Will some buy Louisiana-Monroe's AD lunch. I feel bad for the guy.
Go O'Bannon, Go
Yesterday, the NFL settled with a group of former players who had sued them for using their identities without permission. What's more, the NFL had an insane-seeming clause barring those same players from using their own identifies:
Hall of Famer Elvin Bethea and five other retired players filed the federal class-action lawsuit in Minneapolis in 2009 accusing the NFL of blatantly exploiting retired players' identities in films, highlight reels and memorabilia to market the league's "glory days."
"The retired players who created these glory days, however, have gone almost completely uncompensated for this use of their identities," the plaintiffs said. "Notably, while exploiting the identities of retired players for commercial gain, the NFL prohibits retired NFL players from using their own identities as players to promote themselves commercially."
Instead of facing down a court case, the NFL settled to the tune of 42 million dollars. Because they were going to lose, hard. Yesterday was a good day for Ed O'Bannon.
O'Bannon, of course, is the former UCLA basketball player irritated enough that he was in an EA Sports game to launch a class-action suit against the NCAA for almost the same issue the NFL just settled on, down to the insane-seeming cause. In the NCAA, those athletes sign away their publicity rights in perpetuity as a condition of the scholarship they get. But as anyone who's followed discussion about a coach's multimillion dollar buyout clause knows, just because it's in a contract doesn't mean its enforceable. Thus the pending class action.
O'Bannon and company have shifted tack from the relatively paltry amount of money provided by video game publishers to the Big Kahuna, amending their complaint to target game broadcasts. The NCAA's last response is to prevent the class from being certified thanks to a precedent they earned in a different breathtakingly cynical fight:
The NCAA relies heavily on its victory in a case regarding scholarship limits. Walk-on football players filed a class action against the NCAA arguing that in the absence of the 85 scholarship limit, they would have received full athletic scholarships. The court in that case refused to certify the class, because each player would have to prove individually that he would have received a football scholarship.
Yesterday, a bunch of motions in that case were made public, and everyone seized on this Jim Delany statement to laugh at the most hollow threat not made by a Jong-Il in the past 50 years:
Rather, it has been my longstanding belief that The Big Ten's schools would forgo the revenues in those circumstances and instead take steps to downsize the scope, breadth, and activity of their athletic programs. Several alternatives to a "pay for play" model exist, such as the Division III model, which does not offer any athletics-based grants-in-aid, and, among others, a need-based financial aid model. These alternatives would, in my view, be more consistent with The Big Ten's philosophy that the educational and lifetime economic benefits associated with a university education are the appropriate quid pro quo for its student-athletes.
Stupid or deceitful? I think the latter given Jim Delany's extremely malleable opinion on playoffs, but then again he is the man who gave us "Leaders and Legends" and wrote an open letter about how the SEC is poopy pants in 2007, thus dooming us to ALL THE SEC since. We may never know.
This is an organization that feels a university education is a sufficient quid pro quo for work that earns various people seven-figure salaries to play glorified secretary, and then fights lawsuits that would open up those university educations to more people because that might impinge on those seven figure salaries.
And this, of course, is a man who has spent the last twenty years thinking about nothing but money. He created a television network for money. He added Nebraska for money. He split Michigan and Ohio State in the vague hope of getting more money if they played twice. He added Rutgers and Maryland for money despite the fact that 11 of the 12 fanbases in the Big Ten would rather boil themselves in oil than play those teams in anything. Once he is presented with the idea he might have to share some of his money, he threatens to take the whole damn thing out of the system, into another system that will be exposed to the same legal precedent that prevents you from outrageously sharecropping athletes. The answer is probably "both." As Michael of Braves and Birds put it on twitter:
Delany's declaration is one step removed from threatening to attack Fort Sumter. "Our whole economic system is built on exploitation, so if you require that we pay our labor, we'll secede!" - Delany as Jefferson Davis.
