The Northwestern players initiative may ultimately yield positive results. The deep concerns go beyond whether or not collective bargaining among players become the norm.
Coaches salaries and bonuses at many places have become obscene. These guys are not CEOs' of multi-national corporations. Most are employed/contracted by state institutions. Sure they are contracted for a set duration of time pending extensions, but most people could live comfortably for a lifetime for what some of these guys are paid for one or two years.
Excluding perhaps Northwestern and a few others that are not so bad, these big-time college football and basketball programs are recruiting 18 and 19 year olds, many of which are immature and lack the academic skills for what is generally acceptable for regular students. Actual interest in attending classes and studying is mostly lacking. If they have playing time, they get treated as rock stars, with lavish praise and 'gifts' channeled to them, and their families, through 'wink-wink' means. Those that get in trouble with the law, often have a public relations and support contingent aimed to get them through processes that are not at the disposal of students without high profile athletic connections.
Universities provide the athletes with personal tutors, mentors, placement in 'friendly' classes, majors, and grading, with low expectations from the designated professors. They receive registration preferences, and now are gravitating to online classes whereby discovery of who actually is doing the real work has real limitations.
And those recruiting visitation weekends? More than a few schools/programs have a network of female-student 'companions' readily available to provide entertainment and companionship.
NCAA and conference oversight has become a joke. The NCAA is political and grossly inconsistent and has had botched investigations. The NCAA bans the State of South Carolina from hosting regional and national tournaments because they fly the Confederate battle flag on the State House grounds at the memorial for the deceased soldiers. Given the level of exploitation of student athletes by institutions under the banner of the NCAA, they are nothing but hypocrites. It's nice to know the NCAA showed its indignation about the exploitation of children in a manner as if courts and a state didn't care.
Unless admission standards everywhere go through a really controlled clearinghouse for all student athletes, and scholarship limits are tightened and better monitored, it will only get worse. And, schools such as Alabama, FSU, Ohio State, etc., can continue to load-up on 5 and 4 star recruits by varying means and these top recruits are not more disbursed among the lot of sponsoring universities supposedly within the same conference and divisional levels, then the pattern of results shall be relatively unchanged.
If the collection of universities cannot profoundly reform what they do and how they do it, then the mass corruption of the system shall force change.
Maybe it is time to really pay the college athletes, bargain with them, relinquish all academic expectations and requirements, and regulate them to being mercenaries. They with have the privilege of using the universities facilities and training, and compete under the banner of each university, respectedly.
Each university/conference can contract with a professional franchise (NFL) for added sponsorship. Broadcasting networks shall adjust accordingly.
Boosters can do their deeds out in the open.
No offense sec03, but I despise that argument/attitude.
For every big time recruit/NFL bound athlete, there are tons more that will not benefit from this setup.
Take Alabama's #1 2014 recruiting class (per rivals), about 2/3rds are 4* or better, #6 A&M is about 50% 4/5*s, #12 Miami is about a third 4/5*s, #20 Texas has about a fourth 4/5*s, #27 Oklahoma St has 1/7th 4/5*s and #34 Baylor is about 1/12th 4/5*s.
That's just the top 25% of all of FBS college football. If every school in the 130 some odd FBS schools were like Alabama then I'd agree with the scenario you wrote above however most schools (more than 50%) aren't even as good as Baylor and rarely get any 4/5*s.
Every year there are about 200-300 4/5* fb players coming out of high school. This system won't benefit even most of them, but for arguments sake let's just say it does. Team have 85 scholarship players a year, that's about 21 players a year per team that get recruited out of high school. 21 players times 130 teams equals 2,730 players a years minus about 300 players a year (that this system could work for) equals about 2430 players a year that most likely prefer the system as is without making any changes to the structure.
In basketball, we're talking about 350 teams which recruit about 4 players a year which equals 1400 players, of which only about 100 are 4/5*s.
But wait it gets worse. If these teams (assuming fb/bb) do split off what happens to the Title IX offset sports, and what off other sports like baseball, LAX, volleyball, track, ice hockey?
In order to fix this incredibiliy broken system (<sarcasm) you'd be benefiting at most 300 players a year that could get drafted in NFL/NBA (32NFLteams*7rounds=224, 30NBAteams*2rounds=60, 284+-a few undrafted free agents) at the sake of at least 10 times as many players (only counting FBS and D1 bball, if we add in FCS, D2, and NAIA that number skyrockets) who are going to just be uneducated meatheads struggling to make it in the CFL/Arena/D-league without a degree or most likely any chance to ever aquire one (as everyone knows that 20 year olds with cash never lasts long).
This also doesn't take into account the affect on Olympic sports like swimming/track and how they would be affected by such a ruling. While these student greatly benefit from not having to pay a private coach and free competitions, their sports don't earn money for the universities, and thus we could see them completely removed which would greatly hinder the depth of the U.S.'s teams every four years (yes we'll still have some stars with rich parents but the shear amount of talent in the US will decline).
Sure the systems need more enforcement, stricter academic admission guidelines (most JUCO players end up being very well rounded and mature extremely well), and enforcement for straight up pay for play, however I would like to see a stipend (for kids to be able to fly home for the holidays, buy a video games or what have you) and for some sort of blind trust in the athletes name, primarily for those stars that come along every few years like Vince Young, Reggie Bush, Tim Tebow, or Johnny Maziel (however every athlete would have one for team photos and other group shots) where the school negotiates a price for the athlete's image and likeness (in school uniforms/colors) and holds half the funds until the athlete finishes their eligibility AND graduates (can't just go pro or flunks out but actually graduates with a degree).
Still I think this system is still the best solution, the NBA tried to bypass college and it bit them in the butt, thus we have the one and done rule (soon to be two and done), and the NFL's attempt at establishing a minor league has failed too.
Fan of the Big 12 Conference, the Mountain West Conference and...