Should Colleges Pay for Athletes’ Play?

By Jarrod Cochran and Jonathan Perelman

For many years, the NCAA has been under pressure to let students athletes be paid by their respective colleges. The colleges make money off of the athletes, why wouldn’t they get paid? There are valid arguments on both sides of the coin, here’s why collegiate athletes should get paid and why they shouldn’t.

Why they should get paid:

The reasoning for why athletes should get paid is pretty simple: the college is making money off of the athletes, therefore, the athletes should be paid. If you go to any NCAA Division I and many Division II schools and took away the student athletes that go there, the school would make zero money off sports.

Sure, the athletes get “paid” in scholarships, but schools make way more money off players than just $30,000 a year. At Michigan, Jim Harbaugh is the most expensive college football coach in the nation. He earns $9 million a year. You know why he makes that much? Because he went out, found the best players and they went to Michigan. In turn, this brings in fans to watch the games, jersey sales, television deals, more students to the school, etc. Without the athletes, not only is Jim Harbaugh worthless, the school makes hundreds of millions of dollars less than it does with athletes – and that’s just one sport.

In state tuition for Michigan is $28,000 while out of state is around $60,000. Even if all 100 athletes were out of state, it would come to 100 athletes getting paid $6,000,000 a year to make what Michigan football makes – an article in 2014 claimed it made $82 million. Based on those numbers, is Jim Harbaugh worth that much? Yes. Are the athletes worth that much? They are worth much more.

Not only are they worth much more, but they need more than just tuition paid for. They need food, clothes, gas and other essentials. Tuition doesn’t give them extra spending money.

It doesn’t even need to be that much. They will make more if they get to the next level, but just to give them essentials and a little bit more to prove their actual worth.

These athletes that are making colleges millions of dollars need to make more than just tuition.

If nothing else, letting them get paid would help in bringing back NCAA Football for video games.

Why they shouldn’t get paid: 

The debate of whether NCAA student athletes should be paid or not has increased in recent years. We have witnessed the chaos surrounding Johnny “Football” Manziel and that has intensified the reasoning that college athletes should be paid.

I am not supportive of that. It might be cliche to say, but a full scholarship is a reward that should not be taken for granted. Too many athletes put all of their marbles into the hope of playing professional ball that they never take their education seriously and when they finish school or don’t make it in the pro’s life can be daunting for them. The athletes that utilize their free college and pursue a career path outside of playing professionally tend to have no problems with no pay in college.
There’s also a conflict of which sports receive the pay or “allowance.” NCAA D1 football teams usually have around 80 or so scholarships to hand out, so almost every player is receiving a free four years of college, excluding the walk-on players. Graduating debt free these days is just as valuable as anything. The football teams tend to make the most money for the school so it would be hard to equal the value of paying athletes that play a sport that does not receive the national attention deserving of getting paid.

However, I do have a problem with the NCAA using players’ names and fame to profit. If the school or league wants to use, for example, Johnny Manziel to sell autographs and items with his name on it, then he should be allowed to earn a percentage off of that. If the NCAA or school does not want to pay its players it should not be selling or promoting anything with their respective names on it.

College football is a touchy subject because we have seen the effects of what football can do to their health and these players are putting their bodies and brains on the line during every game for no pay. I still stand by not paying players and not taking a full scholarship for granted but maybe college football players should receive some sort of insurance if a serious head injury occurs and they are not able to carry on a different career path.

Overall, I believe that graduating debt free is an honor and athletes should recognize that they are there for an education as well and if they take that seriously it will pay off in the future. But the NCAA and schools should not be profiting off of players’ fame without giving them some sort of percentage of the profits.

Colin Kaepernick Controversy

By Jarrod Cochran and Jonathan Perelman

In the time leading up to the Presidential Election in just a couple weeks, one of the most ongoing political statements is being made in the sports world. San Francisco quarterback, who recently won the starting position, has decided to take a knee during the national anthem. His stand is against the racism in the country and particular the hate that non-white people receive from the police force.