As it becomes increasingly clear that the value of a university degree is coming unhinged from how much it costs, athletic departments continue to pile up more and more money that has to go somewhere. Increasingly, that is to the Jim Delanys of the world:
Michigan Budget, 2006
- Revenue of 68 million dollars
- 21 million spent on "salaries, wages, and benefits"
- 11 million spent on "financial aid to students"
Michigan Budget, 2013
- Revenue of 130 million dollars (a 91% increase)
- 44 million spent on "salaries, wages, and benefits" (a 109% increase)
- 18 million spent on "financial aid to students" (a 64% increase)
Despite the increase in athlete outlays, really there is no increased value there for the folks actually making the money. Instead the athletic department adds sports (lacrosse) and the University continues its unsustainable tuition spiral. The net for the athlete is the degree, then and now. When Texas A&M offered Bo a million dollars and he was reduced to tears because he had to choose between securing his family and staying at Michigan, that was maybe plausible. Today? Bitch, please.
According to a recent report in USA Today Sports, athletic directors at FBS schools are paid an average of $515,000 annually, an increase of more than 14 percent since … 2011. At the low end of the scale, Louisiana-Monroe AD Bobby Staub took home $109,923; at the high end, Louisville's Tom Jurich pocketed $1,401,915. Over the last two years, the number of athletic directors making $1 million or more has jumped from six to nine, while the number making $800,000 or more has risen from nine to 15. None of this is entirely new. Back in 2010 -- that is, when unemployment was at 9.9 percent and the nation was still reeling from the worst financial crisis since 1929 -- at least 10 public schools gave their athletic directors pay raises of $75,000 or more.
But you feel that a university education is the same bonus it's always been. You feel that it's fair that every extra dollar the players on the field make is destined for someplace other than their pockets. I feel that if every athletic director in the country disappeared tomorrow, no one outside their families would notice, and that if you took the best player off of every BCS football team the country would collapse into riots and chaos by Thursday. Useless vampires of college sports, I hope the courts annihilate your business model so thoroughly you end up shining Denard Robinson's shoes.
"People who have talent and bring something significant to the party expect to be paid fairly. I have no problem stepping up and paying talent for what they deserve."
I agree with you to a point. Is it fair that college athletes aren't paid? In many cases, no. But I honestly can't see a system in which we pay players "fairly" and amatuer athletics doesn't die out. Say we agree to compensate players "fairly" for what money they make for the university. What does that even mean? Does Denard get a bigger contract than Joey Burzynsky? Does Hagerup get fined for being suspended? Do players get to negotiate contracts, or is it set arbitrarily by the NCAA somehow? If we just want to give all college athletes a lot more money, how is that any different than the already generous stipends given for living expenses? Not only that, but how would equal pay be fair? Surely Joe Schmoe 6th string CB on Western Michigan doesn't make anybody any money. And how are athletic departments, already hamstrung by title 9 and barely staying afloat as is, supposed to pay for this?
You make the argument that this is somehow a policy resulting out of greed by the athletic directors and conference heads, and you try to back this up by pointing to salary increases. But do you really think the issue is as simple as redistributing the wealth from athletic directors to the athletes themselves? Administrator salaries are govened by forces completely independent from the issue of paying players, and are going up everywhere regardless of the bottom line. I sincerely doubt Delaney et all are against paying players simply out of fear of a lower salary.
What's wrong with Denard getting paid more than Burzynsky?
I don't think it's a matter of Denard getting paid more than Burzynsky, it's a matter of OSU paying more for Terelle Pryor than Michigan.
Is there anything inherently wrong with that, other than it isn't "fair" for schools with less money? Terrelle Prior can win games and generate money for whichever school he attends, why should he not get the best arrangement possible for himself. Isn't that part of the basic fabric of capitalism and America?
If a Bidding war opens for Terrelle Pryor, than he should go to the highest bidder. But when he does so and doesn't perform, he should be cut/fired since amateurism no longer applies. Screw the best for the player. At that point, he is a paid football mercenary.
