Should I get paid when I sell my body for $50 a pop?
Should college athletes be paid?
Do you even care?
Not that there's anything wrong with that...
Sure, don't show up to workout, no pay, dont perform on the field, no pay...btw, here is your tuition payment...and the bill for the foodtable, your tudors nobody else gets for free, your dorm bill.....sure.....I mean pay the athletes to play football and let them pay for everything they get for free now!
They get a free ride for college. What more do they want? And they get plenty of extra benefits for being an athlete, they're practically being paid right now.
When you factor in benefits, tuition, and housing, student athletes are being paid more than the salaries of a good chunk of the population.
Especially if they are out-of-state student-athletes.
The only extra costs are for tuition fees, not for refundable things such as room and board.
Yea, but they also have skills that are worth more than they are compensated.
Not saying I think they should get paid, but the "scholarship is enough" argument is kind of silly considering the money they bring in.
Who's skills? Denard's? The Walk-on? The Gymnastic's team member? How many are REALLY bringing in more than they're contributing? And that tiny percentage are getting paid to have an internship that will make them millions at their job. Not bad.
Everyone has different skills. In a company, the CEO makes a ton where a new hire makes less. Same in pro sports, where Kobe makes a ton and the guy on the ten day contract makes less.
Personally I think the best solution is to let them make a cut off of their jersey sales and everything else that's just being sold because of the individual athlete, and maybe 1/85 of team stuff. That would be the best way to determine value and compensate accordingly, IME.
What about teams that don't have the names of players on the back? Furthermore, who draws the line about the percentage the players get? This is bound for more loopholes from coaches and universities. The little guys would have no chance as their players wouldn't get the publicity as the traditional powers, only strengthening the BCS (which I don't want).
In the end, let's be honest. Most of these kids are underprivileged with poor education and have never been pushed academically. A small amount would probably never even be accepted into a university, let alone be able to pay for it or even attempt to with student loans. These kids aren't just getting a free education from decent to top tier universities, but they're getting guidance through life that puts them on track to live successful lives that most wouldn't, even the possibility to make millions in three to five years as well as being a national or even international icon (not a long time to wait for millions I'd say).
They already make something like $10-25K/yr for tuition and books... when you think about it they're already paid. That doesn't even factor in their free medical care, and whatever cash they make in summer jobs their coaches have lined up for them. College players are already paid.
i think players need to stop looking the gift horse in the mouth. a free education at a good school plus thousands of fans that love you. i would take that in a heart beat.
A lot of these players wouldn't even be able to go to these schools if they weren't on scholarship for football. I know I've had to rule colleges out because of expenses, so I'd happily take a scholarship for four years.
Lots of these kids (especially in football and mens BB) would have no desire to go to college. Sham on them for this but it is true. Although the "free" education would have been great for you and I is it a coincidence that 80 percent of a football or basketball program all have the same major? Let's not kid ourselves on the term "student athlete" at a national level in BCS conferences.
The saddest part about that is that only 2.4% of those players will ever even make an NFL team. In reality, there needs to be a fixture in that, but thats a whole different topic for a different time.
The same free ride that their program is paying for to subsidize every other sport that loses money hand over fist? Sorry, but if the school is selling Jerseys with their name and number on them they should get a cut. I think they should get something.
Saying that I also think its time for big time athletics to back away from the NCAA and create their own governing body. The NCAA seems to make rules up as they go.
period. They can sell things with their number, but not their name. Because of this you can't say that that #2 jersey is for Vincent Smith and he, therefore should get a cut, because there have been other #2s in the schools history... it could be a Charles Woodson or Shawn Crable Jersey, you aren't allowed to endorse a college player. So when you buy that #16 jersey, you may intend for it to represent Denard Robinson, but it could just as easily be a John Navarre Jersey.
Because of this players aren't intitle to any additional cash. Aside from the fact that they're going to school for free. Seriously, I've already said this but when you factor in all the free stuff that comes with their scholarships they're already paid... asking for more is just demanding and stupid.
No. The FATHERS of NCAA players should get paid.....duh.
They already are.
working un-paid internships, and the like.
They are paid commensurate to their services. Their worth to the school is thousands and thousands of times what the average student is worth to the school....so they are paid thousands and thousands of times better than the average student.
They're not "paid" commensurate to their services. Think about the Denard-Heisman picture alone. The University sold how many? At what cost? And he'll never see a dime of that. Same with every 16 jersey sold; the stars in college athletics are some of the most under compensated people in the nation.
And what, Gibbons pays us back for his scholarship money? Really??
No, my take is that the scholarships are given out and the players aren't paid for their serivces. But I don't like seeing everything else sold with 16 plastered all over it and knowing that a good kid from a not exactly wealthy family doesn't get to see a cut that he's earned.
Scholarship = paid. Period. They have a monetary value.
But not paid fairly. Several athletes earn the money included in the scholarship many times over.
OK, should we open this can of worms? Who is to determine what the value of a player is to the school? It's a lot more complex than jersey sales. Do you think it's a good idea that a school like Michigan can wave huge royalty payments at a kid and Central Michigan can't? Who pays the royalty? Who determines how much it is? Who pays it, the NCAA or the school? "Hey, kid, if you come to Alabama we'll have 10,000 of your jerseys made. The boosters have promised to chip and and buy all of them and you'll get a cut of the royalties." "Hey, kid, if you'll come to Florida we'll have a special $100,000 jersey made with your number - a booster has promised to buy it and you'll get a cut." Why does Denard get the money and not the linemen who block for him?
The same reason anyone gets payed more than other people. It's about value added.
But the simple answer is to just look at the NFL for pay guidelines. I would assume that the NCAA would pay for the things the NCAA sells, like the basketball tournament and the video games, and the schools would pay for jersey sales and photos and everything else.
If an athlete is so valuable to have boosters do that, then great. Let them spend their money that way.
(I'm using value here as a purely economic word. More dollars = more value. Not trying to be disparaging to anyone.)
But once you start talking about the athletes in terms of value added, you have to talk about the flip side of the coin, which is basically that volleyball players and swimmers and such bring nothing to the table and should earn nothing.
And you can't forget about Title IX. That's really why what you propose would never get off the ground. Title IX doesn't care at all what the value of a sport or a player is in revenue - you have to spend the same on men and women. Since women don't have Denard-like value to the school, they wouldn't get paid like it and the school would be in violation. It's a pretty concrete barrier. Title IX reform is another subject entirely and believe me I'd be on board with it, but that's the reality.
Besides, I'm not comfortable and neither is anyone else with the idea that these royalty payments could - and definitely would - be used as a recruiting tool. Or that a school would cut another sport so as to be able to pay its quarterback. We all know that those, among other undesirables, would be the consequences. Simply put, the evils that would result from a policy like this far outweigh the very minor evil of a few star athletes being forced to wait a couple years to be paid large amounts of money.
