College football players might be getting paid

     Imagine that you’re a college athlete that was just given a full scholarship, and on top of that, everything you buy will be paid for.
     This image just might be the future of young football players headed for the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. There is a current proposal in the state of Nebraska that would allow Nebraska football players to be paid for their efforts.
     The bill was originally introduced by Nebraska State Sen. Ernie Chambers earlier this year. It would allow Nebraska football players to be given a stipend, similar to a salary or an allowance. The state’s Business and Labor Committee unanimously passed it in February.
     The bill could have a domino affect on collegiate athletics including at the community college level. Athletes that would normally attend community colleges might be further enticed to attend schools giving out stipends to their athletes, in addition to the scholarships that they would already receive. As a result, community college athletic programs could suffer. Community colleges would not receive enough in-coming athletes to run a successful athletic program. But it also leads to ask a lingering question; Should college athletes be paid?
     “It (the situation) can definitely spiral out of control,” said Andreas Wolf, Skyline College athletic director and dean of the physical education department. “I don’t believe that that’s the way to go.”
     According to Wolf, if this piece of legislation is passed, it would create even more problems.
     “There are two sides to the situation: Who’s going to control it and how is it going to be controlled,” Wolf said. “There are so many variables.”
     So far, the bill has been met with little resistance in Nebraska, and has even received public support from their governor, but the bill still has a long way to go until it can be taken into effect.
     “Athletic directors, college presidents, and conference commissioners (NCAA members) who would have to want to make those types of changes and they would all have to agree on those changes,” said Laronica Conway, interim associate director of media relations for the NCAA. “The bylaws and legislation were proposed and written by the membership and it would be the membership that would ultimately make those decisions.”
     With this topic of paying college athletes, most people often overlook a point that Skyline College Baseball Head Coach Dino Nomicos brings up.
     “They basically are getting paid because of scholarships, ” Nomicos said.
     This idea of paying college athletes is nothing new. But it wasn’t until the past few of decades that this topic has received so much attention.
     “Obviously, the argument for compensating them is a function of the hours they commit to their sport and the money they generate for the college,” said Ron Galatolo, San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD) Chancellor. “The argument against is to prevent athletes from being drawn to an institution based on the ‘highest’ bidder and other negative factors tied to compensation. Remember that until recently Olympic athletes were unpaid amateurs…now we have Dream Teams!!”
     And as surprising as it may seem, some college athletes agree.
     “College athletes are amateurs,” said Dave Lind, pitcher for the Skyline College Baseball Team. “If you’re getting paid, you’re a professional.”
     “It has to be a give-and-take situation,” said shortstop Jermy Acey. “It’s not a job.”
     But aren’t schools like Nebraska getting away from the real, more important picture.
     “Student athletes should not go to school to pursue athletic careers, but academic careers,” Wolf said. “How are we going to make them academically responsible?”

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