The Never Answered Question: Should Division I Athletes Get Paid?

The aging question, should college athletes get paid?

If you’re looking for a decisive article with one specific standpoint, this isn’t it. Because when push comes to shove, both arguments are valid.

If one would heavily involve themselves in this discussion on whether or not college athletes should be paid, there is a good chance their opinion could go either way.

Starting for the argument of ‘they shouldn’t get paid’.

It makes sense, a lot of sense. Why should division I athletes who are most likely receiving tuition scholarships get paid? They’re basically already getting paid to go to school while they play sports. While regular students who don’t play sports are going to likely have absurd amounts of student loans.

Yes, division I student athletes who play a major sport (or any sport) have an insane schedule. And by insane I mean busy, like really busy. For division I athletes it is a full time job and more.

College Athletes

Johnny ‘Money’ Manziel was believe to have made profits off of autographs (photo/ Google Images)

But what about the kids who aren’t 6 foot 8 and can’t throw down a two handed jam from the free throw line? What about those kids who can’t bench 20 reps at 225lbs and can’t run a 40-yard dash in less than 4.6 seconds?

Believe me, I know what it’s like to be one of those kids, because I am one. And at first glance I by no means want college athletes to be paid because while they’re basking in the limelight and not paying to go to college, I am paying to go to college and I will most likely make less money after college than they will.

To me that’s not fair and I get it when people strongly argue that they shouldn’t get paid for those specific reasons. But those same people turn around (including myself) and often buy memorabilia or tickets to a sporting event and benefit off of division I athlete’s success.

A recent Statement by Duke basketball legend, J.J Reddick raised some brows a few weeks ago when he came out and stated that he firmely believes that college athletes should be paid. And he has a point.

Universities are profiting off of their sports teams and programs. Including jersey sales from specific players, of which the player doesn’t receive any of the profit.  Which is one of the main reasons there are no college sports video games any more.  Players believed if they weren’t making a profit off of themselves than companies shouldn’t be able to make profits off of them either.

College Athletes

NCAA sports video games stopped being made after athletes weren’t paid when other companies were able to make profits off of them (Photo/ Google Images).

Which also, brings up the other scenario of what happens if the day ever came when college athletes were paid. What would happen when the most popular player (often the quarterback) gets paid a considerable amount off of jersey sales while the less popular players (like the offensive line) don’t get paid at all but are still equally important?

I don’t have the answer to that. That’s what makes this issue so complicated.

There also lies the fact that college athletes at major universities also have the constant high probability that they will get injured. In some cases these injuries take up a considerable amount of recovery time and can impact the chance of the athlete competing at the next level and actually getting paid.

Students who don’t play sports don’t have that fear. They don’t have to go to work everyday, as athletes go to practice, and worry that if a bone gets broken or an Achilles gets torn, they might not be able to get the degree they want. On top of academics, athletes have to worry about that everyday.

The bottom line is that whether you think they should be paid or not, it’s not going to chance any soon. The NCAA who is a powerhouse of an organization has made it very clear that they don’t think athletes should be paid.

It really comes down to what background you’re from. If you had to work you’re but off to get through college, get a good job, and make money that way, it’s understandable if you don’t want college athletes to be paid. But if you maybe were a college athlete and understand the schedule they have and the pressure and the constant fear of being injured, then you might side with them being paid.

An argument that has been going on for a good amount of time now has gained some considerable traction these past years, seems like it won’t be ending anytime soon.

 

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“From Our Haus to Yours”

Why Lavar Ball Doesn’t Matter

Lavar Ball has been making far more headlines than his son lately. In the past week he has been hyping up the playing ability of his three sons, bragging about the Ball brand and claiming that he could have beaten Michael Jordan in a game of one on one. The media can’t get enough of him.

Unfortunately for his oldest son Lonzo, his father’s press seems to be having a negative impact on the perception towards him. It has now gotten to the point where some people are questioning whether Lonzo’s draft stock may be hurt by his father.

