Regardless of whether or not you think college athletes should be paid (and they should), a new major rule has just been implemented by the NCAA stating that student-athletes can be paid up to $2,000 per year above the scholarships they are already receiving.
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith says that only "60-70 percent" of the 347 DI schools will be able to afford NCAA president Mark Emmert's proposal.
The Big Ten and SEC have been proponents to make this change, so it seems at least somewhat likely that a power school like Ohio State would participate in this new rule.
In this writer's opinion, this is an absolutely necessary move and for some student-athletes, it could eliminate things like selling autographs and selling jerseys. Obviously, players are making some serious cash by selling real jerseys and real autographs, but now they are making an absolutely fair and necessary amount of money (potentially) above their athletic scholarships.
It's impossible to afford life in general if you are unable to get a job, even if your schooling is being paid for. Can college athletes get a job? Well, if you are pulling 12-16 credit hours per week, theoretically you should be spending roughly 40 hours of your week on schoolwork alone. Factor in 17-20 hours of practice, which includes film study, team meetings, appearances, and events, and then factor in that you have to plan your entire Saturday (or whatever day you play) for gameday, the reason you have earned a scholarship.
It is not uncommon for a typical student in college to be spending hours well into the 2 or 3 AM range doing homework just to get caught up on the previous day.
If a student is able to get seven hours of sleep a night, that is 49 hours of sleep a week. 40 hours on school or schoolwork, up to 20 on practice, and figure another 7 hours on gameday.
I think you get the point.
College athletes need money too. I don't condone going outside of the boundaries of NCAA rules to obtain extra cash, but some of these guys' parents can't afford a meal. If your family was struggling to simply live, would you not do anything you could to make sure there was food on the table?
I realize this is not the case for a lot of guys who are breaking the rules--I get that--but being a college student I know that it would be impossible to survive if I wasn't getting extra financial help from the University in the form of overage checks, and I don't have to spend a full week going to football practice and spending time in the film room getting ready for a huge game.
I think this is an acceptable rule and I fully support it, but we will have to wait and see how the rest of the country reacts.