Jim Delaney is such a genius, he knows to conduct interviews while on the treadmill. Why waste that time just sitting there answering questions when you can get in some physical fitness at the same time?
The Evil, Rumbling Laugh Of Student Welfare
This always happens when someone brings up the idea of paying the kids who make the money some more of the money: everyone points and says "Machiavelli!"
look away unless you want to see the guy on the left
feed the guy on the right with regurgitated worms
This may be true. I have a hard time believing the man who wrote the infamous SEC letter is a political mastermind, but yeah, okay, this looks like a thing that will benefit big schools at the expense of small schools.
Fine. Let's drop that point. No one has attempted to answer this, though: why do we care? This is the point Delany's making when he talks about orienting the NCAA towards student welfare instead of a level playing field. Some schools are going to lose. They are the schools throwing a bunch of money at D-I athletics for dubious gains and not doing too well by their students while doing it. This makes their life a bit harder. And… so?
Even guys like Big Ten Wonk are peeved, which surprises me:
…the conferences with the deepest pockets will be able to address the needs of “student welfare.” The rest — the majority — will not. …
If the Big Ten wants players in its revenue sports to have “full cost of attendance” scholarships, the league has the resources to make it happen. (They have the resources to make it happen even assuming the bottom-line figure would need to be doubled and shared with an equal number of non-revenue athletes in women’s sports to survive Title IX scrutiny.) But creating these new dollarships, while merely cementing existing imbalances in college football recruiting in place, would revolutionize college basketball recruiting overnight. The elite high school football player already chooses between programs that can afford full cost of attendance scholarships. Not so the top high school basketball talent. In a sport where TV exposure and NCAA bids are spread (relatively) far and wide, talent currently has far less incentive to travel in packs. That will change, dramatically, when major-conference programs can offer recruits a better financial package than what mid-majors are able to afford.
I disagree. Unless increasingly ludicrous Title IX restrictions mean that every revenue-generating athlete's full cost of attendance scholarship is matched by a similar outlay to any confused chemistry major who wanders onto the rowing team, the maximum reasonable cost to mid-majors is around $50,000 a year. To take a not-totally-random stab at a mid-major you might have heard of, this will increase VCU's basketball expenses by just under 4 percent. George Mason's will go up slightly over 4 percent. GMU can zero this out by cutting coach pay (approximately 460k) 12%.
Every mid-major that cares to compete will shrug and FCOA their athletes without blinking. Student activity fees already in the hundreds of dollars will go up a few dollars in response.
Meanwhile, the surprises Wonk lauds usually come from ignored late bloomers, not recruits actively picking mid-majors over big schools. Of the top 70 players in this year's Rivals 150, two are going outside the BCS. One, UCF commit Michel Chandler, is undoubtedly involved in some Funny Business. The other, Charleston recruit Adjehi Baru, is a native of Ivory Coast who went to Charleston because they offered the son of his legal guardian a scholarship. Non-BCS four-stars farther down the list are going to Gonzaga (75), Xavier(76), BYU(86), Harvard (88), Alcorn State(94), SMU (98), and WKU (105).
A total of nine of 106 four-stars going to non-BCS schools. Gonzaga, Xavier, and BYU will FCOA. Harvard is Harvard. There are hypothetically three four-stars this year who might be swayed by extra money at a BCS school, and smart money is on each of the three having issues that cooled interest from bigger schools. The existing imbalances in college football recruiting are at least as strong in basketball; nothing of importance will be lost by allowing schools that can afford it to slightly lighten the hypocrisy inherent in the system.
The Sport Where It Might Have An Impact
Hockey. This had not occurred to me until I read this bit on Bucky's Fifth Quarter:
With the Big Ten hockey conference on the horizon, a move like this could be a game changer in college hockey recruiting. In addition to noted advantages of grouping traditional powers Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State and Minnesota together with Ohio State and Penn State and the TV contract with the Big Ten Network, athletes receiving this additional bonus for being a Big Ten athlete would be a significant recruiting advantage. Keep an eye on this story as it develops.
A lot of hockey schools are pressed for money as it is. Since hockey is an "equivalency" sport—meaning that scholarships can be divided—the net result could be a situation in which bigger schools have a bigger pool of money to give the guys on the bottom two lines. Hockey has 18 scholarships, which is two too few to cover everyone on the ice if you figure two goalies would be scholarship-worthy at each school. Playing time is less of an issue in hockey, too, since almost everyone plays. There are a number of guys who might go from being scoring line players at small schools to checking line players at large ones.
