Former Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback AJ McCarron said during a TV appearance that he feels that college football players should be paid.
Appearing on “Crowd Goes Wild” on FOX Sports 1, the two-time national champion QB said that given the massive revenue that college football brings to schools, the players helping generate that revenue should get a cut:
“I truly believe during some point in the future college athletes should be paid. The NCAA, it’s not a bad organization, and don’t get me wrong, it’s an unbelievable organization. But in some way they are taking advantage of college athletes that sign their name to a certain school.”
With the bombshell news that members of the Northwestern football team are attempting to unionize rippling throughout the college football world, you can expect that more players will be heard from on the issue in the near future.
It’s a tricky situation, to be sure. Athletes are not, strictly speaking, employees. Yet they do sign a type of contract with the school, in which they provide their services in exchange for a scholarship.
The school, however, doesn’t pass on any revenue generated from the use of that player’s likeness on promotional materials. Players are banned, in addition, from earning any income from signing autographs or appearance fees, which leads to sticky situations like that involving Alabama boosters advertising memorabilia autographed by current players.
The NCAA will hold its position for as long as it can, but it’s clear that a sea change is coming in college football. It’s highly likely we’ll see ‘student-athletes’ become semi-pros in the next few years.