Tag Archives: paying college athletes

Emphatic ‘no!’ on paying college athletes

I saw a Time magazine cover yesterday at work, with a picture of Johnny “Football” Manziel on its cover and a headline that says it’s time to pay college athletes.

I don’t need to read the article thoroughly to know I’ll disagree with it. Its premise is wrong on its face — in my humble view.

Manziel, of course, is the Texas A&M University Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback who endured a half-game suspension as his “punishment” for getting paid for autographs he signed. Manziel has become the poster boy for this ridiculous assertion that college athletes need to be paid for their services.

What utter nonsense.

They get paid already. Handsomely, too. The payment comes in the form of a free college education. Manziel is a blue-chip athlete who received a full-ride scholarship to Texas A&M. Did he get that scholarship because of his academic prowess? No. He’s being paid for his football skills, which put more than 80,000 people in the seats at Kyle Field and fills other stadiums to capacity wherever else the Aggies play football on any given Saturday.

How much would Johnny Football be paying if he wasn’t compensated? He’s pay about $8,000 annually in tuition and another $8,000 per year for room and board. I haven’t even calculated the cost of books, lab fees and other ancillary expenses that go with getting a college education.

Manziel gets paid. So do any of the scholarship athletes who compete in any college in the nation.

Pay these people? You must be kidding.

I remain wedded to the notion that student-athletes should have to toe the line. They should go to school, crack the books, study hard, work with tutors to help them get through those periods when they’re away from school participating in athletic events — and then play their guts out when the whistle sounds to start the game.

Mr. Football and his fellow scholarship athletes do not need more payment for demonstrating their athletic prowess.

Johnny Football fumbles at key moment

My old friend Tom Taschinger has it exactly correct.

Writing for the Beaumont Enterprise, Taschinger takes dead aim at Johnny “Football” Manziel’s troubles stemming from an autograph signing debacle that well could effectively cost him the rest of his college football career.


The NCAA is looking into whether Manziel took money for signing the autographs. This is not a difficult case to prove or disprove. Either he took the dough or he didn’t. If he did, then Johnny Football is facing a possible season-long suspension by the NCAA.

Can there be any clearer message for the young quarterback, the first freshman in NCAA history to win the Heisman Trophy, that he isn’t supposed to take money for signing his name? If he did, the young Texas A&M quarterback has messed up royally.

Taschinger wrote this: “Manziel apparently signed autographs for memorabilia dealers — dealers! — in six separate sessions last season. We’re talking hours-long sessions and thousands of items. Big money even was said to have changed hands.

“Folks, that’s not a borderline violation. It’s as blatant as a quarterback being leveled by a defender five seconds after releasing the ball. You have to wonder what Johnny Football was thinking while he was grinding out those signatures — and why his parents or a coach didn’t step in and save him.”

I don’t want this story to pan out. It’s looking as though it will. There will be an accounting made of who paid Manziel the money if that’s what comes to pass. If it does, I fear the cheering at Kyle Field this season is going to be a bit muted without Johnny Football taking the snaps.

He would have no one else in the entire world to blame but himself.