I want to start by apologizing that this article isn’t directly about WKU sports, but it’s something that has been bothering me the past few weeks. I’ve read so many others views and opinions on the topic and I wanted to share mine. Also, the views expressed here are mine and mine alone. I can’t speak for the rest of the Topper Talk crew and their views on the subject.
Recently one of the biggest topics filling up my news feed has been the NCAA and all of the current shenanigans surrounding it. There are numerous arguments firing from all angles at the NCAA but basically they all end up at the same solution, it is time for college athletes to be paid. Now before I go into further detail as to why, I want you to know that in my opinion the thought of paying college athletes is ridiculous. So preposterous in fact, that I would rank it somewhere between separate toe shoes and the mullet on my overall scale of ridiculousness. That’s my view on the subject, and if you don’t like it, now would probably be a good time to go back to reading Jay Bilas articles and getting fired up for a revolution against the NCAA.
College athletics generate millions of dollars every year for universities across the country in various ways ranging from ticket sales to athletic apparel. Many believe that if a jersey is sold with a certain player’s number on it that it is not fair for that player to not make money from it. To me, schools making money off of a jersey sale is no different than them making money from ticket sales. Let’s compare the two scenarios. It’s obvious that jersey sales increase when you have a star player and put that player’s number on the jersey, I will give you that. But is it not also true that when your team is performing better ticket sales increase? More often than not your team is better when you have a star player to lead the way. So therefore, isn’t that player increasing your ticket sales? I mean how many more locals jumped on the A&M bandwagon to come watch Johnny Football work his magic. Because of a player like Manziel not only do A&M jersey sales increase, so do ticket sales. So if you’re going to pay players for their jersey being sold, should they also be paid when the average attendance at games increases? If making money off jersey sales is unethical should schools stop profiting from ticket sales? Should fans be granted free admission to sporting events? Maybe offering plates should be passed around between quarters and from now on donations become the only source of revenue.
As a fan of EA Sports video games I am sad to see the game come to an end because folks feel that players should be paid because the game uses their “likeness” for profit. I want you to use your imagination for a second and let’s have a little hypothetical scenario. It’s midnight and NCAA 14 just hit the shelves at the local Wal-Mart. Jadeveon Clowney is stoked to go pick up a copy and play with his boys the rest of the night. He gets back, throws in the game and naturally picks South Carolina. I mean he’s not going to not pick South Caronlina, am I right? First defensive series he switches control to number 7, and it is a short and fat white guy. The skill level, jersey number, position and everything else is spot on, but there is no resemblance as far a physical features go. Do you think Clowney would not be furious about this? I would wager that a player would be more upset with being left out of a game than not being paid for a cartoon character that resembles him? Be for real, college players get just as much joy out of playing as themselves on a video game as the 5 year old who loves playing season after season as his favorite team. Most kids dream about the day when they can pop in a video game and play as themselves on it. Why do you think “create a player” is such a popular thing among athletically challenged individuals such as myself?
The most reoccurring argument I’ve read is that it’s not fair for athletes to not get paid because regular college students can receive scholarships but still work a job on the side to make money. Therefore, college athletes should make money for all the time they put into their respective sport because it is essentially a full time job. As a poor college student who worked a part time job on campus during my time there, my first response to that argument is a loud and lengthy laugh. Once I get that out of the way, I’ll break it down for you from my perspective. Students who work part time jobs in college do so to afford their living expenses. Sure they may have a scholarship, but most scholarships don’t cover all expenses. Usually just tuition or maybe tuition and book costs are covered. College athletes not only have their education expenses covered, they also don’t face the same living expenses that your college student faces. Their meals are covered, room and board provided, and every other basic necessity is handed to them. As if all that isn’t enough, let’s not forget about all the extras they receive. Athletes are given thousands upon thousands of dollars worth of university apparel. Sure some of it is necessary for the sport they play, such as practice clothes and uniforms, but they are also provided with numerous t-shirts, shorts, sweatshirts, back packs, and other items all decked out with the school logo. “Regular” college students would have to take out a loan to buy that much school merchandise. Do you know how much a regular student would have to pay to have a personal tutor at their disposal whenever they desired? How much would an average college kid have to fork over to have a gym membership at a facility that offers not only top of the line equipment but also personal trainers? Fact is, college athletes are already paid, and more than enough if you ask me. Maybe it isn’t in the form of a check directly written to them, but they are already given plenty.