Quite simply, that is crazy. Lavar Ball has been overzealous, arrogant and flat out wrong over the past few weeks. But, there is no reason that the comments he made should impact how Lonzo is viewed as an NBA prospect.

Lavar Ball (Photo courtesy: youtube.com)

Suns head coach and former UCLA point guard Earl Watson made some interesting comments about the Balls. Watson claimed that Lonzo is the exact opposite of his father, and that he just wants to play basketball. Lonzo himself made a similar comment when he stated, “My dad is who he is, I just got play basketball, I can’t worry about who he is.”

Ball’s teammate Bryce Alford had high praise about Lonzo’s mindset and off court presence earlier in the season. Alford said, “For someone who has that kind of hype around him, he does an unbelievable job of handling it and keeping himself humble.” Lonzo also started the season by stating his mindset when he said, “Just basically play like you haven’t made it yet . . . I haven’t made a name for myself yet, so I have to go out there and prove myself.”

Despite his father’s comments, Lonzo Ball has done nothing but prove that he is a humble guy, and that his focus is foremost on basketball. He has helped execute a swift turnaround of the UCLA basketball program and has been leading am outstanding team into the tournament. Regardless of the buzz surrounding his father, teams should not hesitate to add Ball come draft day.

However, players are already saying that they want to face Lonzo, and there is always a risk of his teammates not getting along with him. If he truly is as humble as his UCLA teammates say he is, that should not be a problem. Also, there’s nothing that can’t be proven with hard work and talent. Those are two things that Lonzo seems to possess.

Of course, there is always the problem of the hype surrounding Lavar Ball to create unnecessary attention for an NBA team. Guys in other sports like Tim Tebow and Johnny Manziel have created attention that has caused trouble for their teams.

If Lonzo truly possesses NBA level talent, that problem won’t persist. Proof of that lies in somebody like Bryce Harper. Harper came into the league with a lot of hype surrounding him, and his attitude and arrogance drew even more attention to him and his team. After two outstanding seasons and an MVP award, all criticisms of Harper’s attitude seem to have faded.

In the case of Lonzo Ball, teams will be quick to forget about his father if he can prove his talent. No matter how much Lavar Ball runs his mouth, Lonzo can leave it on the court.

 

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“From Our Haus to Yours”

If NFL Players Were Presidential Candidates

With the 2016 Presidential election just around the corner, I figured it was time that we compare NFL players to politicians…while politics are still relevant.  Everyone has their own views on politicians, but hopefully by the end of this article, you’ll see that they’re just like some of our favorite football players.  Whether we fight on the gridiron or on the podium, let’ get started.

 

Richard Sherman is the Donald Trump of the NFL.  They’re both loud and egotistical and claim they’re “the best” at what they do.  Sherman says he’s the best cornerback in the game and Trump says he’s the best businessman, presidential candidate, and human being there ever was.  They also each come from an experienced background.  Sherman maintained an excellent GPA at Stanford University and Trump created many jobs and has had much success as a real estate businessman.  These two bullies trash talk an insane amount as well.  The one caveat is that Sherman isn’t as disliked nationwide as Trump, I think?

Image result for Richard ShermanImage result for donald trump

 

 

Tom Brady is the Hillary Clinton of the NFL.  Alleged lies galore.  Tom, you did deflate those balls.  You did know about it, and you are a cheater.  And Hillary, you know you meant to use a private email to hide secret State Department information.  You did know about it, and you are a cheater.

Image result for tom brady lieImage result for hillary clinton lie

 

 

Colin Kaepernick is the Bernie Sanders of the NFL.  Interesting hair styles for these two to say the least.  All Bernie has stressed to us time and time again is how certain groups of people are treated unfairly in the United States and that that needs to improve.  All Kaepernick has emphasized during his sudden resurgence of fame is how our nation doesn’t represent the liberty and justice for all like it’s supposed to.  Both of these men stand for equality and they also attract the much younger crowd.

