In this final tribute to Shaquille O’neal, NOT, we remind you that The Big Cactus wore a size 22 shoe no matter what number he sported in the NBA. A player of Shaq’s magnitude deserves more than the Obtuse Panda Podcast has to offer. If he hasn’t received a key to the city of Cleveland yet we’ll see what strings we can pull with hopeful mayoral candidates looking to make last ditch efforts to dethrone Mayor Frank Jackson. Should one of the contenders promise to honor The Diesel, that would be reason enough for even the casual fan to swing their vote. Given Shaq’s ability to make real money at an age smaller than his shoe size, we open up the floor to discuss the ability for college athletes to make money in, Tip Your Waiter Not Your Running Back – OPP #34.

They’re Getting a Free Degree

Everyone’s had this debate. Whether it was a drunken family argument at Thanksgiving, something an ethics professor wants to discuss in class to generate engagement, or our personal favorite, dude at the bar who didn’t go to the university he’s dedicated his life to (pictured below).

NCAA FB Fan Starter Kit

NCAA FB Fan Starter Kit

We Know The Arguments

There’s one way that was recently brought to my attention that I hadn’t thought of before. Usually when we hear rumbles about college athlete’s being paid, it looks like a salary based system, similar to something the professional leagues already have set up. But leave it to the Cleveland Browns legend Joe Thomas to shed light on a hot button issue in a way only Joe Thomas can. On September 5th, 2017 he gave us reasons we may want to start tipping our wait staff and our running backs. Feel free to go to his twitter feed for yourself and read everything. I would. It’s fantastic. He engages with people responding with both intelligent and unintelligent remarks and keeps his jolly wits about him. But if you don’t have time for that I’ll give you the highlights.

Right off the bat – Agree with this take. Schools don’t need to pay them, they’re paying them in a degree and that’s “fair.” But why hinder them from being able to make money off of endorsements and the like?

They shouldn’t.

As a person with copious amounts of student loans I would try this in a second.

A little inside information from the Wisconsin Badger.

This might be my favorite take. Cardale Jones said it best when he referenced his disinterest in his studies at the Ohio State University.  For some players, it’s amazing that they have the opportunity to use their skills that they work hard for to provide themselves with a free education. For more players, making it to the professional level is really all they’re looking for so they can finally make some money off of something they’ve been working for most of their lives. There may not be one right answer to this debate but check out, Tip Your Waiter Not Your Running Back – OPP #34 to get the unedited goodness.