And that's not all since hockey is in a constant war with junior in a way that basketball and football are not. The carrot of another 5-20k on top of that "actually getting a scholarship" business should help big schools lure prospects who might otherwise head to junior (which might push those other guys right back to the smaller schools). Michigan hockey fans should be all in favor of this.
Focusing on football for a minute, the bowl system already caters to the schools that can afford to give players a stipend. Boise St. and TCU pratically need to beg to get into a BCS game. And forget trying to get in the the MNC game. They'd do the FCOA thing anyway.
is in large part based upon the idea that schools are making big money off of them, and thus giving them expense money is only fair and right, particularly when scholarships don't cover some necessary expenses. Well, the schools that are making big money from football/basketball athletes are the schools in the prominent conferences--not the MAC's of the world. So as Brian says, yes the big schools have the advantage.. and so?
It seems highly unlikely that this would be limited to revenue sports. And, let's face it, even the impact on football will ultimately be "transferred" to other sports. Does anyone really believe that the $1 million or so cost per year that will be required to cover football, men's basketball and an equivalent number of scholarships for women's sports will be borne by football? No, those expenses will result in cutbacks within and/or the elimination of other sports by all schools except the top 15-20.
This probably would benefit UM and most schools in the B10. It also would benefit BTN by increasing the talent level for B10 non-revenue sports. It's far less clear whether it would be a net benefit for college sports.
...that people assume we are talking about a ton of money? If Delany's going to actually make a proposal, he should make more clear how much dough it's going to be. He mentioned 15 bucks for laundry. What's he hoping to have covered?
It would be nice if the commissioner would have some sort of plan in mind before he opens his mouthor writes open letters to other conferences... or names his divisions or messes with the most important game his conference has or whatever comes next from the mind of the Dude's landlord...
He is talking about increasing the annual stipend that athletes currently receive by several thousand dollars per year. He didn't say so specifically, probably because any change will need to be negotiated amongst the major conferences and approved by the NCAA, but I think he means for all scholarship athletes (not just selected sports).
If the BCS conferences plus or minus a Big East can manage to do this, I think the small schools will ultimately benefit almost as much as the athletes at big schools--hear me out.
Mid-majors generally can't compete with the BCS schools. They don't have the athletic traditions, resources, history of NFL draft picks, or academic reputations to go toe-to-toe with the BCS schools. That Boise State can compete (which will be the only current mid-major as of next season to have made a BCS bowl game) is a serious exception to the rule. However, they continue to fight an athletic facilities arms race they cannot possibly win. In doing so, they spend millions of dollars in student fees and state money to field FBS programs that play games in front of empty stadiums and only play on TV when they're being slaughtered in exchange for desperately needed money they need to fund their programs.
This could be the impetus for the school presidents and regents to throw up their collective hands and drop en masse to FCS--saving millions per school in athletic spending while enabling them to possibly compete for championships. Check out the USA Today's database of D-1 athletic budgets. It costs about $7-10 million more per school to field a bad FBS team than to field a good FCS team.
I don't know what would happen to a school like Butler, which has developed a competitive D-1 basketball team, but I really think a drop would benefit the vast majority of schools. Maybe they could stay D-1 for basketball and some female equivalent of their choice while dropping everything else to D-2 or FCS.
the path of the world is toward MOAR SPORTZ! rather than less. i am sure that everyone at troy or louisiana lafayette (or some such school that has no chance) knows they have no chance, but to admit it publicly and walk backwards you would be run out of town.
It's extremely rare for a school to drop down a division (D1 to 1-AA, D2 to D3, etc.).
College football has grown into a highly successful product. Part of that is the increased parity. Even within the five serious football conferences, more than half the teams are running deficits. If you increase the price too much, only a couple dozen teams really will be able to afford to compete. That will affect the product adversely.
Just as an analogy, think about back before scolarships were reduced to the current 85. Players often were signed by the top schools knowing they would never see the field just to keep them from going elsewhere. Or, to take it to the extreme, think of what would happen if you eliminated the restrictions on paying players altogether. It's like the Laffer curve. If you move too far in either direction, you begin to hurt the sport.
does nothing to debunk the basic hypothesis, but don't care to take this further off topic by debating the economics.
