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Dear Football Mom: What is wrong with football players getting paid?
Helmet Kisses

Dear Football Mom,

We saw you on the Tamron Hall Show talking about the pay-to-play passing in California for college athletes and we have two questions: What were you talking about with the “worms” being “slippery little devils,” and what did you mean about playing for the love of the game? Our son is a junior in high school playing football, and college recruiters are showing interest. What is wrong with football players or any student athlete getting paid?   

Dear Reader,

Thank you so much for watching and for these fantastic follow up questions, bringing more attention to this ruling. 

The devil, as the cliché goes, is in the details. My game plan options and opinions went kapowee. The clock ran out in that segment before I had a chance to throw the ball. Not promising a touchdown, but …

The worm reference has gotten a lot of buzz. Hopefully, this will bring a pinch of clarity for everyone reading the column. Then again, sometimes I’m clear as mud.

It was my way of explaining, in a saucy comedic way, the fact that this law is not yet in play, and there is still time to reverse such a reckless ruling. After it’s implemented, it will be harder to put a cap on the can of worms as they bury themselves in the ground or scoot off into oblivion. 

They are slippery little devils and hard to catch wiggling everywhere like they’d just got bit by red aunts. I reckon this law will be harder to pull back once it goes into effect. Hence the worm analogy. It’s easier to keep the lid on the can of worms instead of frantically running after them, chasing them back into the can when they’ve got a good head start.

This little ruling will only wreak havoc later down the road and create that hotdog mentality. It will allow commercial companies to seek endorsements for their products, paying players for their John Henry (signatures), and that’s code for some players to bring attention to themselves so the spotlight shines on them, giving the products, they represent free publicity. 

The ruse of the players, encouraged by the commercial companies, to hotdog brings in more money and profit when showing out on televised games. This translates to bulging bank accounts for those few players. Duh. No team about it at all.

The effect will be mind-blowing all right. Decision makers such as chancellors, deans, or presidents of universities could bury their heads, I suppose, for kickbacks (see how money makes everybody involved gamble and goofy). 

Then try finding an authentic athletic director, one who isn’t willing to turn a blind eye receiving payment from sports companies for, let’s say, unrestrained access to their athletes. Or head coaches or assistants. Or for that matter, recruiting players whose heart’s desire is pure and plays for the love the game. 

As if recruiting isn’t hard enough, now players are going on the chopping block to the highest bidder. No longer will recruiters find players who feel it a privilege to receive a scholarship offer. They’ll want that fat paycheck to boot. Prep players may demand to be hooked up with companies for endorsements, or wage bets on how much said college program will dole out for a player’s percentage of jersey sales. I suppose too, talent level will drop.     

You might as well go ahead and throw the word “team” in the trash. It will no longer be the game we all cheer and root for. Talk about a scam … have mercy! This makes recruiting cheating scandals look like child’s play in a sand box.

Now, I will share the fact that yes, there is a need for pocket change so players can buy toothpaste and shaving cream. If the programs themselves paid players a small amount of cash per week or whatever, then fine. 

Have you ever seen the “adult” pro players — who do get paid enormous bucks — handle money wisely? It’s rare, so how the heck do you think kids will handle it? It’s sure to be the best booze bonus going. Just what college coaches need, more watchful oversights.Those poor ol’ boys won’t know if they’re coming, or going or already been there!

And by the way, the players are getting paid. They are receiving a free … that is FREE … education, study hall assistance, free tutors at their disposal, free books, free meals, free lodging and even free medical care. Besides all of that, those who really need financial assistance can apply for something called pale grants. Also free money.

This is college football, not pro football. Graduate, get a job, form a career, create your own wealth with your free education. Honestly, don’t y’all think that should be the ultimate goal for any student athlete? Graduate college. 

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