By now, most of you probably have seen the George Dohrmann piece in SI about Josh Luchs, the sports agent that sought to pay dozens of college football players (including Santonio Holmes, pictured) in hopes of representing them when they reached the NFL. It’s a compelling read and a peek behind the curtain at the underbelly of how money changes hands under the table in the football world.
Let’s not overblow this: this is not a “very chilling issue” as ESPN’s Chris Folwer would have you believe. This is merely a list of people that we all knew was happening anyway. Anyone that follows college football and doesn’t have his head buried in the sand knows that college football players are getting money from somebody, either from enterprising agents or boosters with ties to their schools. It’s the residual effect of the NCAA creating a black market for talented 18-year-olds who, currently, have nowhere else to cash in on their talents. But I’m telling you something you already know.
What most of us don’t know is how the NCAA manages to remain a glorified sports sweatshop, complete with a big white sign out front that reads AMATEUR ATHLETICS, where they remain unchallenged by the parties involved. Look, these kids set their own value when they sign their letters-of-intent, but the idea that the NCAA maintains the moral high ground here is a croc. I’m not saying that players necessarily should get paid. I’m just saying that we shouldn’t act surprised, from wherever it happens to be, when the money actually does start rolling in.