So ... Jake and Patrick: not big NCAA fans. Roger that.
Guys, we all get it. Schools make money. Players don't. Oh, the humanity. Workers of the world, unite.
Pardon my logic, but ending amateurism won't cure all that ails college sports. Sure, Cam Newton would've signed with Nike. A few guys would sell autographs. Athletic departments wouldn't have to sneak cash to players any more. They will be able give them checks—above-board, and legal-like—from a slush fund that pays kids to "work" campus jobs like the one Robby Benson had in One on One.
That's fine if the point is pure economics. Sure. Share the wealth. But why let our pragmatism stop there? Why even keep the "student" in student-athlete? There's really no reason players at a big program like Miami should take classes. After all, it's not like they're real students. They're just football players, right? They're pros. Aren't they?
Ending amateurism sounds like a no-brainier. Maybe it is. But one inevitable consequence of it is that absolutely nothing would stand between college athletes and sleazy boosters like Shapiro. There's something in me that hates that. Whether or not it's rational or fair, there's something in me that says we need a mechanism in place saying it's not okay to take college players to strip clubs or buy them jewelry—just as something in me says, all evidence the contrary, it's important for those players to be enrolled in classes. It matters, even if that schooling is often a sham that denigrates the kid and the university. Sometimes, every once in a while, it isn't.
Which brings us to how you both ignored Emma's question. A player defending Tyrone Moss for accepting money from Shapiro pointed out that Moss arrived in Miami flat-broke with a child to feed. Emma wondered if Moss and the needy players like him deserve our support.
They do. The question is the right way to help them get it.