The College Football Season Is Not Over Yet

New Year’s Day at one time was the end date.

January 1st used to be the end of the college football season. There would be a champion crowned after the completion of the traditional bowl games. But money has changed everything and January 1st is just another day. In 2023, the college football industry is taking New Year’s Day off because it does not want to compete with the NFL which has a full slate of games. On January 2nd though, the legal holiday in the United States, there are meaningless games scheduled because the only two games that matter have already taken place, in NFL stadiums in Glendale, Arizona and Atlanta. There were 43 corporate named college football bowl games scheduled this year. But no direct payments go to student-athletes who are the show.

The term “student-athlete” has been used to deny players benefits such as salaries and long-term health care from injuries suffered on the field whether in practice or in a game. Courts have pretty much routinely upheld the college side of things in lawsuits filed by severely injured players or survivors of players killed on the field. Schools do not have to pay workman’s compensation or long-term health care costs because the athlete is a student not an employee of the school. The athletic scholarship is very one sided, in favor of the schools although there is some justification that the schools are offering scholarships to players and that players ought to be grateful for that.  Teams playing in the bowl games pay no taxes on bowl payoffs thanks to an antitrust exemption. Some players are paid through a third party which has been a problem with NCAA leaders. The players have stories to tell later on in life about appearing in a big game. The coaches get millions, athletic directors bonuses. The players may get a ring.

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