The big story today has been that of Johnny Manziel and an NCAA investigation into alleged cash-for-autographs deal. Many — especially those in Texas — have focused on the rule supposedly violated rather than on the violation. As if it’s OK for a college player to break a rule if it’s a dumb rule.
Earlier today, we at MrSEC.com explained why the NCAA’s rule protecting amateur status is in place. This afternoon, Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports has traveled some of the same road. He, however, went deeper into the troubles that would arise should the NCAA just throw up its arms and say, “Everyone can get paid.”
“Let’s say the (Ed) O’Bannon case against the NCAA breaks the amateurism dam. Let’s say college athletes can suddenly be paid for appearances, for autographs, for doing commercials, etc. Let’s say a school’s boosters are free to massively overpay a five-star recruit for his “autograph” in hopes of swaying him to their alma mater.
Who is going to handle the business side of the young players’ sudden profitability?
Those rules would have to be changed, allowing players have agents. Some — including Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive — believe that may be a good thing, because schools could have some control over the process.
But anyone who thinks agents would sit around waiting for star athletes to get to college is fooling themselves. They don’t wait for them to turn pro as it is now.
And so the trickle-down effect would really get going. Agents and runners would be all over the kids in high school or earlier. Many already are involved with elite high schools prospects, especially in basketball, no matter what the rules say, but this would only accelerate the process.”
Forde’s views on a high school world gone mad go on from there. They’re views we happen to share. All those in favor of just opening the flood gates when it comes to paying players should take the time to give it a read.