Your post and username are at odds. Why must Mr. Pryor wait three years before he can go into the NFL if he's getting paid to play for Ohio? What's the difference between Ohio and an NFL team? Budget? Could a University "hire" NFL players to play for their team? If no then why not?
Outside of very rare examples (Clowney and Adrian Peterson) players simply aren't physically ready for the NFL for a couple years out of high school. I mean, we recruit and sign 250 pound tackles all the time.
There has to be a transition league. Whether that league should be attached to the higher education process is a fair subject for debate.
Why can't the NFL create its own reserve/training league much like soccer teams have. It is not the duty of a university to transition kids to the NFL, rather it is to educate them.
Tradition, basically. College football was more popular than pro football for a very long time, so the feeder league grew up before the pro league.
I was asking rhetorical questions but tradition is not a good reason for a university to train kids for the NFL.
I think this is really the most fundamental oddity that causes this entire problem. When you really think about it, it's ridiculous that there are millions if not billions of dollars spent on school sponsored athletic teams. People like to see high quality athletics, but it doesn't really need to have anything to do with universities. It's just a cultural oddity that has spun itself out of control.
The whole point of not paying student athletes is so that they choose the best school for them, not the one who offers the highest bid. And, it's not that it's not fair, it's that it's anti-competitive.
To play devil's advocate, why does the athlete care if it's anti-competitive for the schools? The whole system is created and dictated by the school's to their advantage and the athlete has no say because they don't have an alternative in most sports. If every athlete had the option that hockey players have of choosing between juniors and college, I would feel a lot more sympathy for the schools.
They don't. They are 17-year-olds and only think about themselves and rarely consider consequences.
Allowing players to get paid will kill lots of smaller programs. When those programs go away, there are fewer opportunities for the non-blue-chip 17-year-olds to get paid. The blue chips still won't care, but the rest of them are now at a disadvantage because there are fewer opportunities to go to school for free, which is the original point of the scholarships.
Take it up with your Congressman.
And the last thing I'd want to do is dump Title IX.
a philosophy? One says that such organizations should be forced to give and supply men and women equally. Another says everyone gets what they're worth. They're at odds. Free market vs. constraints. Now you can take each one and judge if they're worthwhile constraints, but the ideas behind them aren't really different.
addresses pervasive sex discrimination, a consideration that's completely absent when talking about whether players on the same team should get equal pay. What's the overriding state interest in ensuring that Denard and Joey Burzynsky get paid the same?
in women's college sports?" But that's politics. But the idea that they're both philosophical questions still stands.
the question is "does the state have an overriding interest in addressing pervasive sex discrimination?" Title IX is not limited to college sports. And I don't get your point. I don't have an objection to "philosophical questions." I just want a good answer to mine. Why do we care if Denard gets paid more than Joey Burzynsky?
And I'm saying"Why do we care if Denard gets more than Burzynsky if he brings more to the table?" is the same question as asking "Why do we care if women get the same sports opportunities as men in college if they bring far less to the table?"
We care about female athletes having equal access to athletics because, before Title IX, they were systematically shut out and discriminated against. Now what's the answer to mine?
"We care about all athletes having equal access to the fruits of college athletics, because the vaule is in the education and we want everyone on a team to be treated as equal members of that team, not a professional model."
But that doesn't change the fact that your philosophical believe in your answer is a legit reason why belief in that philosophy will prevent your quesiton from working.
Edit: probably a more direct answer to my point and your question-
We care about female athletes having equal access to athletics because, before Title IX, they were systematically shut out and discriminated against, therefore we believe all athletes must be have the same benefits, and if we pay Denard more than Joey, we must find a female star athlete to pay the same, even though she's worth even less than Joey (financially)."