But the argument is then just saying that you need to take from one to give to another. Too much Animal Farm and too much politics for me right now.
Paying college atheletes would kill their amateur status in the eyes of the IRS and the NCAA would lose its standing as a tax-exempt organization.
What all does the scholarship cover. Is it just tuition and room and board at the dorms, or do they get a check to cover rent if they live off campus? I know academic scholarships give you a check if you live off campus to cover rent, food, books and the like.
They don't have to use their room and board money to live on campus. They are free to take that money, find a cheaper place to live off campus, and pocket the difference. Find an apartment and share it with a handful of other people, and you can pretty easily come out ahead.
I knew a couple athletes that were getting $850/month for housing. They got one other person and split a two-bedroom apartment and each paid about $450/month and spent the rest on Coors Light.
I did 4 years at Michigan and I would have gladly played football for just the education alone. Not to mention all the other perks that they get. Instead I paid for my education (still paying for it as a matter of fact) and lived like a pauper instead. For what they get in education/ room and board/ food/ other items they are compensated more per year and most college graduates make their first year out. Add on top of it that they pay no taxes on any of their "compensation" and they make a pretty good haul.
P.S. How can you justify paying all D1 players when all of the programs loose money except football? That would be a good business model to follow.
Isn't that kind of like saying, "Why should Kobe make 26,000,000 when the WNBA can't afford to pay salaries that high?"
Just because Denard would bring home a ton of money doesn't mean his track teammates would, they'd get paid a wage they accept, just like everyone else in the world.
(I realize they accept the scholarship, so I'm not saying they should get paid; just pointing out the argument.)
When someone sues over Title IV?
I guess you and I just really feel strongly with differing opinions on this. I get your point of view and realize it's rational, hopefully you can see mine as well.
I don't want to hear anything about how they're supposedly worth millions and millions for their school so they should get paid accordingly etc. etc. Because that starts a discussion about whether football players are worth more than basketball players, or whether soccer players are worth more than wrestlers, or whether the wide receiver is worth more than the punter. Chris Webber claimed he started taking money because he saw his jersey in the window and he didn't get a dime from those sales. But that problem wouldn't disappear if you started paying football and basketball players. People like Webber would still see themselves as more valuable than the scrubs on the bench and want to get paid accordingly.
I think the point is to take out the economic argument for why players sell their stuff in violation of NCAA rules. It would be a lot easier to come down hard on players if they can't make the excuse of needing the money.
No, but they should be allowed to sell their personal property without persecution.
Why is that abuse? Its value is connected with his performance. That's why a Ty Cobb autograph is worth more than a Brandon Inge.
99.99% of college athletes are more than fairly compensated (most of them MUCH more than fairly). And I'd guess that 99.99% of college athletes couldn't pull off the the $20,000 jock strap. But, amazingly, the .01% outliers in each category have full overlap.
The guys who will be getting the huge payouts will be the ones who have a legitimate complaint of being hosed. Doesn't it seem wrong that Denard Robinson gets roughly the same compensation as a field hockey player?
To me, the system you've described actually seems perfect. Free market.
I think his point was that this can be used as a loophole for those who want to direct money towards the athletes.
As in, come to Alabama, where our boosters will buy your undershirts after each game for $5K.
At which point if the boosters can do this, then you have effectively removed the cap on scholarships available to each team. Some players get university scholarships and some players get their 'scholarships' from boosters.
please come ovr here 2 my sock drawr 4 an assortment of valuble goods sure 2 b a Xmas winnr
If you pay Denard according to his performance, what happens if Jim Harbaugh becomes our coach and Denard is no longer the starting QB ?
Does Denard still get the same money? Less?
If less, what if Denard doesn't want less ? Can Denard force Harbaugh to start him?
What then of Tate? If Tate earns the starting job and Denard still gets to start because some court says so, then what?
In major league sports, except for performance incentives, players get a set amount ( by contract ) regardless of performance. How can you reconcile paying players by performance and still having control over when, how and if they play?
Would Pryor allow himself to be suspended in your world?
That doesn't hold water at all. Before the start of the season, or career or game or whatever, Denard would sign a contract to get paid. That's how it works in every job and every pro sports leauge.
The University and him would agree how much he is worth; it has nothing to do with performance on a given day, it has to do with the expected value he brings to Michigan football.
was to my comment. Yet you say something that appears to agree with my criticism of paying according to performance.
Can you clarify what doesn't hold water in your opinion?
Sorry, didn't mean to be a jerk, I apologize.
I just don't think it holds water that you have to pay players based on performances during individual games or even seasons. If someone is signed to a contract, they get paid on that contract. In Denard's particular case, I would bet he'd sign as an athlete because three years ago he wasn't a sure fire big time QB. Whether he plays QB, RB or O-Line during a game shoudln't matter. Randel-El doesn't get paid more when they use him to complete a pass.
To get more, because they are the ones who are getting trained to go make millions in the pros. You can have a brilliant mind, and get a scholarship to go to law or med school, but no one is going to let you practice medicine or law till you have a degree.
The question is "should student athletes be paid legally?", as we know OSU and the SEC has been paying some students for years. I would be up for a very small stipend like $100-$200 a month,
One way to look at it is that being on the football team is a 40/hr a week commitment (if the NCAA is reading this make that 20/hr a week) on top of their class load. A normal student has opportunities to get a job on the side to earn extra cash because they aren't giving so much time to a sport.
Earn extra cash? If they can find a job that pays for college and gives them extra cash on the side, then they don't need to be in college in the first place.
This is true in the short term, but not in the long term. Going to grad school is an example.
I probably could have gotten a job that paid the equivalent of tuition and a small living stipend and perhaps a little more. So while in the short term would have made more sense not to go to grad school, in the long term I am better off.
Now, if a student-athlete does not want to take advantage of the educational opportunities they are given, then perhaps the analogy breaks down.
Would you agree with that stipend for all of the D1 athletes at the school or just the big programs/ sports?
But there's additional help to be obtained if someone is really destitute.
But I think its hard to tell a kid he shouldn't get a cut when its HIS jersey # that's getting sold for 60-125 a pop. Its no coincidence that its the star players jerseys that are on the shelves. When Adidas, Nike, NCAA, retail store, ect are all making ca$h off the kid, is that fair? Just something to think about.
Exactly. And the liscensing for video games and official photos, the list goes on and on.
No. I was on scholarship for football and believe me you have plenty of money left over to spend. The NCAA has enough gray areas and have only recently began enforcing it's own rules. Now if someone would just get them to look down south I might actually start to respect them.
I'll try my best.