Whether you back him or not, he has created quite the controversy throughout the nation. Here at Ballsy, instead of making ballsy claims about sports, like we had initially planned, we want to take a sporting controversy and, against all media outlets today, be as objective as possible. Sure, if you want to see a single side, you can find that anywhere on any particular site. If you want to see writers bash Kaep, go to Outkick the Coverage, if you want to see writers back Kaep, go to ESPN. Both sides are quite clear on who they back and what they support. We want to try to be as objective as possible in presenting both sides, therefore we won’t distinguish which writer is writing either side. If you have a controversy you want to see spoken about, just put in the comments!

Argument for Kaep:

“Land of the free, home of the brave.” This is a phrase that often times describes America. It doesn’t say, “Land of the free, home of the brave (as long as they believe what you do)” or something of the like. And while sports are not political by any means, playing the national anthem before games has made sports political.Due to sports invading the political realm, Kaepernick felt that he had no choice but to speak out.

“It was something I personally decided. I just can’t stand for what this represents right now,” Kaepernick said after his protest started to become prominent in the sports world.

Initially, and still, many military personnel have been angered by Kaep’s kneeling during the anthem. But many back his fight against police brutality.

Even those who disagree with what he’s said back his ability to say it:

Not only does he have the right to say what he has, but he’s brought attention and awareness to the problems that face our country.

Police brutality has presented a problem. In 2015, 991 people were shot dead by police and already 771 shot dead this year according to the Washington Post Database .

Out of the 1,762 killed by police, 807 were not white. While more whites have been killed by police, there should not be this many people killed by police every year. Training for police should be far more extensive, which is something Kaep brought to light.

“You can become a cop in six months and don’t have to have the same amount of training as a cosmetologist,” Kaep said.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, it takes an average of 19 weeks to become a cop – about six months. While cosmetology school takes most anywhere from eight months to two years.

For a cop to be under as much pressure as they are, they need more training, like Kaep said.

Kaep said he wants to bring awareness to a country where people are being wronged and unjustly treated. He has definitely brought awareness.

Last week, Kaep was named the started for the 49ers against the Buffalo Bills. Before the game in New York, the Bills fans chanted “U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A,” insisting Kaep was un-patriotic in his protest.

“I don’t understand what’s un-American about fighting for justice and liberty for everybody,” Kaep said in response.

If you call America “Land of the free, home of the brave,” you may disagree with his words, but you can’t disagree with the fact that he is free to protest and, in the face of all the backlash, he has been pretty brave.

Argument against Kaep:

In what was supposed to be just another NFL Preseason game, Colin Kaepernick shocked America by refusing to stand and acknowledge the National Anthem, which is such a great tradition that American sports teams do before every game.

It was a very calculated move as we are in the social media age and nothing goes unnoticed for people in the national spotlight. Kaepernick was very prepared for the storm that was ensuing and in his post game interview, all eyes and ears were on him.

In the locker room he stated, “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

He has started what has become a string of incidents in the sports world where athletes are not participating or showing respect for the National Anthem and the American Flag. He has come under intense scrutiny as well as support from all types of people, but even some who support his wanting to help oppressed people, disagree with the way he has protested.

Of course, he has the right to protest in this manner, that’s what makes this country so special, but there are far better ways at expressing his message without disrespecting precious American traditions that so many people take solace in. He has made this an issue of black and white, which only deepens the problems that America has been dealing with. He should instead be protesting the violence that our nation has been accustomed to.

Kaepernick has influenced a lot of people to believe that anytime a black man has been shot by a white police officer, the police officer is in the wrong before anyone actually researches the incident.

White police officers killing unarmed black men represents around 3 percent of fatal police shootings, so it’s hard to believe that this is a serious problem in America. That’s not to say that there have not been cases where unarmed black men were shot and killed by a police officer when they had done nothing in the wrong. It would be ignorant to say that has not happened, and those police officers will hopefully be brought to justice, but to say that white police officers killing unarmed black men has become a serious problem in America would be a misrepresentation of the statistics. There is, however, a violence problem in our country that needs addressing. Many communities around America are dealing with high crime and murder rates which has caused police to be on edge. Cops are either trigger happy because they have come under attack or they now fear to use their weapon in situations where it might be necessary because it may lead to a public uproar.

