Now that college athletes can be paid and sponsored, conversations are swirling about the future of amateur athletics.
Some reject the idea of brand deals and salaries for college athletes, while others praise the league’s decision and eagerly await new advances for these athletes.
Mike Leach, the Mississippi State football coach, has his own opinions on the matter, as a recent article by Sports Illustrated details below.
“Fifteen months into the era of name, image and likeness (NIL), Mike Leach has come to a realization like so many within the industry: College sports have been professionalized. And it is time, he says, for college athletes to become professionals. It’s time for a player draft. It’s time for salary caps, for trades and for player cuts.
Caught in a purgatory between amateurism and professionalism since NIL was legalized in July 2021, college sports should take the full leap into the latter, the Mississippi State football coach says.
“This should not be a masquerade party of professionals. Are you a professional or are you not?” says Leach during an interview in his office earlier this week. “Instead of sitting here and having 17-year-olds lecture everybody that they are professionals, well, let them be professionals. It’s one [amateur] or the other [professional]. Right now, we’ve got this whole mysterious stratosphere of people wiggling all over back and forth.”
Leach, 61, is no ordinary football coach. Far from the norm in his profession, he’s got a law degree from Pepperdine. He holds strong opinions, is a political junkie and enjoys a hearty debate, whenever he’s not breaking down film or biking around Key West.
“With professionals comes responsibility,” he says. “Yeah, you will potentially make more money. But you are drafted and can be traded. That’s what professionals do. This college football group [of administrators], they are all shocked by that. Why are you shocked by it? Name one league of professionals who don’t do it that way.”
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According to Leach, the jump from amateur to professional has already been completed.
As it stands, many athletes are caught between amateurism and professionalism, as the league itself is evenly split with some aspects left up to interpretation.
As a coach, Leach is fed up with the inconsistency of the new changes and is calling for a full transition towards professionalism.
Whether or not you agree with Leach on this sentiment is not the point of the article. The takeaway here is that with the talent, resources, and drive these players have, they deserve to have a clear path to success and a fair shot at it.
In business, we have to give everyone in our company the resources and materials to succeed.
Inconsistent rules and regulations do not make a successful business or a successful sports league.
Preparedness, commitment, drive, and equal opportunity are what combine to create a successful company.
With these elements and the willingness to push your business forward, you’ll be able to make it to the big leagues.
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