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October 1, 2009

What price for taking on this risk?

John Mackey I've never really understood the basis of the widespread criticism that professional football players are paid too much. In light of the pubic disclosure of the findings of a National Football League-sponsored study regarding the high rate of dementia in former NFL players, it occurs to me that the players aren't paid enough for the risks that they take.

Moreover, what happened to star Florida QB Tim Tebow last weekend underscores that the professional players in big-time college football are even more grossly underpaid than NFL players. Although an entertaining form of corruption, the NCAA's regulation of compensation to the athletes who largely create the wealth for university college football programs is nonetheless stunningly brazen corruption. That the mainstream media and much of the public stand by and continue to allow this parasitic system to flourish does not reflect well on us.

There is nothing wrong with universities being involved in promoting minor league professional football. If university leaders conclude that that such an investment is good for the promotion of the school and the academic environment, then so be it. But let's be honest about it. Allow the players who create wealth for the university to be paid directly, let's allow the universities to establish farm team agreements with NFL teams, and let's cut out the hypocritical incentives that are built into the current system.

Not only will it be fairer for the players who take substantial risk of injury, it would obviate the compromising of academic integrity that universities commonly endure under the current system.

Shouldn't that be enough incentive to reform the current system?

Posted by Tom at October 1, 2009 12:01 AM |


Are these college footballs teams actually earning any money? Do they have the ability to pay their football players? Some financial experts argue that only a small handful of team turn a profit. Is this correct?

Roger Staubach once said that when he was knocked out during a high school football game---he was merely placed in back of the team bus to sleep it off! It never dawned on the team's officials to rush him to the hospital.

Posted by: David Thomson Author Profile Page at October 1, 2009 7:49 AM

The college thing is kind of wierd. If a kid plays for 4 years and makes the university tons of money and then hurts his knee in the last year he is pretty much out of luck.

Whenever kids are deciding between whether to go pro early or stay in school its a pretty simple decision considering the huge risks every year of injury.

Maybe instead of getting money while in school it could be placed in trust that they could pull from later.

Posted by: Susan Author Profile Page at October 1, 2009 8:20 PM

Check out the recent GQ story that talks about some of the background of NFL studies: http://men.style.com/gq/features/landing?id=content_10980 Very very sad. And of course, after the NFL story, the NFL PR people are backing away from their own study saying it is just phone interviews and you can't read too much into that. It's the worst part of football.

Posted by: Stephanie Stradley Author Profile Page at October 3, 2009 1:25 PM

It will be interesting to see what happens with the lock out. Football is the one sport where the players deserve the amount of money they get. At any moment in time your career can be over from a devastating hit.

Posted by: Bill Gassett Author Profile Page at July 13, 2011 9:07 PM

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