It is a very complicated situation – and must be very stressful for anyone working in law-enforcement – but to protest something that means so much to people, and to add more chaos to an issue that should be handled delicately, is not helping anyone.

There are far better ways to show his remorse for oppressed people of color and he has every right to do so, but only adding gasoline to the fire, while angering a lot of people by not showing respect for an American tradition, is not the best way to go about it as he is protesting the very thing that gives him the right to protest.

Why USWNT Should Not Earn Equal Wages

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Before anyone is too offended, let me begin by saying that women’s soccer players are very talented and deserve a fair pay for those talents, but fair pay and equal pay are not the same thing. It is amazing what the USWNT has done at the international level and they are all phenomenal soccer players and deserve to earn a fair paycheck based on that, but it is ridiculous to compare men’s and women’s soccer as equal.

Should the stars of the WNBA make the same as the NBA? No, and they know they shouldn’t. The NBA draws more fans in and their talents and athletic abilities are superior to those of the WNBA. That’s not a knock on women’s basketball because they are very talented athletes, but they cannot do what the men can do with a basketball so why should their pay be equal? The same goes for soccer. It is simply a fact that men are physically more gifted than women and that allows them to play the game at a different level, so how does that justify equal pay? In any other career, such as the business world, a woman can do anything that a man can do and they deserve to make equal if not more than a man if they are better at that specific job. But in the world of athletics men just play at a different level and they should earn higher wages.

The players who filed the lawsuit against U.S Soccer argue that they have more viewers than the men do and for that alone they should be paid equally. Unfortunately for them the numbers do not align. Yes, the women’s World Cup final against Japan drew a record number of viewers in the United States, but why wouldn’t the country support their national team in a World Cup final. In the 2014 World Cup, the men’s first round games against Ghana, Portugal, and Germany were viewed by 11,100,000, 18,220,000, and 10,800,000 English speaking viewers with an average of 13,374,000. The women had 5,043,000, 4,500,000, and 3,311,000 with an average of 4,285,000…not even close in terms of popularity. The men averaged 567,000 viewers for English speaking networks for all 2015 International Friendlies whereas the women averaged 333,000 for international friendlies. How does that scream equal pay? It is a fact that more people prefer to watch the USMNT play as opposed to USWNT. Even with the record 25 million who watched the women win the World Cup final, they still averaged 8,151,000 viewers for all 2015 World Cup games whereas the men averaged 14,156,000 for all of their 2014 World Cup matches. There is nothing equal about that.

If the USWNT want to make what the USMNT makes they need to start by promoting their professional league better. Most people do not even know there is a professional league. The National Women’s Soccer League had a highest attendance of 16,017, a low of 953, and an average of 4,804 during the 2015 season. Yes, it is a relatively new league but if they want to earn high wages like the men do, they need to start promoting their club teams and make women’s soccer popular every year, not just every four years. The MLS saw a highest attendance of 44,247, a low of 15,657 and an average of 21,574 during the 2015 season. The MLS has been around longer but that is a big factor of why they make more money! More fans stay up to date with the men’s players and they show that by supporting them year in and year out, not just when it is time for a World Cup.

Abby Wambach, a recent DUI recipient might I add, has publicly called out USMNT Coach Jurgen Klinsmann, saying he should be fired for “bringing in a bunch of these foreign guys.” Should a team be blamed for having a diverse squad? Shouldn’t every organization take pride in having a body of people who represent every race, including dual-citizens? Should the “foreign guys” who grew up overseas because they had a parent in the military stationed in Europe be labeled less American, and that be a reason for firing the coach? There is a double standard that now exists and their best shot at knocking the men’s team is saying they should fire their coach for having dual citizens. That is not the best way at trying to get equal pay.

The USWNT should earn a bump in pay for their recent World Cup title because that does a lot for the country and for their sport in general. But to say they should make what the men make is absurd at this point in time. Maybe in the future, if they can keep growing in popularity with viewers and they are able to promote their league better and bring in more fans on a regular basis, then the argument could be very valid, but until then it is nonsense.

