SEPT. 25 OFF THE MARK COLUMN — MARK SPENSLEY, CO-PUBLISHER
If I were a betting man, I would wager that the Iowa State Cyclones football staff isn’t too crazy about this year’s schedule.
After starting out at home against UNI, the Cyclones entered a bye week before facing the Iowa Hawkeyes. They followed the Iowa game with another bye week.
Bye weeks are good, later in the season when you could use a week off to do some healing. They can also be beneficial before playing a worthy opponent, thus giving you two weeks to prepare.
I can’t believe this schedule was beneficial for the Cyclones, especially early in the season when you really need to establish some cohesiveness as well as getting some momentum going before tackling the Big 12 conference schedule.
I also see a couple of Thursday night games on their schedule. I’ve stated before that I really dislike the fact that college games are now being played on Thursday and Friday nights.
To me it takes away from the old Saturday college game day atmosphere. Now as the season kicks in, the Cyclones find themselves playing the next 10 straight weeks.
To pay or not to pay. Big NCAA news last week included a Sports Illustrated story about more corruption in college football, specifically filled with allegations about a corrupt Oklahoma State football program.
Allegations include the usual, illegal payments from boosters to players, failed drug tests, inappropriate contact involving female college students with recruits as well as players getting paid for jobs that they either didn’t do or barely worked at.
Also, Houston Texans RB, Arian Foster, admitted he accepted money while playing at the University of Tennessee. He came out this past week and said he either needed to accept the cash of go hungry.
That raises a bigger question, even though these kids are getting a free college education, should they be given money in addition to tuition.
Their sports seasons take up a ton of their time, not allowing them the opportunity to work jobs for some spending money.
And should they be allowed to profit from their name? Why can’t they be paid to sign autographs or make appearances? The big money machine, the NCAA, sure doesn’t mind exploiting their student athletes for the sake of making a buck.
The landscape of the college football game has changed; it’s all about the Benjamins. Maybe it’s time to make some changes that benefit the student athlete, especially since so many of them come from low-income situations.