I always agree with Star Tribune sports columnist Jim Souhan, except when he’s wrong, as he was in “NCAA’s strategy: Protect its profits” (Oct. 30).

The decision last week by the governing board of the National Collegiate Athletic Association to direct its three divisions to craft rules allowing athletes to “benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness” is one of the worst ideas in the history of Western civilization.

This is the one idea that will destroy college athletics.

Today’s system isn’t perfect, but it works pretty well. Scholarships are the way to go.

Souhan says they are “coupons, not cash.” Really, Jim?

A four-year ride at Notre Dame is worth $200,000. I’ll take that “coupon” and the education that goes with it any day of the week.

As I peruse responses in the general media, it seems like everyone is for the NCAA’s decision. Right there my instinct is to go against it.

The NCAA says California has already passed a law allowing it starting in 2023, so the association is just trying to catch up.

California — really?

California has nearly forced people to buy electric cars, but refuses to use proper forest management practices, so the state has dangerous wildfires right now. So dangerous that the power company has been turning off the power, so now people with electric cars can’t charge them and escape the fires!

Yeah, follow their lead in sports.

Paying college athletes would create so many problems I hardly know where to start. So let’s just focus on football and endorsements.

Who plays left guard for the Gophers? I don’t know, either.

Like most University of Minnesota football fans, I know of quarterback Tanner Morgan, running back Rodney Smith and wide receiver Tyler Johnson, so guess who’s going to get the endorsements?

Only a few offensive stars are going to get the money. Oh, sure, the occasional defensive tackle might get to do a commercial for Ditch Witch.

The point is, only a handful of stars are going to make money. The rest of the team will not. If your goal is to destroy team unity, this is the way.

So how do we make this fair? Are the college players going to form a union? Are they going to strike?

If a college athlete goes on strike, does that student-athlete still have to go to class?

The NFL has a union, so the lowest-paid player makes $495,000 per season. Do you think the new college union can get that much?

If a college player can have an agent and endorsements, it’s only a matter of time before players start throwing games. I can see it now:

Reporter: “Wow, college quarterback, you threw an interception in the end zone to lose the game, just like the pros do!”

College QB: “I did, and you can lose, too. Just try Nexitrim and you’ll lose the weight.”

Now that we’ve ruined college football, of course that will spill over and ruin high school sports as well.

Once you change the motivation from education to money, every kid will want to go to New York, Texas, Florida and California. Big programs in big media markets equals more endorsements.

Midwest schools might as well cancel athletics — maybe that would be good?

In a strange way, it would be like abolishing the Electoral College. Nobody would be interested in flyover country anymore.

Allowing money into college athletics would open a Pandora’s box we would never be able to close, and the irony is, the supposed smartest people in the country came up with this horrible idea.

It’s not too late to stop it.


Rob Godfrey lives in St. Louis Park.