Image result for colin kaepernick sitImage result for bernie sanders

 

 

Kirk Cousins is the Barack Obama of the NFL.  Okay, here me out on this one.  They each took over for someone who was arguably disliked more than them (Robert Griffin III and George Bush); they each created their own catchphrase or slogan (“You Like That!” and “Yes We Can!”); they’re each the captain of their team or leader of their nation; and they’ve each mentioned about 50 times how they’re either looking to get better or how things have gotten better under their reign.  Wow, that’s four similarities!

Image result for kirk cousins you like thatImage result for obama yes we can

 

 

Eli Manning is the Jeb Bush of the NFL.  You ever notice how each of them always have that little boy whining look on their face?  Not to mention, they each have an older brother who was arguably better at their respective jobs.  Jeb didn’t win the primary while George Bush was president for two terms.  In a slight difference, Eli (somehow) beat the Patriots twice in the Super Bowl, but just as Bush won the nomination two times, Peyton Manning won the Super Bowl two times as well.  Furthermore, because of 9/11, George Bush won two very different elections for our nation in 2001 and 2004.  Speaking of difference, Peyton won the Super Bowl with two different teams, the only quarterback to do so.

Image result for eli manning faceImage result for jeb bush face

 

 

Tony Romo is the Gary Johnson of the NFL.  Some love him and some hate him, but Gary Johnson still remains relatively unknown among third party candidates.  Similarly, you either love Romo or hate him and he seems like he’s never around either because of his recent injury bug.

Image result for tony romoImage result for gary johnson

 

 

Martavis Bryant is the Ben Carson of the NFL.  Bryant is suspended for one year for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy and Carson looked like he was abusing some substance during every debate this past year.  I mean every time I look at Carson I feel like I don’t know if he’s just high or if I’m getting high from just looking at him.  Cheap shot?  Probably.

Image result for martavis bryant weedImage result for ben carson

 

 

Allen Hurns is the Jill Stein of the NFL because he came out of nowhere, didn’t receive much press and is now performing well on a losing team.  Jill Stein came onto the scene in 2012 seemingly out of nowhere, didn’t receive much attention, and performed well on a platform that will never win the presidential election.  Poor Jaguars and poor Green Party.

Image result for allen hurnsImage result for jill stein

 

 

Johnny Manziel is the Ted Cruz of the NFL because they have very similar faces and egos. Need I say more?

Image result for johnny manzielImage result for ted cruz

 

Whether they’re deflating balls or using private emails, fighting for extra yards or for extra bucks, signing four year deals or serving four year terms, our NFL players and Presidential candidates are more similar than one may think. while this is true, one decides the victory on Sundays and the other decides the direction of the United States.  Small difference there.  This November, we have a very important decision to make as Kirk Cousins leaves office and Richard Sherman and Tom Brady square off for POTUS.  If that’s not potentially scary then I don’t know what is.  And with that, happy cheering and happy voting.

Terrance’s Top Ten Returning College Quarterbacks: #2 Baker Mayfield

It is near the end of my list of the best returning QBs. We are down to the Top 2. And coming in at my #2 spot is…

Wade Payne/ AP

Wade Payne/ AP

#2- University of Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield. When I look at my prototype quarterbacks the first thing I look for is that passion and heart. I like quarterbacks that actually show emotion, quarterbacks just like Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield. Probably one of the smaller guys on this list but he plays so much bigger than his stature. Mayfield started his career at Texas Tech as a walk-on and he won the starting job. After that year, he left and transferred to Oklahoma. Last year in his first year with the Sooners, Mayfield passed for 3700 yards, 37 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. And also had an impact in the run game. He rushed for 405 yards and had seven rushing touchdowns. He led the Sooners to a 11-2 record and a College Playoff appearance. Let’s take a look back at Mayfield’s best three games from the 2015 season.

