Jan 21, 2013; Syracuse, NY, USA; ESPN broadcaster Jay Bilas looks on prior to the game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Syracuse Orange at the Carrier Dome. Image Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Should college athletes get paid?

In case you have been living in a cave this week, there has been a firestorm brewing over whether college athletes should be paid or not.

It all started when ESPN’s Outside the Lines reported about an NCAA investigation of whether or not Johnny Manziel got paid by an autograph dealer to sign a few hundred items.

Both Wayne and Terry wrote about it on these pages yesterday. Now, it’s my turn.

Today’s question of the day for the Leach Report:

It’s a good question. As of right now, college athletes are not allowed to get paid until their eligibility expires due to the NCAA rule on amateurism. There has already been a massive amount of litigation relating to “the use of the likenesses of former and current student-athletes in archival footage, as avatars (in video games), in photographs and promotions.” The class action lawsuit is against “the NCAA, EA Sports and Collegiate Licensing Company under both antitrust and right of publicity and seeks compensation.”

Rule 2.9 of the NCAA Division 1 manual defines the Principle of Amateurism.

Student-athletes shall be amateurs in an intercollegiate sport, and their participation should be motivated primarily by education and by the physical, mental and social benefits to be derived. Student participation in intercollegiate athletics is an avocation, and student-athletes should be protected from exploitation by professional and commercial enterprises.

Article 12 further delves into amateurism. It’s very complex.

I do think that athletes should get paid but the monies should go into a trust fund that would pay out after their eligibility expires. The question I have, as I am sure others do as well, would be whether college athletes would be tempted to stay in school rather than go pro after a year?

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