Star athletes bring in huge amounts of money for the schools they attend, liscensing for video games for instance. The school does not let the athelte play without signing over the rights to their own likeness, therefore the schools pocket the difference between the scholarship and the money they make from the athlete. In normal society, the player would be given a (probably large) chunk of the difference, but the NCAA prevents this because of amateurism rules. Get rid of the amateurism rules and the players can be compensated by their actual worth, just like anyone else with a job.
That's my schtick personally. I hate to see all the numbered jersies and photos and all that while thinking that the kids they represent are forced to sign away their right to sell them themselves.
I've heard the "commodification" thesis, but i've never heard a cogent argument. Let's have it.
But no one is forcing the Universities to "commodify" themselves. There was a point in time where the excessive benefits discussion centered around the properness of offering athletic scholarships at all. The Ivy League decided that athletic scholarships were too far, and they pulled out of the "race." Ditto for the University of Chicago.
Universities know exactly what they are doing when they fund athletic programs. They're commodifying themselves. Athletes aren't holding guns to the presidents and regents heads. Sorry, this argument is irrelevant to this discussion (paying players)
Its a better argument for pulling the plug on college athletics. Is that what you want?
Your vision of college sports sounds like it sucks. Especially for schools like Michigan. No thanks.
The FDA analogy doesn't work for me. It might be fine, I just don't get it. Encouraging athletic competition has no bearing on a University's goal as an educational institution. How does having a football player sitting next to me in Psych 101 have any impact whatsoever on the content of the lecture, the quality of the lecturer, or my ability to digest the information? It doesn't.
So, profit making by players is not under the University's charter but profit making by the University is? You again seem to be arguing that the University should not engage in anything that does not directly support degree programs.
Does encouraging the Solar Team fall under the charter of the University? I say, yes. How about symphony concerts? Also yes. Should the University allow its venues to be used for non-educational purposes (concerts at Hill Auditorium and the Power Center)? Again, yes. The solar car example is very clean and easy. The symphony concert and little less clean (why charge admission?). The concert example is pure profit seeking (which is then used for education purposes). Hell, let's develop a killer strain of weed, buy properties in the emerald triangle, then sell the medicine to pharmacists in Calif-orn-i-a. Why do lucrative athletics get counted as "commodifying" but some of these other activities do not?
The real question, I think, is should entities other than the student-athletes be able to profit on their images and identities when the players themselves are expressly forbidden from doing so. The Charles O'Bannon suit against EA and the NCAA seems to me to have a lot of merit in it. The NCAA's still making money liscensing games that feature the likenesses of players from classic teams, players who are no longer in college. Those players, at least, should be entitled to the money that their images generate.
I don't see why the NCAA should be able to receive liscensing money for games featuring QB #16 with 99 speed who wears dreadlocks and a broad grin in perpetuity and Denard will see none of that money. Similarly MDen and #16 jerseys, etc. I don't know what the answer is, whether it's a trust fund inaccessible while the athletes are still in college or whatever, but as college sports and the images of college athletes are becoming increasingly longterm commodities, the athletes themselves should see some of that money.
But aren't they more that the Schools shouldn't be allowed to sell identifiable jersey's or use their likeness in games and such? I have no problem with this argument. Jersey numbers could be limited to the year (all '11's next year, with a rule you can't change a player's number to that year). EA would be screwed, but there were video games before there were player union contracts. It would just require the player to put more work into creating players if they wanted the "real" experience (hell, now one guy does it and the world downloads it). Minor price to pay for fairness.
Athletes from revenue sports should definitely get a smallish stipend. $500ish dollars should be enough to let them go on a couple dates and buy any clothes they need to sustain themselves. They make an enormous contribution to the schools, can't have jobs, and work 50 hour weeks. Even if they got what I propose, the sum of tuition, housing, and food probably doesn't even get to minimum wage.
Schools that can't afford it can drop to D-II. EMU shouldn't have a football team anyways--especially since the department can't sustain itself on it's revenue.
I'm sure that will go over really well with all of the Title IX people who also make an enormous contribution to the school, have 50 hour practice weeks, can't have jobs, and participate in sports that aren't even able to give them full scholarships.
And when you say 50 hour practice weeks, that's just a hypothetical right? Right?!?
If giving every scholarship athlete an equal stipend is what it takes then I'm all for it.
And then the NCAA would collapse, there would be no athletic department - M, OSU, Texas included - that could do that.
$500 a month to afford clothes and a date? Seriously??? I'm taking 16 grad hour credits, work 20 hrs a week, and that with my student loans covering tuition and rent is well, well more than enough to cover anything I need. In fact, if I didn't have to pay rent (like, oh I dunno, a full-ride athlete) that $500 dollars would start going towards some, shall we say, unsavory vices.
Seriously, you give a $500/month stipend to a college kid then it's all going to the bar. Or worse.
And then the NCAA would collapse, there would be no athletic department - M, OSU, Texas included - that could do that.
Then drop scholarships. Outside of Title IX requirements, no one mandates a school have a certain number of scholarship athletes. Every Big 10 team can afford football, basketball and mirrored women's sports. Again, EMU doesn't need a team. It's a drain on taxpayers and doesn't benefit ordinary students--except the 80 that attend games.
If UM were to ever drop soccer and baseball and wrestling and swimming so they can pay football players then I would stop being a M football fan. Seriously. This would be one of the most embarrassing, shocking, pathetic things my alma mater could ever do.
Without getting into Title IX, who cares? Denard makes more money than anyone for the University, he should get paid the most, and on down the list with the baseline being a scholarship. I'd bet at UConn the women outearn a lot of the men. What difference does it make?
The Federal Government. And lots of lawyers. You can't just sidestep the elephant in the room.
I'm saying it shouldn't matter, not that it doesn't. Just because a woman outearns a man or vice versa shouldn't be important, it should all be connected to value.
Some mirror reality based on market driven principles. I can get behind the idea where football players get gold plated helmets because they're the ones bringing in all the money, on a true get what you're worth mentality. But it's just so far from our reality it's more of a philosophical discussion than one based on what should be done. It has it's own value, to be sure, but varies too far into almost a political bent that could fall under all sorts of categories (from affirmative action, to economic principles, etc.) that I'm not sure it fits the discussion allowable and fitting for the boards. We might very well agree theoretically, if not practically.
See, now I agree with you completely.
But this whole discussion is removed from reality, the NCAA will never allow athletes to get paid no matter what gets said today on the board.
The hard part with this stance is how do you define a revenue sport? Most of the 118-120 division 1 football programs lose money. I would not consider those that lose money to be a revenue sport. If that is the case then we begin a system where 10-15 schools can afford to play players while the others cannot, thus widening the recruiting gap even further.
