Texas Longhorns’ Brooke McCarty Celebrates a turnover against Central Arkansas Friday, during the NCAA Women’s Tournament at the Erwin Center. Dustin Safranek FOR AMERICAN-STATESMAN

BEVO BEAT Men's Basketball

Golden: Let college athletes sign with agents, accept endorsements

Posted February 27th, 2018

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In this week’s Golden’s Nuggets, Ced touches on a Bevo-related item. Here is his take:

On paying college athletes:

Shaka Smart and others like him know the current model isn’t working when it comes to college athletics.

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Athletes should be paid in addition to their scholarships.

“The stuff that has been on the media, obviously it sheds light on something that, as a sport, we need to address and improve,” the Texas basketball coach said Saturday. “I don’t have all the answers, but I know there is going to need to be a lot of change.”

First of all, there’s never going to be a level playing field when it comes to the idea of paying college players. For one, Title IX basically stipulates that a person cannot be denied the benefits or be discriminated under any education program or activity (sports) involving federal financial assistance based on gender. No disagreement there, but here’s where we can make some inroads in this area: Allow athletes to accept endorsements.

Let them sign with an agent before college and be able to market themselves like every other athlete. The school would be freed of any financial responsibility that would come with having to pay every player.

If Brooke McCarty wanted to do a commercial with Sally Beauty to market that accessory that holds her famous Brooke Bun in place, allow her to make that deal. If Nothing Bundt Cakes wants to do a commercial with the Texas offensive line, let those big uglies get paid with money and/or cupcakes. Free enterprise exists everywhere in America except when it comes to college athletes.

In 2014, Texas agreed to pay each of its athletes a $10,000 cost-of-attendance stipend which is at or near the top of what major athletic programs pay. That’s not enough when one considers the massive amounts of money these athletes produce for these schools through ticket sales, advertising, merchandising and TV/radio money. Meanwhile, the only ones getting rich are coaches, athletic directors and television executives.

Most of those athletes came here to train for professional sports careers — let’s keep it real — so they should be allowed to take advantage of their unique skills in the marketplace. It’s the American way. To deprive them of such goes beyond unfair.

And please, lets stop comparing student-athletes to students. Go to a football game this fall; 90,000 fans aren’t showing up at DKR to see the Science Club. They’re showing up to see the players who won’t see one penny of the $100 million-plus the football program generates each year.

The scholarship just isn’t enough in today’s era. There is no easy solution, but find a way to allow all athletes to receive a fair share.

For the rest of Cedric’s Nuggets, including his thoughts on Dez Bryant and Kawhi Leonard, click here.

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