The biggest question I have about this whole topic is if you do allow players to be paid, where do you draw the line? Do they just get paid a percentage from jersey sales, autograph sales, and things of that nature, or do they actually get paid by the school to come and play there. If the school can pay them, is there a cap set? For example, are you only allowed to spend a million dollars a season to fill your team’s roster? You better get some practice in with those Fantasy Football auction style drafts or you will blow all your money on 2 players. If you want that $250,000 running back ranked as the top player in the nation you’d better be prepared to settle for a $5,000 tight end to make ends meet. What If no cap is set? Well then you might as well tell every other school, that isn’t named Alabama, Texas, etc. to buzz off because they will never have the same size budget to compete with those schools. It will become a bidding war and the only way to give smaller schools a chance would be to hold a draft every year. I don’t know, maybe that’s the solution. The NCAA should just set up a system where a draft happens every year, worst team gets first pick from the high school pool and then it will gradually work its way to last year’s champion who gets last pick. Players and picks can be traded and shopped around for cash and schools can compete for free agents. Let’s just turn the NCAA into the minor leagues, and let the NFL and NBA be the majors. Of course this will only work for a few years until high school athletes think they should profit from the many hours they dedicate to sports and then we will have another melt down and the High School Athletics Association will be totally dismantled. This whole paying players argument started with a few self centered and greedy college athletes wanting more from the system instead of just being satisfied with what they’re already blessed to have and that’s exactly where it should end as well. Let’s get real; the reason college sports are fun for fans to watch is because the athletes play the game for pride, not a paycheck. They picked the school based on program history, tradition, and the chance to play for a top notch coach, not the dollar amount written on their contract. Take that away, and you might as well get rid of college sports and just have professional sports after high school.
St. Petersburg, Fla.
Height / Weight:
6-1 / 233
Boyd Blocks Two Punts at MTSU
2012: Boyd had a breakout year from the outside linebacker position, finishing second on the team in sacks (3.5) and fifth in tackles for loss (6.5). He finished the season with 28 tackles, a forced fumble and a quarterback hit. Boyd notched six multi-tackle performances and appeared in every game for the second straight-season, earning two starts on the year. Boyd picked up his second-career sack at top-ranked Alabama (09/08), with the lost yardage totaling eight. He finished contest with a pair of tackles. Boyd posted two tackles in victory at Kentucky (09/15). He tallied three tackles, including a nine-yard sack in a nationally-televised win over Troy (10/11). Boyd piled up a career-high 1.5 tackles for loss at FIU (10/27), with the lost yardage totaling 12. He racked up four stops against FAU (11/10). Boyd recorded three solo tackles at Louisiana-Lafayette (11/17). He totaled two solo tackles, including one for loss in regular-season finale against North Texas (11/24). Boyd posted a career-high seven tackles, a mark that ranked second on the team, in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl against Central Michigan (12/26).
2011: Played in all 12 games as a sophomore at the linebacker position, seeing time as a reserve...Finished the season with nine tackles, including one solo stop for a loss...Saw his first extensive action of the season in week two against Navy (09/10/11), picking up a career-high four tackles and one tackle for a two-yard loss...Posted a tackle in each of the next two games against Indiana State (09/17/11) and Arkansas State (10/01/11) - both tackles being of the solo variety...Closed the regular season against Troy (11/26/11) with a pair of tackles.
2010: Played in 10 games during his freshman season...Recorded 11 tackles, including a sack at Louisiana-Lafayette...Blocked two punts early in the game against Middle Tennessee, both of which led to WKU touchdowns...Recorded a season-high three tackles against both ULL and Arkansas State.
HS/Misc: Named the team Most Valuable Player in senior season, compiling 68 total tackles, including 19 tackles for loss...Led the team with 16 sacks in a season, while forcing four fumbles and scoring one touchdown on the defensive side of the ball...Broke up three passes, and recovered three fumbles...Named Second Team All-Conference and All-County, as well as Honorable Mention All-State...Rated as a two-star recruit by both Rivals.com and Scout.com...Also lettered one year in baseball for Lakewood High School.