I don't care if they can afford it. If they can't, then drop or deemphasize sports down to a sustainable level. It's insulting that taxpayers foot the bill for MAC teams while tuition growth rapidly exceeds inflation.
I would agree with you, but for a lot of these schools they use the sports as a form of advertising.....that is why they are willing to take the loss. If you had all the D1 schools drop sports to a sustainable level then most of the schools would have no sports at all. That would leave us with one league of 10-15 schools and that is it.
I concur. The program should be dropped, but won't because EMU needs it to remain in the MAC. Ego also plays a factor.
De-emphasizing sports means no crew team, or swim team, gymnastics, or softball. I'd hate to lose the girl on athletic scholarship or the guy who busted his butt as a swimming scholar athlete, their scholarships and their sports, because we want to pay football players, or however many sports we have left, $500 each a month.
As stated before, they already have enough left over from stipends to live better than other students. We should maximize sports so more students can get the student athlete experience and keep the amateur status, however convoluted its become.
[ED: this was a response to Zone Left's "I don't care if they can" post]
Who pays for that, even at present levels?
Why can't Michigan have a swim team that reserves the pool every morning and travels by van to other schools to compete? All the school pays for is the pool--which is open to others after practice ends in the morning. We don't need national level competition and the NCAA to have a team of students drive to Lansing and go swimming, Athletics is too big and isn't sustainable. I think forcing schools to pay would force schools that can't break even to bring sports back to a manageable level.
economy, if that's what you're advocating. I just don't think paying athletes is economical. I have no problem asking a swim team that doesn't bring in revenue to buy time at a local pool.
I think it's economical for Big 10, SEC, and PAC 10 type teams in football and basketball. Otherwise, there's no reason to have athletic departments that rely on taxpayers, the endowment, football revenue, or normal students tuition to support.
enough about the impact on student tuition and taxpayer dollars to really comment on that. Interesting point, in that really every sector of American society affects another. Based on cold economics, I can see it not being profitable to have most sports, and to those who don't value sport in and of itself, it's really of no worth.
I guess the romantic in me likes to see the swim team kid get a chance to do something great, even if it takes pennies i didn't know about out of my pocket.
But I'd like to see him do it from a team van.
The complete death of college athletics. Interesting one to make on a college football blog. Because a one conference 15 team League doesn't seem very sustainable. But we could go back to Ivy League level or lower for athletics. But what would we blog about then?
I'm pretty confident the Big 10, SEC, and at least 30 other teams could easily fund a football program on big-time BCS levels. Northwestern might not bring in much revenue, but shared TV dollars put them in the black. Those are the same teams that have legitimate shots at bowl games, conference titles, and national titles. Everyone seems to want better scheduling, but that requires eliminating the MAC and the Sun Belt from FCS-level competition and not allowing games against them to count.
I do think most sports and most schools should go down to an Ivy League level of actual students wanting to compete instead of what amounts to hired guns filling seats and scoring touchdowns.
Again, justify EMU having a football team at the FCS level. It loses money, doesn't draw fans, and doesn't seem to contribute to the school's mission of educating students. Tuition keeps going up, state support for schools keeps decreasing, and yet the student fees and government support pay $1.5 million of the team's $3 million revenue--which accounts for about 1/3 of the team's expenses. Those expenses are $1.2 million greater than revenue--which is also probably paid for out of the school's (student and taxpayer) pockets. They should be squeezed out to help their students and to draw less money from taxpayers.
"I'm pretty confident the Big 10, SEC, and at least 30 other teams could easily fund a football program on big-time BCS levels."
I know this seems like a common and acceptable belief, but I would suggest you run the numbers on the expenses for running a top notch football program. And by the way, who would they all play, and would that change the dynamics of the affordability of a program. Just things to consider.
as well. If we can afford for them to take the van to Lansing for competitions, we should send them. It's a great experience for them, character building, life shaping, and I really believe it contributes to the foundation of well-rounded individuals.
I have no problem with revenue bringing sports supporting non revenue sports because I think it shouldn't be about the money. Not saying that it isn't...
I just want to put these numbers out there to add data to the argument.
$7.15 * 50 hours/week * 52 weeks/year = $18,590
In-state cost to go to Michigan (lower division) = $24,167
Out-of-state cost to go to Michigan (lower division) = $48,331
Even if you save the $3000 off the in-state $24k that is for books/supplies/personal (I'm not sure if student athlete would get money for this, though I think they did get some for books), they still get over $20k per year, which is more than they would get working 50 hours a week at minimum wage for 52 weeks a year.
And that's just tuition... you're leaving out room/board/food/book money/free clothes and on and on.
That's interesting, but you're forgetting that money saved is better than money earned. You get 100% of your tuition reimbursement for the scholarship, but your income is taxed if you have a job.
Also, I dont' seem to be able to reply to the right post.
Its called a full-ride scholarship. To reiterate what was said above, too; they are free to move off-campus for cheaper pastures and pocket the difference. I actually do that right now, except that my grants and scholarships only amount to tuition, so the money I pocket to live off of is actually student loan (Which is a strong motivation for me to live as cheaply as possible and give what's left back. I guess technically that means that my college education is free, but my living expenses, unforatunely, are not).
The "Personal & Miscellaneous" category looks to be the stipend that so many people are asking for.
All of their flights are paid for to games and back, as well as the plush hotel rooms they get to stay in. Their meal plans are paid for, and at most schools, they eat at their an athlete only cafeteria where their meals are predetermined to fit their diet. And at some schools, they have athletic dorms, and those dorms are more like an upper-class condominium.
Also, I knew a person on the Notre Dame swim team, and they took a team vacation to Hawaii and trained in Hawaii for two weeks. The entire thing was paid for by the University.
The school paying for flights is just normal. It's not a perk. The same with hotel rooms; a hotel room is actually less comfortable than being in your own home for most people. I would rather spend an evening in my apartment and sleep in my own bed than spend an evening on an airplane and sleep in some hotel, so they aren't even being compensated for the full loss from having to travel.
Meal plans are definitely a perk, but there are reasons that most people don't stay with the University cafeterias for four years, and it's not just the matter of location.
Athletic dorms would be a perk. If they get lodging better than the average student, then that should be considered.
The Hawaii perk is nice, but I doubt that's anywhere near routine. Hawaii doesn't play that many teams each year, and the time zone excuse isn't nearly as good for even the West Coast.
They get a free education, plus free room and board. Granted, that's way more than most students get. But there is a catch:
Football and basketball players can't hold paying jobs (due to the NCAA's fear of payola). Much of the summer is devoted to football. These players tend to come from modest backgrounds. They don't have the opportunity to earn basic pocket-money during the school year. That's why they end up selling jerseys, etc. They need money to spend on the things students normally spend money on: clothes, dates, music, beer, etc.