Hey, everyone has to put in some time and pay their dues. Whether it's in sports, learning a hobby, or work, there may be residual benefits to others as you are in the learning/apprentice phase, and you may not be earning a "full share" of what you are currently producing. You are building up skills, experience, and a resumé, though, that should pay off later. If you've gotten a nice scholarship to a great School of Music, it likely isn't covering FCOA, but, due to heavy demands of practice, coursework, ensembles, and large groups, even with an award of Work Study, it may be hard to find a job. So, you work in the summer, you & your parents save up, you get student/parent loans, etc., so you can get an education and a degree from the institution. Just because the University attracts great donations and grants for its Fine Arts work, and charges big bucks for some of the performances you're in, doesn't mean you're necessarily entitled to them.
If the B1G has this money to supposedly throw around, why not do something to benefit us all and just pay Rotel to go away on BTN?
Fair points. But I'm not sure that we're at the optimal place on the curve as of now.
Also, you don't address what's really interesting about what Delany's been saying. As Brian is picking up on, I think Delany's the first official-type person to suggest that parity, level-playing-field, "the product," etc. should be a lower priority than giving athletes a bigger share of the pie for the sake of their well-being and fairness. Of course, there's an element of self-interest, too. But Delany's taking the debate in a new direction, which is interesting.
But remember, we were one of those schools doing that. It might not be great for the sport, but it was for Michigan.
I think Delany is just CGI. Whoever is responsible needs to touch up his right side, which appears to be underdeveloped compared to the left side.
As Max Headroom.
The BCS conference that could be most affected by this could be the Big East. A lot of the schools in the Big East don't have a football program that generates a lot of revenue to help offset this: Georgetown, Villanova, St. Johns, Depaul, Providence, Seton Hall, Marquette.
It would be very hard for the Big East to survive this as a major football conference.
Aren't schools probably going to increase ticket and concession prices? Generally in the business world when the manufacturer, supplier, etc. incurs an increase in costs, that cost is passed onto the consumer. Would it really be any different here?
Far from being the spiritual patriarch of the Gambino crime family, he was a renowned proponent of free republics, as noted in a few obscure texts called everything else he ever wrote. The reason The Prince endured the ages while the rest of his philosophy gathered dust in the back of an old library warehouse is chiefly 1) it's really short, and 2) it angries up the blood. By far the best way to get a book on the best-seller list is to write something that pisses everyone off, but the drawback is that it steamrolls the message of any work that's only meant to be understood in context.
The context in this case is that the Medici family to whom he dedicated his love letter is the same group who personally broke Machiavelli's arms for being such a staunch advocate for free government. He worked for the Florentine Republic before the Medicis marched in, mowed down the government and mercilessly tortured him, and then he sat down and wrote The Prince from his shack in exile, assumedly with some really bendy handwriting (on account of the arms). When you learn about that, it kind of adds a new layer of meaning to the text -- it suddenly sounds like it's dripping with sarcasm.
For centuries, the consensus on Machiavelli's best-known work has been that he was just trying to brown-nose his way back into the government. But a deeper study of his full body of work reveals that this is a pretty absurd ambition, considering not only did Machiavelli repeatedly say that "popular rule is always better than the rule of princes," but after he wrote The Prince, he went right on back to writing treatises about the awesomeness of republics. Considering also that he was no stranger to the literary art of satire, scholars these days are turning to a more likely scenario -- Machiavelli was the Stephen Colbert of the Renaissance.
Is Half the Battle.
Giving money directly or increasing the stipend package misses the whole point.
What "scholarships" are granted to students for a non-degree granting concentration/program?
If a university gives a scholarship to develop a particular student's skill/talent in a degree granting concentration or program, there clear regulations and above-board due process; how one continues one, how one graduates, what the expectations are.
This whole shamateurism we're-just-a-bunch-of aw-schucks kids who happen to play ball needs to stop. The kids who fill the majority of any Division 1 school's men's football, basketball, and baseball rosters hope to play professionally. Even the women's elite caliber basketball and soccer squads hope to play in the Olympics and WNBA.
Make all athletic scholarships actually part of a serious degree granting concentration - which means year round practice and study, actual classes related to modern sport (both general and sport specific) - the cost of such a program will be well worth the time of the top athletes. It would also eliminate the ridiculous practice limitations rules and rule preventing athletes from meeting representation and getting professional training. We don't prevent a drama major from meeting professional representation or practicing year round or working with the top people in the field.
