Big Ten Football Coach Suggests Salary Cap System

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Maryland football coach Mike Locksley wants to see an injection of major money into college football locker rooms.

Money in college sports has been a major topic for years, and it’s never been bigger now that athletes can cash in through NIL. The amount of money flying around has led to chaos in the transfer portal. However, overall, players being able to earn money seems to be a net positive.

Mike Locksley would even like to see things go further with direct payments from schools.

Michael Locksley wants a salary cap in college football. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

“We signed a billion-dollar TV deal in the Big Ten. Let’s take $25 million out of that and give it to every school and say, ‘That’s your salary cap. That’s what you recruit with. You manage it how you see fit,’ which is very similar to what the NFL does with their salary cap,” the Maryland head coach told RJ Young on “The Number One College Football Show with RJ Young.”

FBS football teams can have a total of 85 players on scholarship. That means the average annual payment would be just under $300,000 per player if everything was equal.

Is Mike Locksley’s idea a good one?

Letting players earn cash from NIL is something most people tend to agree with. After all, this is the United States of America.

In this country, we celebrate capitalism. If you hate money, I hear Pyongyang, North Korea is beautiful this time of year. Buy a plane ticket and find out for yourself how awesome communism is. In this country, earning money is a good thing.

However, direct payments from the school is likely a bridge too far for a lot of reasons. The main one is college athletes are supposed to be treated equally. Of course, they’re not but they’re supposed to be. If the football team is handed roughly $300,000 per scholarship player, will the same happen for the women’s soccer or women’s rowing team?

Absolutely not, and what comes next once that happens? Lawsuits. Lots of lawsuits.

Mike Locksley believes college football needs a salary cap. (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images)

Also, what happens if a player gets in trouble? Can a coach fine his players? What if a player is cut or gets hurt? Is the money guaranteed or does he have to be on the field?

See, it doesn’t take much for the idea of direct payments to fall apart under the lightest bit of scrutiny. It might sound like a fun idea, but in practice, it would be a nightmare.

Will direct payments to athletes happen in college sports? (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

Players should be able to get paid. Again, this is America. If you’re talented in the USA, you deserve to cash some checks. However, direct payments would be a disaster, and is almost certainly not a realistic option.

Written by David Hookstead

David Hookstead is a reporter for OutKick covering a variety of topics with a focus on football and culture.

He also hosts of the podcast American Joyride that is accessible on Outkick where he interviews American heroes and outlines their unique stories. Before joining OutKick, Hookstead worked for the Daily Caller for seven years covering similar topics.

Hookstead is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.

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