The Power and Influence of College Football Programs

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With the most recent allegations surrounding the University of Tennessee, it appears another case of Football Program vs. University is underway. If the allegations are true, Tennessee football has failed at covering up a serious issue and imposing its power on the actual university. It could most certainly end with Head Coach Butch Jones losing his job after calling one of his players a “traitor” for aiding one of the alleged rape victims. In the report this player also claims he was physically abused by teammate and star defensive player, Curt Maggitt, amongst verbal abuse from other teammates as well. Again, at this point everything is speculation, but if the events do end up having some truth to them, Tennessee will be caught red handed trying to cover up a serious crime against a university student at the hands of the football players and even the head of the program, Butch Jones. This is just another prime example of how football programs at major universities have gained so much power over the years, mainly because of the profits that they bring in. Tennessee is not the only program to wield their power over the university and they most certainly will not be the last.

The University of Alabama recently reported their finances to the NCAA and it showed that they brought in a net profit of 46 million dollars. To put that in perspective, the rest of the athletic teams brought in 16 million dollars in revenue, so without the football program’s profits, the athletic department as a whole would have lost about 30 million dollars after expenses. These enormous profits give the football program an unreal amount of power in the university and allows them to have leverage over university matters. So when a situation arises that could potentially hurt the football program, they just exercise that power and do whatever it takes to ensure that their image and potential earnings will not take a big hit. Some schools are just better at having absolute power and not getting caught using their influence.

It is to no one’s surprise that these allegations have hit Florida State University’s football program on a few different instances. Everyone knew about the Jameis Winston rape scandal in which he won the case, but many people concluded that we will never know the real story because the law enforcement in Tallahassee did what was necessary to ensure that the program would not take a hit by losing their star quarterback. In another case, both starting cornerbacks for FSU were involved in a collision late into the night in which they ran into another car and fled the scene. When they eventually returned to the scene, officers who originally labeled the incident as a hit and run, just gave the driver two traffic tickets and he never had to participate in an alcohol test and after a few days it seemed as if the incident never happened. If that had happened to a normal university student, would the circumstances and punishment have been the same? It is no secret anymore that these major football programs have power and are the dominant organization in these college towns.

There are many other examples which seem to never end, like the University of Florida having 80 athletes named as suspects in crimes from 2009-2014 but many of the cases resulted in charges being dropped or the athletes never being prosecuted. An example being the infamous Aaron Hernandez, who admitted to drinking underage and hitting a bar manager but the police never charged him with underage drinking or battery but allowed the coaching staff to handle it internally. Would a student who was caught drinking underage and striking someone else get the same luxury?

We can all be at fault for these incidents because of the support we have for our sports teams. The fans make the athletes feel like they have the power to do anything because they are famous and do a lot for the brand of the university in which they play for. They are put on a platform at a very young age and many have not developed the maturity to handle being a star athlete yet. When the teams keep bringing in so much money for the university and for the city it is hard to not let them have this power. It has become an issue that cannot be fixed overnight or easily resolved because we all love college football and would never think that our favorite teams are capable of corruption but the sad reality is that this will probably continue to happen as long as money is being made and the athletes continue to feel like they are invincible.

Leicester City Will Win the League

This is the long list of the previous 20 Premier League winning teams: Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC, Manchester City and Manchester United. Four teams have dominated the premier league for 20 years. The last team outside of these four teams to win the league? The Blackburn Rovers in 1995. For 20 years these history rich, powerhouse football clubs have owned the premier league. This season, that streak will end.

And it won’t end to a team who has been threatening for many years, like Tottenham Hotspur or Liverpool, it will end to the likes of, till now, a nobody. A couple top ten finishes here and there, yes, but for the most part, not a threat to the likes of the giants. The English Premier League, in 2016, will go to a home that was in the third tier of English football no more than 8 years ago, Leicester City.

