Since we just had April Fool’s Day I will tell you a little story that’s true, not a fable.
When I was in high school back in Steubenville, attending Big Red High, I was very fast but few knew. I didn’t play any sports, but did shoot pool down at TR’s Lounge or the Arcade pool room, and both had some big time nine ball games on a daily basis.
In fact, in my 1965 yearbook my nickname was “Fast Eddie.”
Now, I was also fast on my feet and at times would challenge some of the track and football players in a 50 yard dash for 20 bucks. That is as far as my speed would take me.
One time in gym class the head coach of our football team caught a glimpse of me outrunning this big star of his. The coach comes up to me after the class and says he wants me out for the team. I tell him I just run for the money and would not want to get hurt as there were quarter nine ball games calling me.
Now we get to Northwestern University as some of their football players created a petition to become unionized and get paid. What would happen to college football if they had to pay the players? Do they still get a free ride with their scholarships? Do the basketball players get paid? Baseball players? And hey, don’t forget about the girls.
I have been watching the NCAA women’s tournament on ESPN and they can play, so they also should get paid. It will never end if this happens. What needs to be done is if you don’t want to go and play football at the college level the NFL should do what baseball does and have a minor league system for the dummies. Pay them and offer a tattoo bonus for good play before they make it to the NFL.
The big universities do make a lot of money and that is ok with me. It gives these players a shot at the big bucks if they make it into the NFL and most get a free roll with the education. I would have loved that and so would a lot of my family members who are paying for student loans.
With all the money the football programs make it supports the other sports at the college level that bring in no money, like cricket, soccer, intramurals, lots of the girl’s sports. The cost of travel for all these players doesn’t come cheap.
Leave it as it is. These football players know what they are getting when they sign the letter of intent, and if they need some cash pick up a cue stick.
I really feel sorry for some of these nonpaid college football players, in particular Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron who just got engaged to his beautiful girlfriend Katherine Webb, the former Miss Alabama USA contestant. He had a big engagement party and put a huge diamond ring on her finger.
I mean, just think, if they paid him he could have gotten her a bigger ring. Now this is a guy who has been playing college football for four years, no other paid job. He’s got a nice car, great girl, big ring, big party. The poor guy should get paid.
Well, now he will be big time when drafted in the NFL. I rest my case!
Final Four: What a tournament it has been with two surprise teams in 7 seed Connecticut getting 6 points against No. 1 Florida and that 8 seed freshman team of Kentucky as a 2 point favorite against No. 2 Wisconsin.
A 7 seed has never even reached a Final Four, much less been a favorite over a 2 seed. All I know is, if I were a coach, I would not want to be meeting up with either of these two teams as both look possessed.
Florida has done nothing wrong in this tournament and it’s theirs to win or lose. I think they get the job done against the upstart Huskies who have been playing with a vengeance after being on suspension last year. They will come to play but fall short.
The Kentucky freshmen may meet their match against under-the-radar Wisconsin. It will be the Badgers and Gators in the final with Florida playing up to the hype and winning it all.
Richard Saber, a former director of race and sports at the famed Stardust book, is GamingToday’s horse racing and sports handicapper. Follow Richard on Twitter @SabesBet. Contact Richard at [email protected].