There is none proven. And the belief that because there were not 50% women athletes that this proves discrimination is sophistry and non-thinking. The idea itself that all outcomes would be distributed equally in the absence of discrimination is a complete and utter fantasy with zero proof behind it. So you honestly believe that there are exactly as many females in college interested in ahtletics as males? And further, suppose that were true, which it isn't of course, but if it was? Why SHOULD there be an equal distribution? Why isn't it excatly fair that since two men's sports contribute all the revenue, that most colleges should, quite fairly so, have more male athletes than female simply because of the 85 players on the football team? Who says I or any person of either sex has a right to be represented equally playing sports? Engineering is a pretty important degree and look, there are more males than females in it. So I suppose we should limit the spots open to men in engineering so that the distribution is 50/50? More "fairness?"
Some of the motivation for Title IX was to promote - rather than just allow - women's participation. Proponents (some, anyway) believed that creating the opportunity to obtain scholarships would lead to more girls participating in sports at the youth and h.s. level, which it likely did.
Either it did or a really fucking unlikely coincidence happened. Competitiveness, it turns out, is not located on the Y chromosome.
There's basically no dispute that female participation in athletics at all levels went through the roof after the passage of Title IX.
Historical effects aren't much of an argument for keeping an inefficient and resource draining system in place once the desired effect has been achieved.
Increased participation of women in sports is a good thing and is not going away. Given that it's hard to make the argument Title IX's scholarship equalization function should not be scrutinized for negative effects.
WIthout it, PLENTY of people would demand women's sports get cut because there's little interest/no money/etc. Sexism isn't even near dead. See the coverage of the Steubenville case for further examples.
Except that forcing administrators to carry sports for women and restrict some men's works. That is an argument for the power of givernment, not any argument whatsoever on behalf of "discriminination" or the equality of outcome being naturally distributed.
There's a serious historical prejudice in math and science education that pushes girls away from those areas, so fewer women pursue engineering (and math, physics, computer sciences, etc) degrees. Using half your talent is a bad idea, so yeah, we should be pushing more women in that direction.
Ideally by ending the discrimination at the primary education levels that creates the bad outcomes at the secondary education level. But I have no issues with inducements here.
Anecdote here: I was a math major at Michigan and a math tutor in the Math Lab, so I was in East Hall a ton. East Hall has the math department in the South U side and the psychology department in the other half of the building, right? Walk between the two halves and count the women. It's ridiculous.
Anecdote the second: I think, in my four years as a math major, I knew exactly one American female math major. There were a couple other girls from engineering who worked as math tutors, but I think only the one actual math major.
Sports were similar pre-Title IX, and if we're valuing athletics as part of a contribution to academic institutions instead of profit generating factories, we should applaud how that's changed. Even more at the high school level, but at the major college level as well.
You actually believe that that situation you reference reflects predjudice and not naturally occuring preference. No OF COURSE its simply impossible that more men are interested than math than women, heavens, of course it must be the insidious discrimination of low expectations. It must be tough walking around a school and world with such rampant predudice. And depressing. What depressing to me is that people like you believe this stuff--without one single minute shred of evidence.
Here's another example of predudice--we are getting close to 60% women in college in America. What do you recommend to correct this terrible example of predudice against men??
Fun with charts:
It's closer to 55/45, but the trend is unmistakable.
Should also note that African-American males are underrepresented, in particular. That surely has nothing to do with prejudice!
Anyway, here's a simple pdf that basically explains a lot of what's going on:
I think that article basically makes my point and answers your question as to why the gender gap is becoming female > male in undergrad. And my response is that everyone should play with legos and we should adapt classrooms away from the lecture model, which isn't good for much of anything except for the few who can excel in it. I was one of them, but it's still dumb.
In principle you're right, Title IX is designed to help eliminate sex-based discrimination. In practice, Title IX in relation to college athletics, especially at big schools, provides benefits to such a small percentage of students that I view or as meaningless. I'd prefer it focus on things like IM access and rec facilities, because ordinary students use them. I want equal access to academic opportunities, school programs, and facilities. Big-time athletics benefits so few people that I just can't get worked up about fewer scholarships for women, especially because the 100 or so football and basketball players pay for the women's facilities and sports programs in the first place.
