It’s Showtime For The Unpaid Stars Of The College Football Title Game

Everyone makes a buck except the players.

It is time for the college football championship game in New Orleans, Louisiana. So, let’s take a look. The pilot and co-pilot of the plane that took the Clemson University team to New Orleans got paid. Louisiana State University personnel were transported from Baton Rouge to New Orleans. People got paid to do that. The bus drivers taking the Clemson players from the airport to the hotel and practice and the stadium were paid. Housing, paid. The head of security and the security staff at the corporate named stadium, paid. The corporate named stadium officials gave money to the people who allow the name on the building. The TV and radio people paid to broadcast the game. Their checks are good. The announcers and production crew paid. Marketing partners who want to be associated with the game have paid for that right. People who are attending the game, someone paid for those tickets. The players? Nothing. This is game 14 for both teams, 14 weeks of practice, a couple weeks of training camp and those so-called voluntary practices. It has been a full-time job since last summer or maybe last spring. They get a scholarship and a chance, if they have time away from the practice field, to get an education.

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney makes more than $9 million a year off his players’ collective backs but doesn’t think his players should be paid. In 2014, Swinney said, “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.” In South Carolina, some state legislators would like to see Swinney’s players get paid and are introducing legislation that would make South Carolina college programs like Clemson pay the players something. Swinney has a 10-year, $93 million contract. Clemson players aren’t paid.

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow (9) celebrates a touchdown against Oklahoma during the first half of the Peach Bowl NCAA semifinal college football playoff game, Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)