College football is big business. Why not give more of the players a share of the earnings? Sure, we want college football to remain non-pro-for amateurs-even though college football functions as the farm system for pro football. But so many people and institutions are making so much money due to the efforts of these college players. I think that they should be rewarded with a share of the earnings, much like a start-up company. In the business world, if you have input “sweat-equity” into a company and the company performs well, you are usually rewarded commensurately. Why not do the same thing in football? Are a full-ride scholarship and the other capped perks really anywhere near the value that football players bring to the program? I don’t think that football players are compensated anywhere near the value that they bring to universities.
Here is my proposal. Reward football players with “stock” in the earnings of the football program. These stocks vest in a multiplying scalable manner overtime so that the longer the player stays with the team, the more years that they complete in college, and specifically, if they graduate, the more valuable is his stock. Perhaps to take this further, those who continue to contribute to their Alma Mater could vest further stock in the earnings of the football program. Players can cash in their vested interest when they have completed their tenure with the football team.
A variety of scenarios could be explored here. But the main idea is that college football players should receive greater compensation for the value they bring to the university then simply a free degree. A time-based, performance-based vesting stock options in the earnings of the college football program may be a fair route to go so that college football players share in the value that they produce.