The true meaning of Old School …
Warning, I’m eventually going to get weird here with something that’s never, ever, ever going to happen.
But before getting there, let me introduce you to the most interesting thing going on in the college football world that you probably know nothing about.
As we speak, there’s a case called Alston v. NCAA being tried, with one side making a realistic attempt at blowing up the current model of college athletics as we currently know it.
In a nutshell – Dennis Dodd is all over this; go here for his deep dive into what’s going on – if the Alston side wins, colleges would be free to compensate players however they choose.
If that happens, then it could be Game On, with the possibility for the creation of super-leagues of college programs, paying athletes like professionals, and entering a new phase of realignment and expansion that would make the current college sports landscape unrecognizable.
Before getting too out there with the possibilities, the reality is that – despite all the speculation about what could happen if the ruling goes against the NCAA – it’s not necessarily in the best interest of the schools or conferences to break up the status quo.
Even so, it’s fun to think about the idea of the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC forming an alliance with around 60 teams, a bigger playoff, and far more interesting games without so many miserable matchups and cupcake games. That cranks up the TV interest, the fan bases, and …. we’ll dive into this another time.
Okay, so now that you have the backdrop, if this all goes down like it very well might – from salaries for players to no scholarship limits – try this out for a radical concept for some school with deep pockets and interest in marketing its stars.
Again, with the caveat that if this is all about to change …
Eliminate the limit on how long a player can stay at that school and play major college football or basketball.
Colleges, you’re getting rid of your fully-trained players just when they become their most mature, talented, and knowledgeable in your systems.
Instead of college football being purely a developmental minor league and training ground as it weeds out the talent for the NFL, what if it becomes more like a farm system for the schools themselves?
Treat the player as a university employee, just like a professor, or a janitor, or any other worker in the system. And if he wants to play past his four years of school – great. That’s what you trained him to do.
Of course the superstar talents will still go off to the NFL, but at least this way there would be another option for the guys who don’t make it or would be long shots.
What, you’re going to let that Alliance of American Football profit off the guys you developed?
Keep your talent around, and there’s your competitive advantage, you big-time schools with big-time cash, you.
So, you don’t like the idea of 26-year-old grown men playing college football? I’d like to introduce you to BYU.
So, college football is for four-year undergrad types? Whatever – that ship sailed a while ago with grad transfers and medical hardships.
So, you think fans will hate the idea of 31-year-old professionals as regular part of college? Whatever … fans care about winning. If using grown men allows them to beat their rival, fantastic.
So, you don’t like the idea of players getting paid? Oh, come on …
And now, as we gently come to a soft landing …