New Year’s Day Is Not The End All College Football Party

Lots of meaningless games.



January 1st used to be the end of the college football season. There would be a champion crowned after the completion of the traditional bowl games. But money has changed everything and January 1st is just another day. In 2019, the five corporate named bowls, the Rose, the Sugar, the Fiesta, the Citrus and the Outback Bowls will feature ten also ran teams in what is little more than TV programming and a money grab for schools and conferences. There are more than three dozen college bowl games with title sponsors paying college football bills. Television and other partners both naming rights and lesser sponsors put up money.  All of this does not include the three college football playoff games.  Money comes in but no payments go to student-athletes who are the show.

The term “student-athletes” has been used to deny players benefits such as salaries and long term health care from injuries suffered on the field whether in practice or in a game. Courts have pretty much routinely upheld the college side of things in lawsuits filed by severely injured players or survivors of players killed on the field. Schools should not have to pay workman’s compensation or long term health care costs because the athlete is a student not an employee of the school. The athletic scholarship is very one sided, in favor of the schools, although there is some justification that the schools are offering scholarships to players and that players ought to be grateful for that.  Teams playing in the bowl games pay no taxes on bowl payoffs thanks to an antitrust exemption. The players, the stars of the show, are not paid while everyone else is making money. They have stories to tell later on in life about appearing in a big game. The coaches get millions, athletic director bonuses. The players may get a ring.