantage with full scholarships. A fully paid college experience does save these athletes a lot of money and their respective universities provide an education that will be invaluable to them for the rest of their lives.

However, the NCAA cashes in a ton of money from these players likeness via jersey sales and video games, not to mention the enormous TV deals. It goes beyond the basic student-athlete agreement. Since, it treats these athletes more as commodities than students the athletes feel they’re entitled to a piece of the profit pie. Many athletes come from economically deficient backgrounds, and while a scholarship plus room and board is nice, it does not feed them or provide clothing. Both of which are difficult to come by for some of them.

It seems ridiculous that a player whose jersey sells out and is featured on ESPN all week does not have enough money to properly feed himself. There is also the pressure to provide money for loved ones struggling at home. Since the NFL requires players to wait three years after high school graduation before being allowed to enter the draft, there are players who are due for multi-million dollar contracts to play on Sundays that have to wait it out three tough years.

Verdict:

An education is a valuable commodity and many people would give an arm and a leg to get out of college debt. The NCAA is corrupt and cashes in on an advantageous situation. Something does need to change, but let’s be honest only College Football, and to a much lesser extent, basketball, bring in any money. I don’t think many people are marking their calendar’s for the Men’s Volleyball Championships, well besides Michael Juettner, boom. Juettner Slam! Many student athletes are actually getting a great deal with a full scholarship to play a sport they love. Especially with Title IX, the large number of football scholarships has allowed for more women to go to good schools and continue to compete at the sports at which they excel.

It is too difficult to determine how to pay players, who deserves it, and how much to pay them. There are really only a dozen players or so that move the needle in jersey sales and bring in extra profits. Is the woman who sits on the field hockey bench suppose to make the same amount of money as the starting QB at Alabama? Even in the big money sports, do all players deserve the same? Despite the fact that they never play and no one even knows their name, let alone would buy a jersey.

There will never be a fair process to pay these athletes and someone will continue to complain. The NCAA starting to pay athletes is going down a rabbit hole, the classic give a mouse a piece of cheese situation. The Justice cannot justify forcing the NCAA to pay athletes, it is just impossible to regulate and find a fair way to pay players money proportionate to their skills at an institution of higher learning.

The NCAA has created a beautifully corrupt home and it will continue to get to benefit from beating the system. However, there is an opportunity for someone to come in and provide competition to knock it down a peg.

What if there was a developmental, professional league that served as the minor leagues of the NFL? Instead of having to sign at a school and wait out three years of college ball, talented young football players can sign with this new professional league and get paid right out of high school.

There is no competing with the NFL, but the opportunity to make money right out of high school, at least legitimately and not under the table, would be enticing to talented young athletes. It may take a few years, but once the talent starts pouring in this league could take off and serve as a good alternative league to the NCAA. It’s certainly hard take on the big boosters from the big Universities, but there are enough football addicts out there to draw decent ratings.

The best thing for this league is to be sponsored, maybe even owned by the NFL. After all wouldn’t teams benefit from having a  developmental league in order to be able to better evaluate players. It can also be an opportunity to train these athletes to the rigors of the NFL off the field at a younger age, which could cut down on the number of off the field arrests and incidents. It would make sense that the NFL would be supportive of this new league as it would also create some distance between itself and the stink of the NCAA.

However, if the NFL was afraid to challenge the NCAA in order to maintain  its friendly relationship, then I’m sure there are plenty of billionaires who would be interested in stepping up and starting this league. One billionaire comes to mind over any other. A man who once had the cajones to challenge the NFL with a competitive league that’s right, the Justice’s good friend, Vinny Mac.

Vince McMahon thrives on challenging authority and the status quo. He would love the attention he’d get for starting this new under 25 league as a way to compete with the “corrupt” NCAA. Vinny Mac does not like to pass up a great PR stunt. He can even bring back some of the principles of the XFL and provide a hard nosed alternative to the softer rules of the NFL. Plus it would be exciting to see him do this again.

Court Adjurned.

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