Dr. Fred Opie played lacrosse at Syracuse University (after transferring from Herkimer CC) and then went on to win a World Championship with Team USA in Perth, Australia in 1990. Currently, Dr. Opie is a Professor of History and Foodways at Babson College. If you haven’t read his blogs, you definitely should. The topics range from lacrosse at Cuse, to being a black athlete in Australia in the 90s playing for Team USA, to how to prepare an amazing dinner.
This time however, Dr. Opie has made a video and while he hits on a number of topics, the two most interesting segments deal with the NCAA Tournament being a “pro” style amateur event, and the idea behind paying athletes in revenue producing sport.
I have talked about College Athletes getting paid in the past, and I’m sure I’ll cover it again in the future. It’s an issue that just won’t go away, and it probably shouldn’t. The conversation will continue, and Dr. Opie’s thoughts on the subject are incredibly interesting:
I just love how he structures that argument. Did you catch the little trick he used? First, Dr. Opie paints the picture of the NCAA being amateur for the most part, and then he shows how the NCAA tournament changes things dramatically, even for a sport like lacrosse, basically making it professional. It was hard to deny any of that. THEN he goes on to say that certain sports are actually like that year round, and again it’s hard to argue with that.
While the most strident proponents of keeping college sports “amateur” might not agree with Dr. Opie in principle, they have to be able to see the side he’s arguing.
So what do YOU think? Should college athletes get paid? Should NCAA tournament team athletes get paid? Or should college sports take a real step back towards true amateur status? OR is the situation just fine as is?