I see no reason why they shouldn't receive a modest stipend -- say, $250 a month or somesuch. Maybe that would take away the temptation for many players.
I believe they can hold jobs during the off seasons (that was changed within the past ten years), but the reality is, most of them don't have a ton of time. In fact for most college athletes, their sport is their job.
per year with books and meals and all. I know 25-yr olds that have 80-110K in debt from going to college that they are paying through the nose for every month.
They athletes have no idea how good they have it. Now I realize that less than 1% of all college athletes make a living playing their sport, but paying student athletes is a horrible idea.
If you pay them 50, 100, 150 a month, then what happens next year, or the year after that? The $$ will rise and before long it's the true minor leagues and these kids are getting a salary to go to college.
that immediately thought of SMU after read that?
The education and room/board money has already been discussed. The 'stipend' that some of you are mentioning is just one area that would be ripe for abuse.
Looking in from the outside, there has been millions of student-athletes who have gone through college receiving the scholarship and have not felt it necessary to go beyond the rules to make it through 4/5 years at a school. As well, I'd rather the athlete spend his time concentrating on his studies and then his sport, instead of worrying about the 'bling".
And soon they would have a union and agents and a guaranteed 4-year contract after high school.
There is never enough for those driven by greed.
Look at major league sports where some players, ( players, mind you ) feel underpaid at millions of dollars a season.
It would be a slippery slope.
Only a few schools could realistically afford to pay their athletes. How would a team like Eastern Michigan deal with this kind of stuff? Unless you want to go back to the days where there are only 4 or 5 never-changing elite football programs, you can't pay the athletes.
Why would a stipend be "ripe for abuse"? It's a small, set amount. It can be used for whatever.
.......about schools being able to afford the extra dough. And, are you gonna pay all scholarship athletes at the schools? Title IX would have something to say about it.
College athletes (in most of the big sports at least) get free tuition and a stipend to pay off expenses. They don't need cash. I know they don't really have time for jobs, but it's not that hard to get a Bridge card (or equivalent in other states). I know plenty of college students that have obtained them even though they're not really "in need". If you pay the football players, you've got to pay the rest of the athletes. That's alot of money and it's hard enough as it is for an athletic department to be self-sustaining.
I know the university makes a ton of money off these football and basketball players. However, most of that money is reinsterted into the system - facilites, coaches, travel, equipment, etc. Athletic Departments make money, but they also redistribute it better than say, an owner of a pro team.
IMHO you cannot pay football players without paying all other athletes. To be fair, and keep recruiting fair, the pay would have to be the same at all schools, and all sports. I am not sure that there are many schools that can afford that. Even if you give them a small fee of say $200 per month times 85 players on the FB team, that is $17,000 per month. Not sure how many scholarship kids are on the basketball teams but I would tend to think around 14 or so. Then enter in the 25 or so on the baseball and softball teams, now go to volleyball, gymnastics, and all of the other sports and you are talking about a pretty healthy chunk of cash to hand out every month. How about the band, I am sure the university gets a small royalty when their fight song is downloaded to a computer or a cell phone. How about Med students. There is a lot of research being done by med students that are paying their way through school. The school is being paid for their work, why shouldn't their efforts be rewarded. Let's not lose sight of the fact that the education these kids are recieving cannot be taken away from them by anyone. If they do it right they can write their own ticket as can any other student in college.
1. Athletes are supposed to follow the rules they agree to when they sign their schollies. As long as those rules are in place, I do not condone athletes recieving illegal benefits.
2. That being said, I think the rules are grossly unfair and unneeded. I think they should throw out 99 percent of the NCAA rulebook and allow athletes to get their money and benefits any way they can. The "rich get richer" argument is moot, because the rich already get richer. Making it legal would actually be an equalizer for schools that follow the rules but have to compete with the OSU's, SEC's, and USC's of the world.
For those who contend that "athletes get a free education and that should be enough," I say let the market determine what is "enough."
So, let Joe Cashwad who owns ten auto dealerships pay as many players as he wants to. Let places that want to give free food, goods, or entertainment to players do it. And if a school really wants to open the "can of worms" that an employer/employee relationship would open, let schools pay the athletes, too.
The athletes deserve a piece of the pie. However, most civilization is built on an agreement to obey the law (or customs if the society is primitive) and consequences for those who don't. So, until the rules are changed, athletes should not accept illegal benefits, even if they do deserve them.
Sometimes, life isn't fair, but ethical behavior is still preferred.
I disagree with allowing the market to determine the values. At that point, I think you have entirely removed the student part of being a student-athlete. If we are going in this direction, then I think college athletics should be ended and a true minor league system setup.
I know this won't happen.
But you want to open up the wild west of recruiting and retaining athletes. And you want programs to have an equalizer with programs that cheat, after all your railing on OSU and MSU? Not sure how you can promote that and still call yourself a Michigan fan.
They are getting a free education, among other things. That itself is a nice payment.
It would take away the reason I like college football more than the NFL. NNNNNNNOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!
they're making it work..
Ask Pryor and Newton.
I think there a couple of factors that student athletes face, particularly those that wouldn't normally be able to afford a college education without an athletic scholarship, that do warrant some sort of additional compensation, not necessarily in the form of a monetary stipend.
1. Student Athletes have additional demands on their time that are not present for the normal college student.
2. I believe, colleges have the ability to revoke scholarships on a year-by-year basis
3. Because student athletes have additional demands on their time (ie Training, Practice, Film Study, etc...) that are related to their sport it impacts their ability to choose a major that could maximize their future income potential so they can dedicate the time to their sport.
Things that could remedy the situation:
1. Restructure the way athletic scholarships are administered. I don't really have a clear strategy on how this should be handled, but something needs to be done about coaches that cut upper-classmen to sign under-classmen (looking at you SEC).
2. Defer some sort of compensation in the form of a 529 account so that athletes have an opportunity to continue different areas of study in areas they may not have been able to do while they were competing after their athletic eligibility is up.
I don't think the focus of the NCAA should be on making allowances so that an athlete can go on an extra date here or there, or go to a movie, but should be about providing an education that may or may not have been attainable for a person due to their extraordinary athletic ability and ability to represent a give university/college well.
If a college athlete can't understand the future earnings potential of a college degree in a marketable skill and the odds that are stacked against success in sport at any professional level, that is on them and their support system (family, friends, teachers, etc...).
I think every college student should be paid a stipend of $500/week, as long as they can keep up a 2.0
If they can find a job that will pay them $500 a week (plus housing, meals, tuition, trips, etc), I say they take it. Have you even thought how many jobs don't pay that much??