Leicester City, most recently, went into the Etihad and thoroughly beat Manchester City 3-1. Yes, they beat them because their two breakout players, Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez creating and finishing chances, they shut down one of the best attacking teams (at home) in the league. Manchester City has scored 34 goals in 13 matches at home, and is tied for the most goals scored this season with 47 (with, guess who, Leicester City).

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Leicester City is not some fluke. They’re not here by chance and they won’t win the league by chance. They are tied for the lead in goals scored and have only conceded 27 through 25 games. They have one of the best attacking duos in England between Vardy and Mahrez and they have shown no signs of slowing down. Vardy leads the league with 18 goals and Mahrez is not far behind with 14. Mahrez also has 10 assists, shy of only Mesut Ozil.

 

The concern for the Foxes is the length of the premier league season. Do they have enough depth? They won’t be able to maintain this level of play. The teams around them are getting better and they can’t get any better, this is their best. They won’t last. They’ll be lucky to make top four.

But it doesn’t feel like Manchester City are getting better, does it? They just got beaten handily at home by the team that can’t get any better. I guess we will find out with more time, but it feels like Leicester City has found their stride in the past three matches. They are shutting down teams attacks while putting on a display of great attacking football for themselves.

The Foxes have a long way to go, of course, but I’ll make the ballsy call right now: Leicester City will have enough to win the league and end the reign of the powerhouses in recent years.

The Unfair Criticism of Cam Newton

If your highest level of athletic achievements includes making the JV team, flag football star, intramural champion or any other related title, then this article may or may not offend you. Those seem to be the type of “athletes” that love to share their vast knowledge and experience all over social media.

Why is this guy starting off this article with offensive jabs you may ask? Well, I’m very tired of hearing about Cam Newton walking out of his press conference after losing Super Bowl 50 and how he is the most immature baby to ever throw a football.

For any Panthers fan, it must have been tough watching their beloved quarterback thrown to the ground and failing to produce the MVP caliber numbers he produced all season. Personally, it has been tough listening to a bunch of people who have never put so much effort into a high level sporting event and failed, much less a Super Bowl, talk about how Cam Newton is the most unprofessional athlete in football for being too emotional after a game. To clarify, I do think it is part of the job to address the media, win or lose, and that all comes with experience of playing in big games, but can we not cut the guy a break for being upset after not only losing the Super Bowl, but struggling to perform on the biggest stage, and then being asked to answer questions about that loss while a player (Chris Harris Jr.) from the Denver Broncos is sharing the same room answering his questions about the Broncos’ victory and his great performance, which he has every right to revel and celebrate, but wouldn’t that anger you if you had just lost the biggest game of your life?

cam-newton-0207162-getty-ftr-usjpg_1xxjod9gm8xrk1veu5ogqbnmwpLets not forget that Peyton Manning left the field without shaking hands with the New Orleans Saints after his Super Bowl loss. Peyton will probably go down as one of the most respectful athletes in all of sports, and a true professional of the game, but even the great Peyton Manning was angry and showed that emotion after losing his chance at victory. Showing no emotion and acting as if life is good right after losing a huge game like the Super Bowl is easier said than done. The players put so much effort and heart into that game and then fall short, are they not allowed to sulk right after? In a perfect world every athlete should be congratulatory of their opponent, address the media and say all of the right things. But unfortunately that does not always happen right after the game is finished and it takes a perfect person to do that after every loss.

So unless you have been in that moment and handled it like a true professional, how can you relate? Sure, Cam has some maturing to do, but don’t we all? I’ll bet he has learned his lesson and will handle it differently next time, but until then is it too much to ask that the criticism come down? These athletes do a great job of entertaining their talents for all of us fans, and many serve as great role models, but when they have just failed on the biggest stage in America, maybe we can cut them some slack for not wanting to talk about it while the emotions of the game are still intact. Agree or disagree? Would love to hear why!

About Ballsy

We are just some guys who love to talk sports. We are also guys who have some bold and ballsy claims, sometimes even irrational. So we decided to start a blog to express our feelings. If you have some ballsy claims, please, express your feelings, we are open to everything and judge no one for their opinions, no matter how ridiculous.