Retired legendary Georgia Tech basketball coach Bobby Cremins
Bobby Cremins, the most successful Georgia Tech basketball coach ever – the school named its basketball court after him – talked as much about football as basketball when he spoke to members of the Rotary Club of Columbus. That’s because the paying-players controversy affects basketball and all college sports. If you pay football players, you have to pay all team sport athletes. Not everyone agrees. Some say you pay the players that bring in the big bucks. That’s the way capitalism works. People, they assert, who say you have to pay all of them are just using that as an excuse to keep from paying any.
Cremins agrees the players should get more of the “ridiculous” amount of money the TV networks are paying to broadcast the games. When they see the schools and coaches getting millions of dollars, while they play the games and take the physical risks and get only a scholarship for and room and board, they feel cheated. He says they have a case, but he is opposed to paying them. Instead, he is for giving them a stipend. So paying them a $5,000-a-month stipend, the figure being considered by the NCAA, is not paying them. Uh huh.
While college football is riding high now, the future is not so rosy. A recent poll shows that 50 percent of American parents don’t want their sons to play football. All the news about the brain injuries caused by concussions and about kids dying from injuries is taking its toll. Also, the news about brutal and criminal off-the-field behavior by some players has its effects. College players are produced by high school football.
As for me, I enjoy a good game, especially if Georgia Tech, Georgia, Alabama, or Auburn are playing. Still, as I have said before, if I had a young son, I would not want him playing football. The physical risks are just too great. It’s just not worth it.