I never want to hear major college athletes referred to as students again. At least not regular students, and sorry, “student athlete” doesn’t quite cut it.
Because as we’ve known, but see so clearly now in the midst of current circumstances, college sports, particularly football, are a vital revenue source for the system and universities. So, it’s a sham to pretend the participants within are getting more out of the college experience than they are delivering by being on the field.
Which has been made apparent through the clear push by the top conferences to make sure a football season happens in the midst of the pandemic. This as some players expressed concern about safety on a call with the SEC, while a group from the Pac-12 has threatened to skip the season if a list of demands are not met, including a 50% share of football revenue.
I’m not personally calling for the cancelation of the season because I’m sure there are many athletes who still want to be out there and there are many factors at play.
However, as we’ve already seen through MLB, proceeding isn't easy. And in playing college football, due to the nature of the sport, roster sizes, and any interactions with the campus at large, there is almost no way to avoid some spread of the virus. And there simply has to be some difference in standards when it comes to the resumption of professional sports and those where the participants aren’t being paid.
I'm rooting for every sport to succeed, but ultimately, I think this will serve as a reckoning for the entire NCAA structure; for real this time. Because it doesn’t take a college degree to see much of the higher education system is built on the back of “student athletes”.