The Boyd File: Full Name - Bar'ee Daquez Boyd; HS - Lakewood High School '10; HS Coach - Corey Moore; HS Letters - football 4, Baseball 1; Hobbies - Lifting weights, playing video games and watching tv.
All player information from WKUSports.com.
There’s been a slight change of plans and the home softball game against MTSU has been moved to today at 5 PM due to the high probability of "inclement weather" this weekend. I suppose the forecasted weather is calling for a little more than a light jacket/umbrella combo after all. Thankfully Coach Hudson doesn’t get paid on Saturdays and is still covering the entry fee tonight! See you there Hilltopper Nation!
When your Hilltopper softball team sits just 2 wins away from clinching their first ever conference championship and they just happen to be playing rival MTSU in a double header at home on Saturday, they deserve to play in front of a sellout crowd, right? “You’re darn tootin’!” said Travis Hudson in an imaginary interview I made up for this article. In a letter written by Hudson addressed to Hilltopper Nation (shown below) he shows that his devotion and love for WKU expands far beyond the realms of the volleyball court. He does his best to ensure that the diamond girls have the crowd they deserve show up to Saturday’s double header. Every problem and excuse has been solved for you, mostly by us here at Topper Talk, but Hudson is doing his part as well.
-Problem 1 = It’s gonna be rainy!
-Solution 1 = Rain coats and umbrellas are a neat invention, try one.
***Solution courtesy of Topper Talk, you’re welcome.***
-Problem 2 = It’s Derby Day!
-Solution 2 = Games are at 1:00 and 3:00; Derby is at 5:24. How convenient.
***Solution courtesy of Topper Talk, or anyone else who can tell time.***
-Problem 3 = I don’t know much about the game of Softball.
-Solution 3 = You cheer against the other team. Got it?
***Solution courtesy of Topper Talk’s newest writer, Captain Obvious.***
-Problem 4 = It’s my grandmothers birthday.
-Solution 4 = I’m sure she’s had like 87 before this one. It’ll be ok to miss one.
*** Solution once again provided by us here at Topper Talk. We’re here to help friends.***
-Problem 5 = I am flat out BROKE!
-Solution 5 = Tell them that “Coach Hudson is picking up the tab!”
***Solution courtesy of Coach Hudson. Someone else had to chip in and help us out a little.
Now since there really aren’t any more excuses of value there’s no reason to not come out to the games Saturday and support our girls in red as they battle it out with the Blue Raiders. There are few things in life better than watching Hilltopper sports. One of these exceptions would be watching Hilltopper sports for free!
Thanks Coach Hudson!
Broke Hilltopper Fans everywhere
(Below is the original letter written by Coach Hudson letting Hilltopper Nation know that Saturdays tickets were going on his tab.)
Hello, Hilltopper Nation!
This is Travis Hudson, head coach of your WKU volleyball team. I am writing you about our WKU softball team. They have a huge day coming up at the WKU Softball Complex this Saturday, and I NEED YOUR HELP!!! I have been friends with our softball coach, Tyra Perry, since she arrived on The Hill, but a year or two ago I started to really get to know a lot of her players. They are tremendous athletes, great students and even better kids! I have truly become a fan of their program and never miss their games if I am in town. I see a lot of similarities in their program and where our volleyball program was when we were building it to a championship level. This is such an important and exciting time!
With three weeks to go in their season, they were sitting in first place, and I told them if they swept their road trips to Troy and FIU, I would PERSONALLY GUARANTEE that the stadium would be full when they play for a championship right here in Bowling Green. Well……..they did their part!!! So, now it’s on me, and I need your help. It’s time for Hilltopper Nation to come out and support these kids as they try to make history! With two wins this Saturday, May 4, they will be SUN BELT CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS for the first time in program history!
Our marketing department does an amazing job for all our sports here at WKU, and they already have made Saturday a RED OUT and are giving away T-shirts to the first 250 people through the gates. It is also Senior Day for a program-changing group of student-athletes on the roster and if that isn’t enough…..it’s a doubleheader against rival Middle Tennessee!!!
Lastly, if you’re wondering how much it costs……don’t worry about it! All you have to do is go to the front gate and tell them that “Coach Hudson is picking up the tab!” because I have agreed to buy tickets for any WKU fan who comes to the games on Saturday, so NO EXCUSES! It’s times like these that make me proud to be a Hilltopper, so PLEASE, come out and support our softball program as they try to make history on Saturday, May 4, at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
As I’m sure most of you have already heard, several NFL teams have added some former Hilltopper favorites to their rosters.
