Georgia offensive tackle John Theus is about to put the pads on and snap up the chin strap when practices begin this Friday. Most players are pretty happy about that.
He’s also part of the business of college football, and he’s making it known that he’s not exactly happy about that.
Theus sent out a tweet showing his dismay about the release that he and every other player in the NCAA is required to sign, stating that UGA, the SEC and the NCAA have the right to broadcast the games and use player’s images.
It’s a shame we have to sign this to play ball.. They have you fooled if you think it’s not a business pic.twitter.com/lk45pIVKKo
— John Theus (@jtheus71) July 28, 2014
In case you can’t read the fine print in that tweet, here’s a screen shot of the release.
It’s obviously Theus’ right to make his feelings known, but in this case it might be more biting the hand that feeds you.
Yes, student-athletes have to sign the release to play ball, but this is an instance where it’s really for their betterment. One of the reasons you want to come to a school like Georgia is for the television exposure and national notoriety. You want NFL scouts and coaches to be able to watch you play live every week.
Without this release, games would be relegated to non-commercial public access channels that you could only see with a pair of rabbit ears and a giant box of aluminum foil.
And while we all realize how much of a business college sports really are, much of what players like Theus receive as benefits (scholarship, housing, stipends, etc) come from the dollars generated by television broadcasts.
It’s a wash, and if Theus makes it to the NFL eventually, he’ll be glad he had to sign that document.