Student-Athletes Or Cannon Fodder?

New LSU football coach Brian Kelly waves to fans after his arrival at Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport, Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, in Baton Rouge, La. Kelly, formerly of Notre Dame, is said to have agreed to a 10-year contract with LSU worth $95 million plus incentives. (Scott Clause/The Daily Advertiser via AP)

College sports offers want Congress to set up rules to pay players.

The Commissioner of the Southeastern Conference Greg Sankey is imploring Congress to do something to regulate name, image and likeness compensation in college athletics. But if Sankey or NCAA President Charlie Baker do appear before Senate or House members, the elected officials should ask, do you really care about the so-called “student-athletes” or are the so-called “student-athletes” just cannon fodder there to be used up? Congress should ask Baker or Sankey if they are just looking to make as much money as possible for the college or university sports programs. Northwestern University let go of its football coach Pat Fitzgerald because of allegations of widespread hazing within the football program. Northwestern baseball coach Jim Foster was fired because of allegations of misconduct, three days after Fitzgerald was let go. A question that should be asked of anybody from the NCAA hierarchy or from conference commissioners. What are you doing to make sure you are taking care of the athletes who make money for the NCAA and college conferences without getting paid directly from the NCAA, conferences or individual schools?

For what it is worth, Sankey wants Congress to help the college sports industry with outsiders paying some college athletes. “Congressional action is then the only way to provide a national uniform standard for name, image, and likeness activity and to draw the lines around the boundaries that do not become simply pay for play.” Louisiana State University football coach Brian Kelly also wants Congress to help. “I’m not here to fix it. I’m here to navigate it. If I can lend my experience in any shape or fashion, I will do that. But I can tell you what we’re living, and that’s third-party involvement and different rules of engagement by different states.” The NCAA only cares about money.

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SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey speaks to reporters during the NCAA college football Southeastern Conference Media Days Monday, July 19, 2021, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)