My MOm The USFL STAR
Mothers play a pivotal role in the development of each student-athlete and we must recognize them as the true inspiring individuals they are. My mom gave up a lot for me at a young age to make sure I had everything I needed for my athletic events. She had to put up with a borderline delinquent by the time I got to high school, through all the re-locating our family seemed to do year in and year out. But my mother never gave up on me and is a big reason for the man I am today. Mothers are usually the student-athletes biggest advocates in crucial chapters of our lives and we must always remember to treat them as such. As you get older you start to realize all of the little things that your Mom did for you that kept you growing towards your goals. My mother Nancy just happened to be a involved in football as well, as a USFL Philadelphia Stars Cheerleader, where my father Dave Trout was the kicker for the Champions of the spring. Dave amassed 353 points total in three seasons of play, before the USFL ceased operations. My mothers sister Gina was also a USFL Stars Cheerleader and now lives in the rural New Jersey area. There dedication and determination should also be noted, as they were from a poor family from Camden, NJ and ended up on National TV, along with even dating the beach boys! I guess now you can see why the PIttsburgh Steelers are not my favorite team of All-Time and never will be. I was born into this game in 1986 and it has captivated my attention ever since, because of the lives that BOTH of my parents lived. The most important lesson I learned from my Cherokee/Italian Mother is how to be resilient and to keep my head held high through storms that are purposeful for growth to become a better man. I would like to wish all the mothers out there a happy Mothers Day and to keep encouraging your young men and women to be great. Now I would like to talk about College athletes getting paid. Cost of attendance stipends have been evaluated and it is going to play a MAJOR role in recruiting, whether coaches like it or not.
Cost Of Attendance
In essence, this is the amount of money it will take each student-athlete to live through-out the year of college. The Big Ten has a very interesting dilemma developing and I do not hear many talking about it. Penn State can award $4,788 per year through a athletic grant to each student-athlete on scholarship, compared to Michigan States $1,872 dollars per year. The full listing can be seen below, along with the article by pennlive.
School In-State Out-Of-State Stipend
1 Penn State $34,506 $47,456 $4,788
2 Wisconsin $24,475 $40,725 $4,265
3 Nebraska $22,625 $36,545 $3,544
4 Indiana $24,417 $47,270 $3,026
5 Maryland $24,214 $44,507 $3,024
6 Rutgers $29,875 $44,653 $2,763
7 Illinois $29,568 $44,194 $2,500
8 Ohio State $23,589 $40,089 $2,454
9 Northwestern $65,844 $65,844 $2,326
10 Minnesota $25,740 $32,990 $2,194
11 Iowa $20,861 $40,191 $2,128
12 Michigan $26,834 $55,254 $2,054
13 Purdue $23,322 $42,124 $1,920
14 Michigan State $25,286 $47,051 $1,872
The Recruiting Edge
Now that I have closely observed the recruiting wars and how they are won and lost. I have come to realize that most athletes with great (FAFSA Reports) get offered early on. This same athlete comes from a less then middle-class family and now you are going to pay him a "stipend" to come to your school to "live". Penn State comes to the house and explains they can give you nearly $5,000 dollars to come play football and get a education. Then Michigan State comes by and says we have less then $2,000 dollars to award you and we can give you work study. Penn State just beat Michigan State most likely because the Student-Athlete is going to think they are "short changing" him. This in my opinion, makes a unfair advantage in the recruiting game and is clearly the only negative aspect for the College programs. Check out a exert I found on exactly how much College Football player are worth.
"Giving them what they deserve right? ― In Business Insider last week, there was an article that stated, “It is estimated that the University of Louisville has the most valuable players at $1.72 million per year based on the program’s $45.6 million in annual revenue. Overall, the average Division I player is worth $170,098 per year with the 351 Division I basketball programs taking in more than 4.5 million in revenue on average each year.” These athletes are bringing in incredible amounts of revenue to these schools ― why aren’t they receiving what is due? I mean the bottom line is, isn’t this what they deserve for their labor?"
That's right folks, if you play at Louisville you are worth 1.72 million a year to the University. So why are these young ADULTS, not getting compensated fairly? Well, the main argument is that of a "FREE EDUCATION" and honestly when you look at the numbers there is not one thing free about it. Not even 50% of NCAA football players even graduate and are a lot of times kept "eligible" to play, which in turn will get them a degree. Now they get thrown into a profession that they did not really learn about and either cannot find a job, or wind up losing the one they get from a alumni. It is each athletes individual job to maintain a level of excellence in our studies, so that we may be successful in our future endeavors. Do not float by the system and end up a sinking ship in life. I have already heard of a SEC school that now is paying the STAR players more money via grants, then the regular player. This is where the system will be muddied and things will get very sticky in the future.
The Possible Game-Changer
Tom Brady's agent is launching the Pacific Pro League, which will be a Pro Football league for athletes 18-21 years of age. In order to compete in the NFL you must be 3 years removed from your high school graduating class, therefore this league will be designed for top prospects to showcase and develop for the National Football League, while receiving payment as a pro. I believe this league will not only be a direct competitor to the NCAA's business model, but will also expand the market beyond measures, when it comes to developing players at a much faster rate for pro football. Most high school athletes have set their respective goals very high and are striving to make it to the show. Many come from poverty stricken situations and simply want to take care of their families doing what they do best. For these athletes, Football is not just a game and "Class" is really not on their schedule. So why are we handing out degrees from prestigious universities to young men who don't even see value you in it? College is not meant for everyone and making it the only route to pro football is our current reality. But it appears that this will be changing, thanks to the ever evolving brains we have in this game like Mr. Brady and Mr. Don Yee. Here is a exert from CBS Sports.
According to the league, players would make an average salary of roughly $50,000 and they would be able to train and practice year round, which players can't do in college due to NCAA rules that limit practice time."Pac Pro Football players will be paid as professionals, treated as professionals, and trained as professionals," Yee said in a statement. "Our players will be taught how to be better at their craft, and how to understand and execute their responsibilities as professionals. Professional football is a different game than amateur football, and Pac Pro players will learn and practice those techniques. Better trained players will lead to a better product, and thus, higher quality football players."
Yee also added that the players in his new league will have a chance to further their education because the new league will pay for one year of school at a local community college.
Well as you can see this league sounds pretty interesting and beneficial to our athletes. The question is once this league gets up and running and starts stealing top talent from the NCAA, hence revenue, then will the NCAA change it's business model to cater to the athlete more?
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