The Hazards of Football. Watch this clip of Jahvid Best. Gymnastics, basketball, volleyball, baseball, track and field don't have the hazards that football does.
Eliminate participation from Nefarious entities. No one likes unscrupulous sports agents and recruiting handlers from being involved in the process. Paying the players somethingwould address the vast majority of the amateurism issues we see.
Re: education == enough compensation. Scholarships are not guaranteed for four years so, athletes are not guaranteed an education.
The Harbaugh criticism. The degrees that most of these guys are being steered toward are not pre-med, pre-law, business, engineering, education (ever seen a football player student teach), and so on.
Re: NCAA's tax-exempt status. Who cares if the NCAA has to pay taxes? Not me.
Re: Not all programs can afford it. Again, who cares? Even within the FBS division there are two classes of programs (AQ conferences and non-AQ conferences). All of the AQ programs can afford to pay their players, say, $2500/season.
Re: what about the non-revenue sports? [Screw] 'em, for two reasons. First, they have no claim to profit sharing, they're a financial burden. Second, in the United States you can be a professional athlete in baseball, hockey, tennis, golf, down-hill skiing, free-style snow boarding, and on and on and on, straight out of high school. Football and Basketball are uniquely excluded from this group... why? I have theories that are unpleasant, so I'll bite my tongue.
The top-20 most profitable programs average $35M/yr... profit. There are approximately 72 teams in the AQ conferences (6 x 12-ish), drop the average profit down to $15M and you have $1B+ in cold hard tax-exempt cash being generated by football players. So, instead of breaking 'em off a piece we vilify them for getting a tattoo and selling THEIR OWN PROPERTY. Yep, that makes sense.
If you pay someone something, people will still want MORE and go where they get paid more than the other guy. Stipends fix nothing in that regard.
As for screw the other sports...tell that to the Federal Government, and Title IV. Get the law changed, and then this opinion has any value whatsoever (Good luck!)
As for why those sports have people go to college, it's because the industry (owners and players) have determined college seasoning is necessary to play on their level. There still hasn't been a high school football player (your main concern) ready to play in the pros. And while there has been the rare basketball talent that has shown can make the leap, the League has decided that their level of play was hurt by it that they wanted to see more before they took risks on everyone else. And for those that don't like it, there is a minor league, or Europe, and the leap can be made from there (while getting paid). Setting standards to join an industry isn't just sports. Go out and pass the bar, and see if they let you practice law without a degree. Or try doing surgery on someone without going to medical school.
Is it a sweet deal for those two Leagues that they don't have to pay for their farm system? Sure. It's also a sweet deal for the players that get more in compensation than the vast majority of minor league contracts, travel in style rather than a bus, have their work time regulated, and get adulation rather than anonymity in some nowhere town. And oh, if they wash out of this minor league they can get a free education rather than working at a gas station for the rest of their life.
There will always be assholes but, I will have less sympathy for "rule breakers" when there is a reasonable profit sharing system in place. Right now the answer is, in essence, "no because it'd be hard to figure out."
Re: Title IX. This is a straw-man argument. I didn't say pull their scholly's, I said they have no claim to profit sharing. I'm right about that. If you'd like to argue that so-called non-revenue sports have a claim to profit sharing, I'm game.
Re: industry standards. Agreed. The gripe is that other athletes have an opportunity capitalize on their abilities even on semi-pro levels whereas basketball and football players are not. Your answer is (for basketball) if you don't like it, get out of the country. OK; I disagree and think that's BS, but I'll move on because it's an opinion based argument. Football players have no such alternative. Hence my opinion that football players (due to the levels of profit they generate) deserve cash money and no one else.
Re: free education. I've already addressed this. Until players are guaranteed 4-year shcolarships, they aren't guanateed an education. Also, I'd argue that general studies degree does not constitute an education in the vast majority of athletes cases.
Title IX isn't a straw man argument. It's a very real and concrete barrier to paying players for their "value." It makes no allowances for the revenue that football brings in and counts every dollar spent on football the same as a dollar spent on women's rowing. Therefore it would obviously do the same for every dollar spent on paying a football player.
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance...
Title IX does not belong in this discussion. Paying football players is borne out of the fact that money is being made off of them in ways and quantities that other sports are incapable of generating. There's no discrimination here.
Also, I'm not sure, but I don't think Title IX is a dollar for dollar thing. My understanding is that compliance means scholarship for scholarship, I could be mistaken though. There is no-way that the collective budgets for womens sports programs offset the collective budgets of men's sports. Hell, take all non-football sports combined and I'd wager that they don't offset what is spent on football...
Football programs are self-supporting entities that make is possible for the other sports to exist at all... they should be exempt from Title IX given this very real fact.
Just sat I agree with a lot of your points (4 year scholarships), and that yes, I would be behind football being exempt as the bread-winner. But the liklihood of that is pretty nil.
MCaliber, so many of your points are flawed.
Are scholarships guaranteed for 4 years by NCAA? No. But almost every school has their own policy in which they are guaranteed.
Mark Moundros is in the school of Ed and students teaches. FWIW.
The degrees you talk about are not worthless. Many non-athletes earn them. An education is an education. Given what I ended up doing, I could have got one of these "worthless" degrees and it would have made no difference on my life.
You do care if the NCAA has to play taxes. Say goodbye to bowls, tournaments, etc if the NCAA has to pay taxes. They're the ones footing the bills for all these events.
Who cares is schools can afford it? Um, you realize that the schools that can afford it are probably less than 10, right? Few AD run in the black as it is. You add something like that and teams start dropping like flies - and not just EMUs. Then (seriously) who do we schedule to come in so we can fill our stadium and make football profitable? Fewer teams means home games become even more valuable and more of a commodity.
The fact that you say "screw non-revenue sports" says all I need to know about you as a sports fan. If I had to choose between football and all the other non-revenue sports, I'll take the rest.
The NCAA's policy is that 4-year scholarships are against the rules. That's the point, it can't be refuted.
There are always exceptions to examples. I new engineering majors in the football program when I was in school. A huge portion of football players are in general degree programs.
General degree programs are fine, but you have to know what you're doing and have very specific and articulated educational goals in mind. I will leave the "...education is education..." point alone except to say that I disagree.
The NCAA does not run bowl games. The NCAA does not run a football tournament. Bear in mind that I'm talking specifically about football here. Even if taxed the NCAA's ability to administer tournaments would not be impaired.
FOOTBALL PROGRAMS ARE PROFITABLE. Your point at athletic departments have fiscal problems is indicative of many things, among them, that they probably participate in too many sports. Who would we schedule? How 'bout other BCS programs.
Yes, I only really like football and basketball during March madness; Tar and feather me. I give a fuck if you respect me "as a sports fan." Having said that, I only said that non-revenue sports have no legitimate claim to profit sharing.