Really? I think that's the first thing I'd do to try to fix this whole mess. Anything limiting flexibility to address the questions being raised here is unproductive, Title IX limits options and given that football accounts for 85 "balancing" scholarships it limits them in a big way.
Regarding the issue of Denard vs a walk-on, at some level there are going to have to be rules based on say shcolarship status and class rank that define pay. Not to mention just what sport you're playing (namely if it is revenue or not). You could also venture into playing time as a metric, but that gets tricky since the guy running the scout team with zero in game reps arguable contributes more than some guy who saw all of 15 minutes of playing time as a backup.
While those rules are going to be messy to sort out and likely refined by multiple agreements and perhaps even some lawsuits, Delany opts to go for pure hyperbole about how it would force the B1G to deemphasis this or do that, and so on and so forth. Which is really what Delaney deserves to be attacked for and called full of shit.
If he can't imagine a system in which athletic departments that are 20+ million in the black can pay out some revenue to their players, he lacks the business mind to run this conference. Plus nothing says you have to go with cash on the barrel as the only means here. Movements could be made in terms of funding 403b accounts (the academic version of a 401k), supplying players on the field with supplemental insurance in case of injury (like what Lewan purchased), and so on and so forth. Lots of ways you can get your per player spending up without just having to hand out money.
Minor league baseball uses a system that first contract players get the least and they make more as they move up to A, AA, AAA etc. They have the freedom to give players more value by giving higher signing bonuses, but their regular salary is based on what level they are playing in. You could do the same with college such as giving freshman the lowest pay, sophmores the next, juniors higher, and seniors the highest. Higher rated recruits could get bigger signing bonuses, but all players of the same class rank would get the same salary. Just a thought.
Although I've always thought scholarship athletes should be required to live on campus as it's too hard to monitor them if they are living in off campus apartments ala Pryor. I think that's a big issue. Maybe sports only dorms would be helpful.
Minor league baseball's salary goes like this...
First contract season: $850/month maximum.
• Triple-A – First year: $2,150/month, after first year no less than $2,150/month
• Class AA – First year: $1,500/month, after first year no less than $1,500/month
• Class A (full season) – First year: $1,050/month, after first year no less than $1,050/month
• Class A (short-season) – First year: $850/month, after first year no less than $850/month
Paying players is probably too slippery of a slope to climb but, in the alternative, all things using their namesakes or identities should be prohibited (e.g. violation of a trademark). People should not profit on their existence if they are not being compensated above and beyond the scholarship. The scholarship is effectively paid for by fans that pay to watch them play. Anything specific to a player that earns an AD more revenue above and beyond recouping the cost of a scholarship (e.g. the official #16 jerseys sold at MDen) should at least be shared with the namesake holder.
That's really the core point and I think an area that schools could be proactive in addressing. How much did say Braylon may the school when he performed Braylonfest, ensured we beat State in triple OT, and went on to get a Rose Bowl payout? Yet despite all that, he doesn't see a cent of #1 jersey sales or have any control over his likeness. The best he got was a boost to his draft stock, which could have been undone the next week if some rumor about a nagging injury surfaced.
I'm not comfortable with just handing out tens of thousands of dollars to 18 year olds,. However things like jersey sales could easily be credited into future tuition vouchers, 403bs, etc. For general things like say what EA pays out for NCAA Football, they could go into some general hardship fund or something that any football player could potentially tap. You could easily create a tiered system, some items clearly relate to one person (jersey with specific number). Some items are on a school level (bowl payout), some items are on a conference wide level (when EA pays to use the B1G logo). Now nothing says the players should get a piece of each of those pies, but I think the era where the players don't a piece of any of those pies beyond tuition + room and board is an era that is ending. There are some areas of revenue that are pretty clearly based upon the player (jersey sales and video games) and the players should likely see something come from them.
This is exactly right. We all (mostly Dave Brandon) talk about protecting the "brand" but the real question is who really generates the "brand" in the first place? Obviously "M" is made valuable by everyone connected to the University in some fashion - I like to think I contributed to its value in some small way. But the real generators of value to the "brand" are high-profile athletes and the sports they play. The Block "M" would be much less valuable if it were not for the high-profile athletes that draw recognition to the school.
