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Are college players amateurs?

Depends whom you ask.

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NCAA Football: Texas Christian at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Continuing on our recent theme of potentially big changes in the world of college football, came across this piece featuring some thoughts from Big 12 Commish Bob Bowlsby from a panel confab called, “The Future of College Football: A Focus of Finances and Player Benefits and Protections.”

His quote was:

“I don’t think they’re amateurs. They’re college athletes.”

While many will knee jerk that this is a fallacy, it actually makes sense. And obviously the distinction between a big time football player or hoopster and a field hockey player matters.

When pressed on it, he noted:

“I’m not going to get into that. You could write a book on that. But the professionals are being paid and amateurs are doing it for the love of the game. And both of those are different than the college athletic environment. ...

"We typically categorize athletes as professionals or amateurs, right? And I don't think (college athletes) are either. I think it's a complete(ly) different genre of its own. Doesn't exist anyplace else in the world where higher education and sports participation are linked, are co-curricular — and that makes it different."

Nick Saban agreed wholeheartedly that he favored the current structure.

Bob is often pilloried on Twitter for the Big 12’s dysfunction. That’s absurd. He’s a very bright guy and a very good guy. He is well compensated, which is deserved, as he has to try to steer the clown car that is this fractious conference.

What say you all?