And to no surprise, I start with their 2OT game at Tennessee in week 2. It was one of the magical games of the season, but before the ending the Sooners were down 17-3 going into the fourth quarter. Then enters Baker Mayfield. His start to this game was very poor. In the first three quarters, Mayfield went 8 for 25 on his passes, 84 yards, and two interceptions. But, from the fourth quarter on he was almost unstoppable. He hit 11 of his last 14 passes, threw three touchdown passes, and ran for a score as well. He overcame the big deficit and won the game in the second overtime 31-24. This was the game where the College Football world was introduced to Baker Mayfield. Next week there was no big game hangover for Mayfield.

Next week, week 3, the Sooners played the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes. Baker Mayfield lit up the field that day. He was 32 for 38 on his passes, threw for a season high 487 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. He also had 2 scores on the ground and 85 yards rushing. It was his most all-purpose yard all season. In this game, he also had a season high passer rating of 226.6. He accounted for six of the seven touchdowns the Sooners scored. The Sooners won the game 52-38. This was the game that put Mayfield into the Heisman Race. This game was one of the most impressive games I saw all year from any quarterback in the nation. This back-to-back great games by Mayfield gave the Sooner fans something to celebrate about again.

In week 11, the Sooners were playing for their Big 12 Championship when they went to Waco when they played the undefeated Baylor Bears. Just like I expected Baker Mayfield played with no fear. Mayfield didn’t care that they were undefeated or the a Top 10 Big 12 opponent. He didn’t even care that Baylor had the FBS longest home-win streak of 20. By the end of the day the Baylor Bears didn’t get their 21st straight home-win, but they did get their first lost of the 2015 season. Mayfield threw for 270 yards on 70% passing, threw three touchdowns and one interception. On the ground, he had 76 yards and one score. At this point in the season, this was Mayfield’s 7th game with four touchdowns, which was tied for most in the nation. Mayfield and the Sooners ended the Bears’ College Playoff hopes and started theirs.

Mark D. Smith/ USA TODAY Sports

Mark D. Smith/ USA TODAY Sports

This 2015 campaign for Baker Mayfield was otherworldly. It was a beautiful season for a player that has been a walk-on and a transfer student. Mayfield has that “It” factor about him. He reminds me of Johnny Manziel. Both quarterbacks are very passionate about the game and the game very similar. In the 2016 season, the sky is the limit for OU and Baker Mayfield. They could easily run the table and come into the Playoff with no losses. Baker Mayfield could even cap his individual season of with the Heisman Trophy. At the end of the day, the Sooners season is almost completely dependent of how good Mayfield is. And I am sure that Baker Mayfield would want it no other way.

Manziel and Tebow: Different Kinds of the Same?

This week, several media outlets including NBC Sports Pro Football Talk are reporting Johnny Manziel’s drug and alcohol issues are continuing to escalate. I felt compelled to remind folks how good this kid can be when he has his act together. I will detail his problems and also address his football future. In preparing to write this piece, I ended up drawing a parallel that surprised even myself.

First off, no one should lose sight of the fact that we’re dealing with a human being here. He clearly has substance abuse as well as other issues. I hope he gets the help he needs.

Manziel took college football by storm during his freshman 2012 season. He accounted for 47 total touchdowns and led Texas A&M to an upset win over top-ranked Alabama. He became the first ever freshman to win the Heisman Trophy. His schoolyard style of play was simply mesmerizing to watch. Feel free to relive some of it below courtesy of the vetnameseguy YouTube channel. I sure enjoyed doing so.

By his sophomore season, his “Johnny Football” nickname was a regular part of American vocabulary. For me, it was the Chick-fil-A Bowl comeback victory led by Manziel that made me a believer. The win over Duke would turn out to be his final college game. Despite questions about his size and style of play translating to the NFL, he declared for the draft with two years of college eligibility left. He was selected by the Cleveland Browns with the 22nd overall pick in the 2014 draft.

Photo from usatoday.con

Photo from usatoday.con

Manziel’s rookie season was disastrous. Allegations of being late to practice and skipping film study prevented him from seeing the field until late in the season. He was shut out by the Bengals in his first career start, injured early the following week against Carolina, and missed the season finale due to that injury.

