For years, the argument of whether college football players should be paid on top of their scholarships has been seen streaming across media outlets all over the nation. The NCAA rakes in billions of dollars off of their student-athletes each year, from ticket sales to the selling of memorabilia. But since the NCAA feels that they give their players enough with an education, a new football league that pays its players looks to step in to change everything. That league is the Pacific Football League.
The Pacific Football League that was formed in early January 2017, looks to play its inaugural season in 2018. The league was founded by a group of former NFL players and agents who look to give college and high school graduate athletes an alternative to playing with no pay. The league looks to help those underprivileged students who need the money for their families as well as their college education. According to USA Today, Pacific Pro Football League co-founder Ed McCaffrey said, “It’ll make sense for a lot of young men and a lot of families.” With the average player salary projected at $50,000 plus benefits for eight weeks of playing, this type of league will interest many prospective college players.
The benefits will include one year of free tuition at community college for each athlete as well as working with NFL representatives to go through the steps of preparing for the NFL draft. Any player that is under four years removed from high school will be eligible to play in the league. There will be four teams of about 50 players, and games will take place during the summer, which will give students the ability to study during college, and then make their money playing in the summer, as well as being able to gain sponsorships, which is outlawed in the NCAA.
Football players at Hollis Brookline had some interesting takes on the Pacific Football League. Brian Delaney ‘17, said to his understanding this league will also be “a great place for athletes who are not fit for college as well.” Athletes playing for a community college find it challenging to be noticed, if that athlete is lucky enough to even go to a college that has a team. This league will give those kids “exposure that they normally wouldn’t have gotten”, because their grades might not have been good enough for a 4 year school. “The kids will get paid, that’s what they deserve.” Tyler Bergerson ‘17, had a much different opinion. “I think the athletes should go where they have a scholarship to play, because the schools they will go to will be much better than the schools they could afford with this Pacific League’s money. Athletes who have that D1 scholarship should play there, and I think the quality of the football in the Pacific League will not be as good as college.”
One thing is certain, it’ll be interesting to see how the NCAA responds to the formation of this league and how it will affect their own policies.