Oklahoma's Bob Stoops thinks college players should not be paid. The best player Stoops has coached, a player who helped Stoops become a very rich man, disagrees.
Put NFL MVP Adrian Peterson on the list of people who see the hypocrisy of college sports for what it is.
Peterson, in an interview with Fox Sports, said he thinks college players should be allowed to profit off their name, in response to the investigation of Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel possibly getting paid for signing autographs.
“I think so,” Peterson told FOXSports.com. “The universities are making a lot of money off of student athletes in general. So, yeah he should be able to make money. I think so. They make millions off of these college athletes and they made millions off of the guys I played with as well. Yeah, he should be getting paid.”
The more high-profile players who point out the hypocrisy of college athletics, the better. Dez Bryant also did so this week when he said he would be upset at the NCAA if it didn't suspend Johnny Manziel over the autograph-signing investigation, considering Bryant was suspended for most of his final season after lying about having a legal dinner with Deion Sanders.
However, the same NFL that employs Peterson and Bryant helps the college system exploit players. NBA, NHL and MLB teams all pay for a minor-league system. How does the NFL get around that? By the rule that players can't declare for the draft until they are three years removed from high school. The NFL doesn't need a minor league, because their minor league is college football. By an unfair rule that keeps players like Jadeveon Clowney, Marqise Lee and (maddeningly) Marcus Lattimore in college for at least three years even if they're ready to play in the pros, the NFL gets free scouting. The NFL players' union has no reason to fight against that rule in collective bargaining sessions, considering it might cost some veterans (its current membership) some jobs. And then football-playing schools can continue to fill stadiums and drag in television money because the best players have to go through their system. It's a pretty tidy monopoly that allows colleges to chase every penny possible through realignment and television contracts. And it would be political suicide for anyone in power to significantly change college athletics, the only multi-billion dollar industry in America in which the most skilled laborers don't get paid. Everyone wins! Except college athletes, the only people not allowed to profit off college athletics.
It's great when stars like Peterson draw attention to how ridiculous the college athletics system is. Perhaps if pro players continue to speak out, someone will listen.