You may have seen where the newest Time Magazine, hitting newsstands tomorrow, has Johnny Manziel on the cover with the headline "Its time to pay college athletes."
By SAM MELLINGER
The Kansas City Star
Its powerful stuff, and I dont mean this as a jumping off point to do the debate here.
There isnt much new that can be said about this topic, but any sensible adult can look around at whats happening to the NCAA and the growing sentiment by fans and mainstream media about the unfairness of unpaid labor fueling a multi-billion dollar industry and understand that this is going to happen in some form and probably relatively soon.
Like I said, none of that is new.
But when that happens and, again, this is now when, not if that money must come from somewhere. And a logical place to start would be the bloated salaries of these same coaches.
Its easy to stand on principle on some hypothetical ideal, but Im interested to see the reaction if the money stunts or even reverses the trend of escalating coaching salaries.
I had a conversation with one prominent college coach who said, basically, and this is not a direct quote:
"The money is great and whoever tells you they dont care about the money is just lying. But no coach gets into the profession for the money, because there is no money in it except for a relative few at the top. If you capped head coaches salaries at $500,000 youd have the exact same kinds of people working exactly as hard to be head coaches and then you could use the rest of that money for other things. It wouldnt change a thing about coaches."
Now, I dont know if its true that coaches would be A-OK with smaller salaries.
But I do know that college athletes are going to be paid, and that money is going to have to come from somewhere, and we may find out how much a lot of rich college coaches are willing to stand on principle.
To reach Sam Mellinger, call 816-234-4365 or send email to email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @mellinger. For previous columns, go to KansasCity.com.