According to former Ohio State safety Christian Bryant, you're not going to find many college athletes opposed to getting paid. At least not on Ohio State's football team.
“Almost everybody I would say believes that we should get paid,” Bryant told the Cleveland Plain-Dealer. “People who don’t play a sport, I feel like their argument would be they get a scholarship to a university. That’s fine and dandy.
"Still, the amount of money that’s made for the university, that collegiate athletes are making for the university, that isn’t shared to the collegiate athlete … I feel like that rule will definitely be changed in the next five years.”
Corey Brown, a senior receiver on the team last year, told the Plain-Dealer he handed out "APU" wristbands to every player. The All Players United movement for players' rights started in September when some players, including Northwestern QB Kain Colter, a leader in Northwestern's union efforts, donned the acronym on their equipment.
“All college football players feel the same, and if you don’t, you’re not a human,” Brown said. “Everyone feels this way, especially the way Kain is presenting it and taking charge. Just to see a dude like him, who was a senior last year, really try to start a movement … I handed the bands out to everyone, and everyone wears them now.”
Bryant said he would find something like $5,000-$10,000 per player fair. The NRLB board's ruling on Northwestern players' efforts to form a union said all scholarship players were classified as employees. So with 85 scholarship players, it'd be anywhere between $425,000-850,000. The minimum salary for an undrafted free agent in the NFL is $420,000 in 2014.
Something under $1 million could be palatable for BCS-conference schools, right? South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier thinks so. It wouldn't be a solution for every athletic program at a school and for football programs who don't make as much as the Ohio State's and Alabama's of the world, but it seems like a fair start for big football programs. And with how long the athletic reform process looks like it's going to take, the more possible solutions, the better.
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