*Quanterus Smith – Denver Broncos (5th Round)
*Adam Smith – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (UDFA)
AND MY PERSONAL FAVORITE PICKUP….
*Jack Doyle – Tennessee Titans (UDFA)
I am a big Titans fan and was pumped to hear that a Hilltopper landed there! I was even more excited to think that I might get to watch Jack catch some passes next season instead of watching balls hit the ground time and time again like last year. (Yes, I’m aware the Titans have played subpar the past few seasons.) As I was skimming through some articles and blogs trying to see what others thought about the Titans signing him I ran across an article by www.bleacherreport.com that spoke very highly of Mr. Doyle. Thought I would pass along the link so you could hear what the writers over there have to say about Jack’s potential as a Titan. You already know how much we love him here at Topper Talk, no matter where he landed. Enjoy!
Is that a sweet logo or what?? Not sure if you guys have heard yet, but Bowling Green is in the professional sports business again. Sort of. OK, not really, but it's still kind of cool. The Bowling Green Hornets are a semi-professional basketball team based in Bowling Green, and will have a few familiar faces playing for them.
The roster was released today, and former Toppers Jamal Crook, Teeng Akol, and Kahlil McDonald will all be suiting it up for the Hornets.
You can check out the rest of the roster here.
There are also a few former High School legends from around the area, and none with a more legendary High School career than Russellville's own Tony Key. If yall didn't know, I am from Russellville and played ball at Russellville High. Tony might be the biggest legend/letdown in all of Russellville. He was a top 40 player in the country as a junior in the 99-00 season and led little old Russellville to an appearance in the state semifinals where they lost to eventual champion Elizabethtown by 1 because of a missed goal tend call. He is most well known for shattering 3 backboards in his junior year. Two at Russellville and this ridiculous throw down at Glasgow.
Tony was receiving looks from UofL, UNC, and many other schools. Unfortunately for him he couldn't keep his grades up and ended up moving to California. It was a good while before I heard much about him after that, but a few years ago he resurfaced in Russellville, and now he's gonna be suiting it up for the Hornets. You can tell in the video, but Tony was a straight monster around here back in the day. It's going to be a lot of fun watching him play again.
The Hornets will be playing their games in Russellville at RHS. If yall are looking for some entertainment on friday night come on down to Russellville and check out some good hoops action. Let me know if you're coming and I'll show yall around town! It'll only take a few minutes.
Apparently 9 innings of play has become too mainstream for our dear Hilltoppers who gave the fans a “2-for-1” special last night and battled it out 18 innings against in state rival Kentucky. In what is thought to be the longest game in the history of WKU baseball, the Tops came out on top 3-2 with a walk off blast in the bottom of the 18th by the homegrown Freshman Trevor Lowe. The “shot heard round the Hill,” as we have dubbed it here at Topper Talk, gave WKU their second W against the Wildcats this season, sweeping the series and keeping their BG ballpark regular season record perfect at 6-0. (All of which have been against either UK or UL) This victory over 24th ranked UK marks the third time this season the Tops have defeated a top 25 team. Oddly enough, all three of these victories have come against UK or UL. (Won 6-3 vs 8th ranked UK on March 19th, won 6-5 vs 8th ranked UL on April 9th, and won 3-2 vs 24th ranked UK on April 23rd)
WKU is playing like a team that wants to prove they are the best in the state and with the upcoming game against UL on April 30th the Tops have a chance to do just that and fully sweep the Cards and the Cayyuts for the first time since the ’96 season.
In baseball it’s hard to dream up a better feeling than hitting a walk off homer. As a kid, it’s one of those scenarios you just make up in your head and replay it over and over again in the yard. But for a hometown kid like Lowe, I’d say a walk off homer against in state rival UK, in the bottom of the 18th, and in front of his hometown friends/family at the local Minor League ballpark was probably more than he ever bargained for in his wildest dreams. We here at Topper Talk tip our hats to you Trevor, and in honor of your heroic feat we would like to propose to unofficially rename the left field deck at BG ballpark to “Lowe’s Landing”. You did good my man!