For the longest time I believed that student-athletes in college should not get paid for their efforts on the field. They get a free education, so why should they get extra money? Once I decided on my topic for my second critique and researched it, I found myself looking at this in a whole different way.
A few weeks ago, Georgia running back and Heisman hopeful Todd Gurley was indefinitely suspended from the team by the university for alleged violations of the NCAA likeness policy. The policy states:
NCAA rules prohibit the use of a student-athletes name, picture, or likeness to be used in the promotion of any business (such as advertisements) or to appear on any commercial items such as t-shirts. The use of a Baylor student-athletes name, picture, or likeness in any commercial venture jeopardizes the eligibility of Baylor student-athletes eligibility. Please help us comply with NCAA rules and refrain from using the name, picture, of likeness of a Baylor student-athlete in any advertising or on any commercial items.
Gurley reportedly received over $3,000 for his signing of various pieces of Georgia Bulldog memorabilia. I was not upset with Gurley at first because a rule is a rule and it must be followed.
Upon reading this article from the UGA student newspaper, I got an entirely new perspective on students receiving money. Some of his teammates sounded off on the situation and one questioned if they should get punished just for signing their name.
“It goes on everywhere, people signing stuff,” Georgia senior quarterback Hutson Mason said. “What are you going to do? Take away signing autographs as a whole? That just takes away from college football. People signing stuff goes on everywhere. People are signing stuff at every college program.”
The article goes on to state that the school is still selling replica number 3 jerseys in the campus bookstore and that $30,000 were made on those jerseys. That is just a tidbit of how much the school made from the athletic department that year ($75.3 million.)
I could not give my opinion on the paper, but I sure can here. I do not believe it is ethically correct for universities to make that amount of revenue off of these kids and they are not allowed to make a few bucks for signing autographs.
I still feel this way after Gurley admitted to receiving $3,000 on Wednesday. It came down from the NCAA that he would miss two more games and would be eligible to return for the November 15th game against Auburn. For the Bulldogs’ sake, they are lucky he is coming back then.