January 1st In College Football Is Just Another Day

FILE - This Jan. 2, 2017, file pool photo, shows an aerial view of the empty Rose Bowl stadium before to the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game between Southern California and Penn State in Pasadena, Calif. The Rose Bowl was denied a special exemption from the state of California to allow a few hundred fans to attend the College Football Playoff semifinal on Jan. 1, putting the game staying in Pasadena in serious doubt. A person involved with organizing the game told The Associated Press the Tournament of Roses' request was denied earlier this week. (The Tournament of Roses via AP, Pool, File)

No champion will be crowned.

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 2024, there are three meaningless games in the overall scheme of things in Orlando, Tampa and Glendale, Arizona and two important matches. The Rose Bowl will take place with the game as part of the College Football Playoff with Michigan playing Alabama. The other College Football Playoff game is in New Orleans with Texas taking on Washington. There were 42 corporate named college football bowl games scheduled. The student-athletes are not paid by the schools for their work.

The term “student-athlete” 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 do 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 payouts thanks to an antitrust exemption. Some players are paid through a third party which has been a problem with NCAA leaders and will continue to be a problem in 2024. The players have stories to tell later on in life about appearing in a big game. The coaches get millions, athletic directors bonuses. The players may get a ring.

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USF quarterback Byrum Brown (17) throws a pass against Alabama during the first half of an NCAA college football game S in Tampa (AP Photo).