From the sidelines
By Marty Gordon
The debate over this season’s bowl game continues even after most have been played. While there might not be a real solution, there are ways to fix this idea of “opting” out.
First, we know the money trail is what is driving the bus when it comes to college football. So, maybe we find a way to use what is being given to us.
The idea of the NIL in college athletics helps the student-athlete, but it needs to have some penalties written into the contract. If an athlete, in this main case a football player, does receive NIL benefits then they must also face some punishments for leaving school early, jumping into the transfer portal and opting out of a bowl game.
The “contract,” which each athlete signs, must have similar points to ponder. These include penalties for all of the above.
There can no longer be athletes jumping around to a bunch of different schools because they do not like their playing time. If they do, there needs some type of penalty. This also means if you leave early for the NFL and the professional ranks, then you will face some type of penalty.
College sports and football in general needs to be reigned in. Now is the time for that to happen, but there lies a bigger problem.
Bowl sponsors and the games themselves must also step up to the plate and realize money talks, meaning players need to be paid to appear and in most cases when the bowl game.
The idea of paying players would be similar to the old NFL Pro Bowl and Super Bowl reward system,
Then there comes the organization itself.
College football and the NCAA, no longer co-exist. Thus, two things must happen.
College football needs a commissioner that has some control over matters affecting the sport.
There has to be football-only conferences, thus eliminating the problems associated with other sports.
While college football would drive each school’s athletic budget, the division of football and other sports would keep the budget for all other sports more in line to what it needs to be.
This means, for example, the Virginia Tech wrestling team and/or baseball team would be jet-setting to the west coast. Football could, but the rest of the athletic department would not have to absorb that large amount of travel expense and would not take the student-athletes out of the classroom for a long-extended time.
This cannot wait. This cannot continue. A 12-team playoff will not change anything this coming football season. The administrative items have to be done, simply put.
The key is that athletic directors must be brave enough to bring the issue up. We need real leaders in this area of athletics and sooner than later.