Monday evening’s college football championship game features two powerhouse teams: undefeated Clemson (14-0) versus perennial football power Alabama (13-1). With all the media attention on this game, expected to be one of the most-watched college football games ever, it’s easy to find predictions for the winner. CBS has six experts all predicting an Alabama victory. SBNation lists Alabama as a one-touchdown favorite.
My prediction is different, and I’m 100% positive that I’m correct: both teams will lose. Don’t get me wrong: the teams will play each other, and one of the teams will score more points, so the game itself will have a winner. But in this money-washed extravaganza, with coaches, schools, and television networks hauling in tens of millions of dollars, none of the players will be paid a single dollar.
Imagine this: the 100 players on each team’s roster have spent their year entertaining millions of fans. They have played their hearts out on the field, risking injury (including the possibility of a life-altering concussion) in every game, all while pretending to be full-time college students pursuing an education. The pretense that they are “student athletes” is what allows the NCAA and the universities to maintain the fiction that players should not be compensated for their efforts on the field.