The NCAA and their whole apparatus was once useful and meant something, but they need to modernize their whole approach towards college sports.
Totally disagree with athletes focusing their schoolwork on sports. How will they use that knowledge/skill. Sure, just about every NCAA football player probably would love to play pro ball, reality says something like 98% won't. If anything, schools should be pushed to teach marketable skills to their athletes.
The main problem with this line of reasoning is that, as the NCAA pompously tells us constantly, "almost all are going pro in something other than sports." Allowing student-athletes to major in "football" or whatever is not likely to expand their career opportunities. It also would increase segregation away from the general student population significantly. What you're arguing for essentially is for minor-league systems to be created, because if what you propose were to come to pass, there would be little point in even having universities offer an education to athletes.
People should be able to explore their talents if they choose to. We let students study music, art, dance, and theater ... athletics could be considered to be another performance major.
The University of Michigan offers a bunch of majors that have crappy career prospects. What's the difference?
"Other courses of study are a waste of time, so why not create more wastes of time?" That's not a compelling argument. If I were in school, or paying for a child who was,I would not be excited to see my ever-increasing tuition dollars spent toward that objective.
Waste of time is your word choice, not mine.
What you would do or support a child in doing is completely irrelevant. Why is it our business to assess the value of someone else's field of study? It is often said that a scholarship is sufficient compensation yet athletes are not allowed to spend that "compensation" however they choose.
There are plenty of ways to earn a living with a degree in football. Not only as a player in the NFL, CFL, or Arena league but also as a coach in FBS, FCS, D2, D3, High School. A player could develop a studio a coach/train the Tate Forcier's of the world. Rivals, ESPN, Scout, 247, TomVH, all make money off of the entertainment industry that is football. I could go on. Point is, the fact that you may not see value in a particular field of study does not mean that value doesn't exist.
If a person wants to concentrate on a performance major, that is between them and their families.
Fair enough but again I ask, what is the difference between a Football Performance Major and a Saxophone Performance Major? Why does the academic establishment recognize one and not the other?
This is a reasonable approach but I disagree with the point about creativity. In the case of music, particularly classical music, performers rarely improvise. They read what the composers have created and rehearse/perform under the guidance and direction of a conductor. Change the jargon from the realm of music to that of football--score:playbook, rehearsal:practice, performance:game, conductor:coach--and you have the exact same structure. Now, if you want to talk about jazz, then you got me though I think it would reasonable to argue that athletes improvise very frequently.
I think these point can also be directly applied to dance and theater as well. I honestly see no true fundamental difference. They are all performance majors, we just choose to elevate performance arts over athletics.
The point regarding an institution's mission is fair. Therefore, while the Ivy League or B1G may not want to toe that particular line, the SEC most definately would and I see absolutely no problem with that.
Thanks for the thoughtful engagement.
You continue to be reasonable (curses!). I didn't mean to suggest that society didn't consider the arts to be above athletics, I was merely arguing that I don't find robust basis for that consideration. However, I'd like to refine that point a bit further, if I may. I think there are *portions* of society that hold the arts in higher esteem but I'm not so sure this is the case with society at large. Consider the fact that municipalities around the country will adopt millages to fund field turf for their local high school football teams vis-a-vis the fact that arts programs need to claw-and-scratch for every bit of funding they get. How much American money get spent on sports entertainment as compared to the arts? What is the basis for the assertion that the arts are held in higher esteem? I don't think that basis exists; certainly not in modern society...
I would agree that lacrosse and softball players should not focus on becoming performance majors in those sports. That would be dumb. Football players? ... I can totally see it; Basketball players, too. For Hockey and Baseball I would say no but only because those sports have proper minor leagues which fulfill the role of being a performance major in those sports.
Re: The football should be compared to theater thing; I'm not with you on that. A slot receiver for the Toronto Argonauts ought to be compared to the one Tuba player in the Toronto Symphony. Which one do you think earns a better compensation package? The case to be a Football major is significantly stronger than that for being a Music Major. Each case might wilt in comparison to being pre-med, for example, but that's not he point being argued here.
I totally agree with the point on schools' rights to focus on so-called cerebral fields of study; I also support schools' rights to offer what you are referring to as physical fields of study. Again, argue against that concept all you want but I think you're arguing against all performance majors, not just sports.
