Soapbox time: take 2

Posted 10/8/19

I was afraid that when I dragged my soapbox out of the corner, dusted it off and cleared the air in last week’s column with my opinion on the Antonio Brown debacle, that I would have to get up on …

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Soapbox time: take 2


I was afraid that when I dragged my soapbox out of the corner, dusted it off and cleared the air in last week’s column with my opinion on the Antonio Brown debacle, that I would have to get up on it again soon, just not this soon. But here goes. 

Let’s discuss the bombshell that dropped last week out in California. You know, the state on the far left of the weather map. Well folks, Mother Nature didn’t have to rock the west coast, the powers that be did it without her help by passing a bill (due to take effect in 2023) that would allow college athletes to collect some of the profit off of the money that the universities are making by using their likeness or name. 

Being a Southern Baptist conservative all my life, I usually disagree with almost everything that comes from the liberal left coast. But, not this time.

First and foremost, WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG!!! For goodness sake, Tennessee is still making money off Peyton Manning jerseys. Now, I know that Peyton did all right for himself after leaving UT, but you get my drift.

The NCAA in its infinite wisdom, and with their collective heads stuck in the sand, has long argued that a free education for four years is more than enough compensation for these student-athletes and they should not be entitled to “extra benefits.” 

Now don’t take this the wrong way. A free college education is something of great value, but it pales in comparison to the mega-gazillions of dollars that the athletic department rakes in each and every autumn over a five-month period called, “Football Season.”

I have long said that the athletes should be able to benefit when the university benefits from their talent. The argument on the other side is that if you pay one student, you have to pay them all. I’m sorry, but that argument doesn’t fly. People don’t pay big bucks to come to the chemistry lab on Thursday afternoons to watch someone dissect the periodic table of elements.

The detractors say that this is a Pandora’s box that, once opened, can never be shut. Who will be the first college QB to sign a shoe deal before he ever throws his first college pass? Rules are a good thing. But, if everyone doesn’t play by them, they become irrelevant. Under-the-table payments to athletes have been made for decades. So, maybe this will help that situation. I will remain skeptical until I see it work, but it’s a step in the right direction, finally.

This is a very complex subject and will no doubt will be debated over many moons to come. Anyway, that’s my take on it. Now, let’s get back to business with this week’s fearless football predictions. Grisham’s Gridiron Grinders went 8-2 last week, which pushes the overall mark to 48-13. There are several good games this weekend so let’s get down to business.

I’ll start with the Red River Rivalry. Oklahoma might be the real deal, but Texas is much improved. This one might go down to the wire. I see the Sooners taking a close one, 38-35.

The Gators tamed one Tiger (Auburn) in The Swamp last week, but won’t be able to at LSU this week. Bayou Bengals 28-17. I see Alabama pulling away late at Texas A&M and Georgia having little trouble with South Carolina. Tennessee and Mississippi State are both terrible, so it should be a pretty good game right? I’ll take UT in a close one.

Clemson dodged a bullet last week and should have lost to North Carolina. They will be out to re-establish themselves this week which is very bad news for Florida State. I see Duke winning the engineering bowl over Georgia Tech, Penn State big over Iowa, Wisconsin bigger over Michigan State and Notre Dame in another rivalry game in a close one over USC.

That’ll do it for this week, thanks for all the great feedback.


Bryan Grisham is a contributing sports correspondent for the Cleveland Daily Banner. Email him at


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