Good on you if you like rowing and men's gymnastics, it is a free country.
I'll leave all but two of your other points alone since they are pretty debatable. And if you only care about football and basketball post-season, then you're seriously missing out on world class athletics, including hockey, volleyball, baseball, and yes rowing and gymnastics. That's fine, but it makes you pretty biased in this whole discussion.
Yes, NCAA prohibits 4 year scholarships. Most (unless you're in the SEC) schools operate under the practice that if you come to the school on a full ride you get that scholarship for four years. Case in point: Ben Cronin.
Who would we schedule? How 'bout other BCS programs.
How's that going now? It's a fricken Christmas miracle when one BCS school schedules another for a home and home. Why? Because it's more profitable for us to have EMU come in for two games than it is to have Georgia come in for one.
I don't understand how my not liking wrestling makes my opinion skewed, but whatever.
Here's the thing about Ben Cronin, Michigan isn't allowed to overtly advertise how it will honor its commitment to him. The NCAA says doing so is against the rules. So, until such a time that the NCAA says that every recruit that signs an LOI is guaranteed a four-year scholarship (unless they get expelled from school), don't talk to me about how an education is enough compensation. A one-year scholarship does not equal an education...I really don't know how else to explain this.
The comment you quoted was in response to you concern about who would be scheduled if we couldn't schedule cupcakes. No cupcakes means more home and homes which means what, 1 maybe 2 less home games a year. Oh, woe is Michigan Football. Instead of $35M in profit they'll only make $30M. How ever will the team survive? Gimme a break.
In fact I haven't said anything about forbidding small fish to exist. There's already a de-facto ruling class (AQ conferences) and a sub-class (non-AQ conferences) with D1A football. The AQ schools would be allowed to pay their players because they can afford it, the non-AQ schools would not because they can not. Non-AQ schools still exist and are still available to be scheduled as tomato cans... nothing needs to change there.
Yes, I've just created another division. That's probably appropriate because we already think of MAC, WAC, Sun Belt, Conference USA, MWC, and so on as not really being D1A anyway. I've just come right out and said it.
It only discusses revenue. I can bring in millions and millions of dollars, but how much does it cost to run a major football program like Texas.
Consider the costs to maintain a football facility, to constantly upgrade your existing facilities year after year after year. How much does it cost to outfit 85 scholarship players for an entire season. This includes jerseys, helmets, pads, etc. Also, consider the laundry fees for that alone, the salaries of the equipment staff, etc.
Then we start getting to travel. Do you think travel is cheap? That can be quite expensive. Lets also consider the UConn situation where they school buys tickets to the bowl game and is responsible for selling them. That gets expensive. Oh yeah, and that marching band - how does someone pay for their travel for football contests?
Then lets talk about medical costs. Yep, the doctors and hospitals are NOT working for free. Insurance companies are not for free. The average MRI costs $1250 or so (not that I've had many the past few years). Think about every injury, every knick, scratch and ding that someone is evaluating. Do you think those knee braces are free? I've rarely heard about the medical costs for athletics alone, but at 85 scholarship kids and more not on scholarship, those costs add up very quickly. And we all know the rising costs of medical care. And again, they don't get this stuff for free! Profits are either non-profits that have balanced budgets or operate for profit.
Oh, coaches salaries. Think about the Michigan coaching staff. How much does Rich Rod make a year. I'm being lazy and not looking up the exact costs, but they are quite high. At a major program, you probably have at least one coach making over a million, and then depending on the school, some assistant coaches making serious six figures (especially like a former coach in waiting at Texas). That also should include strength and conditioning staff, support staff, NCAA compliance staff, much of which is focused on football and basketball.
Again, a good read for Intercollegiate athletics and the costs to run a program is detailed in a book by former UofM president James Duderstadt. Oh ... that's right, forgot one more thing - ATHLETIC SCHOLARSHIPS! Yes, that costs the athletic department money too. At Michigan, it is the cost of an entire OUT-OF-STATE TUITION, for each athlete (85 each year or so), for four years. It's also the out of state tuition fee, even for instate athletes. Duderstadt makes a strong point of this when calling out another Big Ten school which I believe was Wisconsin in it's creative accounting by not including this in their expenses).
Finally, why does the athletic department always seem to reach out to alumni when they need to build something new? Why naming rights to various parts of the stadium. dontations speak to how profitable the athletics really are.
BTW - I know your theories about the non-revenue sports (NO - IT"S NOT RACISM), but those sports actually contribute to the mission of intercollegiate athletics far more than football and basketball too often only serve as a means of entertainment. DISCLOSURE: I did compete briefly at Michigan in a non-revenue sport, and have many friends who compete in non-revenue athletics and work just as hard as football and basketball players (and can suffer very debilitating injuries as a result) and they only get scholarships from the U as well.
If the athlete would not have been able to pay for school before awarded an athletic scholarship then that scholarship athlete should get some sort of extra living stipend.
Why? Nobody is forcing that person to go to school. If they decide they need to spend money outside of tuition, room, board, etc then they have two options:
Save up their summer job money to use as spending money.
Don't go to school and get a job.
Nobody is forcing these student-athletes to compete. They know what they're getting into. If Terrelle Pryor decides he just can't live without his tatts, then maybe he should get a job and pay for them legally.
I'm getting so far from the idea of paying athletes, I think if they're in non-revenue bringing sports they should fundraise to sustain their sport like we did in high school.
At least have to go and sell some sweet U of M [their sport] shirts.
If you start paying student athletes, say goodbye to funding for non-revenue sports.
Most of the FBS schools would collapse under a system that paid players anything of value.
The free market has failed... bummer?
No they all get free educations. Last I checked those college diploma things were expensive. The rest of us pay for them. They should all stop whining and selling jerseys.
You know what I am for? How many student athletes use colleges to get into the NFL, NBA etc..... How about we guarantee them 4-5 yrs of a damn good education. Make them sign an agreement as long as they can keep their noses clean and they get a degree. Quit doing this year to year scholarship crap and make them sign a commitment. If they chose to leave early for the NBA or NFL they are required to pay back in full their scholarship. Those who want to go pro know their option and it will make a kid think twice about leaving early to be a 5th round pick.
I know Plaschke gets a lot of hate, but this in my opinion is a great article about why colleges should'nt pay players
"Colleges should not play players. Colleges cannot pay players. To do so would hurt the very athletes supposedly being helped, devaluing intercollegiate sports until they're not worth the paper that a freshman linebacker's contract is printed upon.
With coaches making millions while players can barely afford dinner, is this fair? No. With universities building libraries on the spines of their studs, is this just? Absolutely not.
