Middle Tennessee isn't a program, after this past season, most people have high on their G5 radar for 2016. Sure, they might wind up doing some good things and become a pleasant surprise this coming season (a full nine months away), but as of now, they're kind of an afterthought (unless you're a CUSAer, like myself).
Or, at least, they would be an afterthought if they didn't get absolutely smoked by sports talk radio's most polarizing figure, Colin Cowherd. Here's what Mr. Herd himself had to say yesterday, when a caller called into his show and argued against paying college athletes something similar to a salary
If you don't wanna watch the whole thing (although, I must say, it is worth the less than 2:00), here are the highlights, if you will, of Cowherd's rant against the Blue Raiders.
"Screw Middle Tennessee State! Screw 'em! We don't need 'em! If you can't afford it [paying athletes], get lost! Who says college football is about Central Divisional Trucking Schools? What do I care about Middle Tennessee State? If they fell off the earth tomorrow, I don't give a rip about Middle Tennessee State...
You're telling me we don't pay college athletes so Middle Tennessee State can survive? That's your reasoning? Your reasoning for not paying athletes is 'what happens to the little guy.' Who cares, they shouldn't be playing football anyway. Cause those schools have to play Tennessee and get beat 68-0 to afford to pay for the football program...
Middle Tennessee State shouldn't have football if the only way it survives is not paying Todd Gurley $300 a month, extra. That's not an argument...Since when has college football ever drawn up a television contract and said 'woah woah woah...what about Middle Tennessee State?' The only 'State' they care about is Ohio State."
This is the part where I would go "do you believe the nerve/arrogance of this guy?!", but this is Colin Cowherd we are speaking of, so this is basically just a normal Wednesday for this guy.
And, while yes our collective G5 egos are a bit bruised after the comments, the thing is I don't think Cowherd is 100% wrong in what he said. I actually agree that, if the argument is "it's either keep programs alive or pay athletes," that the athletes should get paid.
Fortunately, the issue isn't just "support Middle Tennessee or pay P5 athletes." This is an issue that is much, much more complex when it comes to paying players. The argument isn't solely football, either, which is why the issue gets so tricky (if football and basketball players get paid, then does that mean softball and volleyball players do, too?).
How athletes get compensated is an entirely different article for a different day, but the important thing here is that Cowherd is both right and wrong. If it came to supporting a program or paying athletes, the athletes should come first. But, that is far from how it works (or, at least, how it should work), so problem solved.
Congrats, MTSU fans, you'll get to take the field in 2016!