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Boys’ and girls’ let’s explore a few other reasons why college football players should be paid.

Now “folkses” I am going to give you a list of the states that do not currently have  NFL pro football franchises. No that’s not quite right. They do have professional football teams. The college teams are the “pro” teams and the high schools are the “farm teams,” otherwise known as the “minor leagues.”

These states get free labor from the high school and college ranks because the markets that they represent just do not have the population saturation necessary or the investment dollars to support the acquisition and the maintenance of an NFL franchise.

Why get Barack Obama type gray hair, worrying and fretting about salary caps, outrageous salaries, the free agent market, trade deadlines as well as all of the other frivolous and mundane stuff such as paying for labor costs, when you have a limitless reservoir of free labor at your disposal.

Well for the sake of political correctness, let’s just say talent without compensation.

These rural bastions of fierce and loyal college fanaticism only exist because of  those who religiously feel superior to college players because the athletes are not allowed to receive any money.

I would like list the states that do not have NFL franchises but still make cheese from college football, far too much chee….se.

The New England states are represented by the Patriots but come on….The stadium that the Patriots play in is located in Foxborough,  MA.  So technically, the team should be called the Massachusetts Patriots.

The Carolina Panthers represent North and South Carolina although the stadium is physically located in Charlotte, NC.

Twenty five American states do not have NFL franchises located within their borders. College football is, has been and will remain king of the gridiron at least for the foreseeable future.

These small markets do not have the economic demographics to support a professional NFL franchise so they promote college football programs with unimaginable zeal and vigor because that’s where have at their disposal an almost endless reservoir of free talent.

A high percentage of the population of these “barren” professional football markets, follow pro football or profess and undiluted loyalty to local high schools, colleges and universities that have created and continue to maintain successful football programs.

The states without professional teams use these athletes and schools to grab and wield an enormous amount of economic, social and political capital from a product that they obtain for mere pennies on the dollar.

In March of 2014 professor Glenn Wong,  a lawyer and professor at the Mark H. McCormack Department at the Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts Amherst wrote an article titled: ‘College Athletes Should Be Careful What They Wish For’.

In my opinion Mr. Wong is just plain wrong on this one.

He writes; ” Significant improvements must be made for college athletes, especially those highly acclaimed student-athletes who make an athletic department’s bottom line soar. But college athletes want a union to win those benefits, they should be careful what they wish for. If student-athletes are ultimately allowed to be considered employees, the value of their scholarships will be taxable. If they decide to be represented by a union, they might face strikes and other worker actions and the employer universities will be able to use work actions such as lockouts.”

First of all these universities don’t even have a bottom line if you compare their expenditures to professional football owners.  Most colleges are non profits so they pay almost no taxes and they certainly do not pay taxes on the scholarships that they award to students.

As a matter-of-fact a high percentage of the schools claim  that the educations that they “give” the athletes as an expenditures, while simultaneously getting free labor from the athletes that risk life and limb filling up stadium after stadium playing the violent sport of football.

If the scholarships are not taxable when the schools pay for them, why should they be taxable if the athletes have to theoretically be taxed for the same education?

Mr. Wong also asks the question: “will the current tax-exempt status of college athletic programs and the N.C.A.A. be jeopardized?”

Again Mr. Wong seems to voice far more concern for the economic well being of the universities; I can understand his concern because being a paid educator he might suffer a hit to his wallet and tenure if the money train is impacted by something as insignificant as paying the athletes that bring home the bacon.

As far as making money is concerned if the NCAA does not want to pay college football athletes’ then the athletes should be allowed to declare for the draft after the completion of their sophomore year, it is as simple as that.  Go pro, young man, go pro.

Aubrey Bruce can be reached at:  abruce@newpittsburghcourier.com or 412.583.6741

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