To restate the main (hip) thrust of my position: there's nothing wrong with a school offering a performance degree in football or basketball.
Unless someone can show me that the assured instant law suit won't make it mean exactly that, it's a big part of the conversation.
Could help with baseball recruiting as well. We could offer more money than a UC Irvine, Rice, Long Beach State, etc. Although those are really good programs, we might be able to lure some good recruits that typically go to the smaller schools
I'm not quite sure how this would involve student activity fees.
First, UM's student activity fee is $15 per semester (really low, may go up soon). Rec sports can barely maintain facilities with that amount. If there is going to be an increase in the fee to pay student athletes, then there will be a lot of backlash within the university about ways to better spend that increase.
Second, mid-major's may have higher student activity fees, but do you really think the student body would agree to let the university increase their cost of attendance to pay the athletes to do their laundry? I just don't see that happening. Increasing ticket prices probably won't do it either because most of those mid-majors already have a hard time putting butts in the seats.
Michigan's student fees wouldn't be affected. To reach COA, Michigan would probably need to raise football ticket prices by about $1 if they didn't want to do anything else with their budget.
Mid-majors have been spending huge chunks of student fees and state money to fund sports for years--and it's going to get much worse without any changes, regardless of whether or not athletes get a couple hundred dollars a month more.
Delany and the big five conferences think there is just a difference between them and everyone else and I agree.
is the fundamental force of creation in the universe.
If all were equal, then the universe would remain a vast array of perfectly-spaced hydrogen atoms. It is through imbalance that power is generated.
Regarding college athletics: The will to a "level playing field" is inertia. It is an insipid dying of the self; a dragging force that anchors to the rotting earth. As it stands, the rules imposed to generate equality simply empower decomposers -- those who feed on pieces of flesh that fall from the once-mighty power-houses. So, what difference is there between restoring the traditional imbalances in power and a cleansing of the body? Why should it be wrong to favor wolf over worm?
"They told my lord the way to the Mountain of Power. They told him to throw down his sword and return to the Earth... Ha! Time enough for the Earth in the grave."
The glorious battles that would exist if the great, traditional powers held similar sway as they did in the days of unlimited scholarships! And for what have we sacrificed such opportunity? To make matches between Nevada and Arizona State marginally less boring? So that, from time to time, a USF or an App State can enjoy a preposterous upset? What kind of priority is that?
Those whose only path to greatness is through a weakening of the mighty are those without value. So what if they are the majority? Leave greatness for the rare, as it should be. Even gold would be worthless if it abounded as dust.
This guy prints money for our conference when he thankfully jumped out in front of the TV network and is a big reason the Big 10 will be poised to stay strong with the extra revenue. He understands that he needs strong sports to increase the value of his content which with increase the desired reach of his network so more power to him. He is at least treating this like the business it really is at the end of the day.
I think I can shed some light on the 18 scholarships for hockey issue. U of M has 24 players on the roster. You might think that means they have 6 walk ons but that may not be the case. I played lax for a top tier DII school. We had 30 plus members on the team. I do not know how many full scholarships the coach had but he built custom packages for us. It was a combination of athletic scholarships, finincial aid, grants, loans and awesome work study programs. This afforded him the opportunity to split up scholarships among multiple players. I remember half rides being common for the average recruit.
The best part for student welfare was the "Work" Study jobs. My job was to sit under the hoop of our basketball games with 2 or 3 other athletes. When someone fell on the court run out and wipe down the sweat with a towel. Other than having really great seats for the game I had to get up 2 or 3 times over the 3 hours we were paid. Back then it was minimum wage. The $15 I made was good enough for 2 hard nights worth of drinking Beast Ice. On average my weekly pay check was between $50 and $100. Its not a whole lot of spending money but the extra $1000 to $1500 every semester was nice to have.
In short, I think it cost my family and I around $5,000 a year to attend the college. With tuition at the time (circa 1999) being $22,000 this was a great thing. I had a nice newer car in college because my parents had saved for college and anticipated paying more than they needed to.
This is also one of the reasons I am not 100% sold on the fact that all of the nice cars that athletes drive are based on shady dealings. If I had a full ride to U of M I would have been like..... "Mommmy can I have a Chevy Tahoe LT Puuuhleeeese!" (Eric Cartman Voice)