It's doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the football at almost any level generates revenue. The bigger the stage, the more money is generated. And when there's money being raked in, well, there are players getting paid.
Sadly, no, I'm not talking about professional football.
In light of the recent University of Miami and Ohio State football scandals in which players allegedly received improper benefits, we're just now officially confirming what we've all thought and known in our hearts for years - college athletes are getting paid to play big-time college sports.
Don't be fooled - the trend isn't one that's only likely to be found in Coral Gables or Columbus. Those are just the schools that got caught first. This trend likely extends to institutions like Florida, Texas, USA, Oklahoma, Alabama, Auburn and so many more.
In all likelihood, there's probably a hint of that trend in our own backyard here in New England.
What we have here is a major dilemma. Institution of higher learning are being turned into places where athletes can make big bucks by playing sports, instead of solely benefiting from the education offered there.
The issue here is not that players shouldn't be allowed to make money from playing, because that's an entirely different debate all together. What it all comes down to is morality.
Where's the line anymore? If our nation's top institution are teaching the lesson that's it's OK to break the law, then where do we stand? Sure, all of the ADs and presidents will come out against illegal benefits, but most of them are turning around and doling them out to their players anyways. Is that anyway to act at place of higher learning?
America has enough morality problems without our schools bending the rules. What we need here is an intervention, a change of course. And that responsibility lies in the hands of Mark Emmert, the NCAA president.
In many ways, Emmert is faced with a situation similar to the Steroid Era that MLB Commissioner Bud Selig oversaw in his league. Selig was forced to deal with a wide-spread issue that effected the entire league, and in good time and with a lot of adjustments, baseball has overcome it.
Now, it's Emmert's turn. He has to lay down the law, even if that means giving a storied program like the University of Miami the college football death penalty. Something has to be done to ensure that this trend doesn't continue.
Until that point, college football may be in the midst of its darkest era.