Chuck Cooperstein had a guy on ESPN Wednesday night talking about the Johnny Manziel autograph story. He said most people think players should be able to sell autographs for money... and a lot of you do.

Here's the problem with players being allowed to make any money, and it's really quite simple: The richer schools would get their rich boosters to start offering high school kids money for autographs if they play at their school.

Nike's Phil Knight could get everybody to play at Oregon (except the ones with a little fashion sense, of course).

It would be a prescription for anarchy, and bring back the bidding wars of the 70s and early 80s.

The NCAA is at least trying to make it a level playing field.

We need level playing fields in sports; that's why the NFL, the NBA and the NHL have a salary cap, and Major League Baseball has a luxury tax (one of the reasons, anyway... greedy owners are another, but it's one of the reasons).

It seems simple enough that a kid, especially one like Johnny Manziel, should be paid for all the money he's bringing to Texas A&M, but there are thousands of kids who play who don't make a nickel for their university, and if you pay one, you gotta pay 'em all.

Sounds good. Just doesn't work.

Unless we take college football (and maybe basketball) and just make it a professional league outside the NCAA, which is where I do think we're headed.

And I don't think the game will be nearly as good when we do, either.


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