A perfect example: the Fab Five. Dare I say millions were drawn to them and I suspect that $millions were generated by their simple existence on the basketball court. But they saw none of that money and the ones that did got banished for years. I understand why, but its still ridiculous. The fact is that the AD rides the shoulders of the athletes and proclaims that they are compensating their mules by giving them scholarships, all the while the AD rakes in exponentially more $$$ than they pay for the cost of scholarships.
The problem is that the "brand" is not just the players. High profile players would not be high profile if they also hadn't attended a school with a high profile pre-established "brand" like UM. If the Fab-Five had attended Liberty University and played just as exciting, would people actually still care about them? If Denard Robinson had attended UCF, would he be as high profile? I would guess not. The school also makes the player high profile. Goes back to that old arguement that famous people wouldn't be famous at all if they didn't have fans (in this case people like you and me who are connected to UM).
Well sure, but that's also true of pro athletes in any team sport - much of the value of an Aaron Rodgers jersey comes from the fact that its also a Packers jersey. Yet that doesn't prevent Aaron Rodgers from leveraging his celebrity status for lots of money.
OK, but what if I buy a #4 jersey because I'm still a big Harbaugh (or Marquise Walker or Brandon Minor) fan, does Cam Gordon get that money? And what if we have two kids on the team with the same number, one who is a star and one who is a benchwarmer, do they split the money?
if players are getting paid i'd assume they'd finally be putting names on the backs of jerseys...
I believe what the O'Bannon lawsuit is looking for is to put the proceeds the NCAA gets from marketing the images of players into escrow until they graduate/exhaust their eligibility. So they'd get it at 22 or so.
I have to wonder what kind of reality Delany lives in, where he thinks he can follow through on a threat to destroy B1G football and not:
- Be fired by the University Presidents.
- Be sued into oblivion by Fox since they have a stake in the BTN.
- Survive the angry mob that will descend upon BTN headquarters.
He might have some kind of argument if he stuck with "The revenue sports fund the non revenue/Olympic sports, so if we pay the players we have less money for non revenue sports" line. You might be able to construct some kind of "Well the players get an education and help raise money for the greater good" argument, but going with "I'm going to take the B1G to D-III" is both stupid and underestimates the ability of B1G fanbases to fully fund a "Hire Blackwater to track down Jim Delany and Kill Him (Slowly)" Kickstarter campaign. (Possible Award: For a thousand dollar donation you get to pick the brand of battery they wire to him and where the leads are attached.)
It has to be the dumbest bluff I've seen in a long time and frankly it is insulting that he thinks he can turn the B1G fanbases against O'Bannon and other student athletes with that kind of tripe.
of me being disappointed I can't posbang something because it's already at 5. It's rare I actually laugh out loud at something on here
Does Delany actually have any control over NOT stopping universities from getting rid of sports? Delany could just be doing a stupid bluff and not actually want to get rid of D1 sports, but the universities themselves can still pull out. UM's leadership could at some point just throw up their hands and say "Fuck it, this is not worth the trouble. This whole thing as devalued the whole reason why we want our kids to participate in sports", and then just pull out. Everyone's got a tipping point; it's just a matter of finding it.
Every keeps talking like Delaney is some kind of emperor but the truth is that he represents the interests of the member schools. If he is saying in public that the schools are willing to "de-emphasize" sports then there is a good possibility that he has already had this discussion with the university president's and is, in fact, represent their view & not just spouting off his opinion.
Honestly, I don't think he's bluffing. University leaders have enough problems to deal with and running a professional sports team (which is what they'd be doing if they start paying players) is not something they're likely to want to do. Union contracts with 20 year olds? Competing with the NFL? Concussion liability, class action lawsuits?
It's far more likely that the schools say, forget it, and revert to an Ivy League approach. TV contracts & rioting fans be damned. Fans better be very careful cheering for O'Bannon.