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I’m an Ohio State graduate who, for close to 20 years, watched and obsessed over Ohio State football. I dropped Ohio State — and college football entirely — cold turkey in the fall of 2011, however, and I’ve never looked back.
There are a lot of reasons for that, some of them personal and some professional, but the biggest one was seeing how truly exploited college players are. It’s especially easy to see when you live in Columbus, worked with the university at times, and see how big a business college football truly is at its highest levels.
The argument which goes “hey, the kids get free college educations!” is only persuasive to people who are truly ignorant of what actually goes on at a big time college football program.
Dabo Swinney — the head coach of the National Champion Clemson Tigers — was asked in 2014 what he’d do if players were paid. Here’s what he said:
We try to teach our guys, use football to create the opportunities. Take advantage of the platform and the brand and the marketing you have available to you. But as far as paying players, professionalizing college athletics, that’s where you lose me. I’ll go do something else, because there’s enough entitlement in this world as it is.
Swinney makes $4.5 million a year to coach Clemson. The game he won last night brought in hundreds of millions to his university, its conference partners and its corporate and broadcasting partners. The players who made that possible, some of whom broke their bodies in the process, will be suspended if they accept a free meal from someone.
You can have it. I want no part of it.