The Browns continued to play quarterback carousel the following season before naming Manziel the starter for the remainder of the season in November. From there though, it all unraveled very quickly. He was demoted back to third string days after the starter announcement when video of him partying in Texas during the team’s bye week surfaced online.

This was the latest in a long line of off the field issues for Manziel dating back to his college days. The details are well documented. He has dealt with everything from skipping injury treatment to gambling in Vegas to trips to rehab, and more recently domestic violence allegations. Following this past season, he was released by the Browns in March after another legal dispute.

The following month, well-known agent Drew Rosenhaus took the unenviable task of representing the embattled star. That partnership never got off the ground. Rosenhaus dropped Manziel after less than two months, saying he needed to seek help for his issues. Subsequently, Nike also dropped the former Aggie.

Since then, Manziel has continued partying in the public eye. No other NFL team has given him a look. However, if he can get his act together I feel he is deserving of another shot. I realize it is a massive if. Manziel’s football career most resembles that of his polar opposite in terms of character, Tim Tebow.

There really are so many similarities. They both are Heisman Trophy winners who dominated college football. They both became cultural phenomenon for time. Tebow’s name even became a verb during his streak of miracle wins with the Broncos. Also, there are questions about how their unorthodox playing styles translate to the NFL. The most important similarity may be that teams are scared away from signing either guy due to the media circus that follows them everywhere, although each circus exist for vastly different reasons,

Tebow missed wide-open throws and struggled to complete half of his throws in the NFL. He got four shots in the leauge. Keep in mind that it took Peyton Manning to unseat Tebow in Denver, the best chance he ever got. From a football standpoint, the only significant difference may be that Tebow had a small taste of success in the NFL thanks to a fantastic organization and top-flight coaching. Manziel has not had that success yet. Think about it though, if Tebow got four shots, isn’t Johnny Football deserving of the second? Like I said before though, his first priority needs to be getting his life together. If he can somehow manage that, I believe there is still a phenomenal athlete they can be successful in the NFL somewhere in there.

Johnny to the Broncos?

Johnny Manziel is not going to Broncos, people. But it was reported that Johnny was living with Von Miller. So less just wonder for a second if Manziel actually did sign Manziel…

Gregory Shamus/ Getty Imagesj

Gregory Shamus/ Getty Images

If the Broncos don’t get Ryan Fitzpatrick and Colin Kaepernick is not willing to take a pay cut, why not look at signing Johnny Manziel? Manziel will be around his fellow Aggie Von Miller and head coach Gary Kubiak. Manziel will be under one of the great GM’s in the NFL, John Elway. I am pretty sure the off the field stuff will be handled in house. And even if it can’t be handled in the locker room, GM Elway will know how to talk to a fellow quarterback.

It also makes sense financially. Instead of getting Fitzpatrick at $11 million a year or Kaepernick at $7 million a year, you can get Manziel at a lower rate since he risk. The Broncos could also sign him to a contract for less years than if they drafted a quarterback in the late first round. Then use that pick to get a defensive tackle to replace Malik Jackson, someone like a Robert Nkemdiche from Ole Miss. Or a linebacker to replace Danny Trevathan, someone like Leonard Floyd from Gerorgia. Either one of those picks can help Denver in the long run for any quarterback under the center.

Courtesy of Getty Images

Courtesy of Getty Images

And even on the field Manziel has shown he can quarterback in this league. And with a better team he will not be asked to try to “wreck the league”, he will just be asked to play within himself and within the system. He does fit into this Kubiak offense. Kubiak loves the zone run game and a mobile quarterback. So Kubiak will even be able to throw in some zone read play to keep the defense on their toes. With the weapons already in Denver, any quarterback will improve throwing the Bronco wide receivers.

Do I actually think Manziel will get picked up from the Denver Broncos? Probably not. But it could happen, I think.