But the beauty of college athletics lies directly in this paradox, a nation drawn to the idea of professional games played by amateurs, millions cheering for superstars in letter sweaters, inspiration bathed in innocence.
If you pay the players, that aura is gone, and with it, a sports experience that is singularly passionate and uniquely American.
"Rationally, it would make sense to pay college athletes," said Dr. Murray Sperber. "But college athletics is one of the most irrational parts of American life.""
Maybe i am continually missing something, but regarding affording meals, don't most revenue sport athletes have access to a training table on a regular basis for their meals. I remember there being a special dining hall in South Quad specifically for varsity athletes (ie. football players).
In addition, wouldn't their scholarship cover a meal plan at the dorms? I thought most room and board parts of tuition covered at least one of the meal plans at a dorm. I'm sure Michigan isn't that different from other schools. So I guess I never understood the I can't afford food argument.
Maybe i am continually missing something, but regarding affording meals, don't most revenue sport athletes have access to a training table on a regular basis for their meals. I remember there being a special dining hall in South Quad specifically for varsity athletes (ie. football players).
In addition, wouldn't their scholarship cover a meal plan at the dorms? I thought most room and board parts of tuition covered at least one of the meal plans at a dorm. I'm sure Michigan isn't that different from other schools. So I guess I never understood the I can't afford food argument.
A big argument against paying athletes seems to be about the difficulty of finding the perfect system, but right now the big football programs bring in millions in revenue and the people most responsible for that make $40,000-$50,000 tops. There's something morally unfair about that. I think we do need to find a way to pay the players. I don't see a way to do it through the schools without completely altering college sports, but I don't see the harm in letting them get a cut of jersey sales or giving them get some of the money for EA sports using their image. Hell, it wouldn't even bother me if agents were allowed to sign players in college and guarantee them an income in that time until they turn pro in return for their services.
The current system seems like a fluke. College sports started out as another extracurricular activity and some of them became giant revenue streams. Any system that pays its most valuable workers so little and makes that much money is exploitive. So, I don't know what the perfect system is, but the current one is bullshit.
but right now the big football programs bring in millions in revenue and the people most responsible for that make $40,000-$50,000 tops. There's something morally unfair about that.
This is very misleading. You make it sound like the athletic departments are making these obscene profits and rolling in Scrooge McDuck sized piles of money. Those "millions" are reinvested in the facilities that the athletes use and the scholarships given to those athletes. The "cut of royalties" doesn't just come from a magic well, it will have to come out of something else that the programs spend money on.
So what would that be? Volleyball scholarships? Swimming pool maintenance? Those giant revenue streams don't pay for palaces for CEOs or stock dividends, they get reinvested in other athletes. Come back and tell me how bullshit the system is when a few star quarterbacks and wide receivers get paid a kazillion dollars, and wrestlers and soccer players lose their scholarships because of it, and schools that can't keep up drop their football programs so fewer athletes in general get those opportunities. And by all means also complain when ticket prices double and triple and only the richest people can go to the games, so that everyone's favorite school can keep up in the arms race, because now the best players go to the highest bidder.
I don't care if they use the revenue to pay for other programs that they use to entice students to the university. The football players still create significantly more revenue for the school than they bring in and whether or not that money is used for altruistic reasons there is something unfair about that to me.
If the result of this means we lose smaller sports, that's something I can deal with. Let's say Denard brought in $100,000 last year for the athletic department. Personally I don't see how it's more fair to give him $50,000 of it and then use the rest to give someone else a scholarship than to just let him get the money he created. There's no objective definition of fairness, so we can argue about this forever, but in my opinion letting the player get the money he created is better.
And this won't cause ticket prices to go up. The entire "higher player salaries lead to higher ticket prices" argument has the causation backwards. Ticket prices have gone up because of increased demand and that extra revenue drives the higher player salaries.
Most schools struggle to make a profit so how would they afford to pay players? What if a player doesn't get paid enough and goes on strike?
Collegiate players play for the love of the game, not for contracts or monetary deals.
They do get paid. It just isn't in the form of a paycheck.
People who argue that the universities are making millions off these athletes are missing the actual relationship here. Those millions go to stadium improvements, better equipment, better coaches, more wins, and thus more exposure. Big moneyed programs get seen and that's what players want. It's a reciprocal relationship, and players benefit from all that money, too.
The fact that we can't just say they get an education, all expenses paid, and that's enough really devalues education, IMO.
Agree with your basic notion that there is some form of reciprocal exchange here but respectfully feel that much more can be done.
No except the most delusional believe any top athlete being recruited to play for a D1 school does not have serious thoughts about a possible pro career. The current rules are suppose to prevent a mercenary class of "student" players who would jump from school to school looking for a bigger paycheck. IIRC these sort of rules date back to the 1920's when college football first became big. (Hard to believe but once 80,000 turned out to watch Red Grange play and the game sometimes was only 6-0). Right now the college leagues in football, basketball and to much lesser degree baseball act as minor league system for the pro league. We have the ills and not of the benefits of an academic environment. So what can be done?
1. Acknowledge that the top recruits want to see if they can go pro.
2. Give those athletes a true athletic scholarship, like a dramatic arts, fine arts, or performance music scholarship.
3. Create a true program of study for "performance athletics" - with year round physical training in general, sport specific training, a thorough set of real classes about the nature of sport in the USA. Make it a point to develop the athletic potential of these kids.
4. A curriculum based about the nature of sport sounds hokey but consider that spectator sports (and not participatory sport) has become a major social, cultural and economic factor in American civilization. We speak of a "level playing field", "three strikes you're out laws", "judiciary acting as an umpire and not as a player", "free agent", a political "ground game", etc. The graduates would be expected to know about their specific sport in depth, sport in general and know also aspects of nutrition, basic physiology, and most of all the economics and politics of sport. Sounds hard to believe to some, but go look at the course catalog of any school offering a BA in Fine Arts, or Dramatic Arts, Dance or Music and there are plenty of theory and practice classes. Musicians, actors and artists have lives as difficult as any athlete and their careers are often just as short and uneven.
5. All candidates have to audition and are subject to review each year. Those who can't progress or can't continue are advised to look at another concentration. Not everyone admitted to the Music school hacks it as a performer - some transition over to teaching and other aspects of music. The rate of progress and success of a program would be easier to mention and indisputable - just look at the rosters of the pro leagues. Where do the players come from would make that quite clear.
6. The coaching staff can bring in top professionals all year round to evaluate and give counsel. There is no restriction on access. We won't see the odd situation of a 3 or 4 year starter in college not being able to read a defense, or have strange mechanics. Good training will attract the players with the best potential. The top companies come on campuse to recruit and most schools bend over backwards to have them visit their classes and talk with their students. Would any computer science/computer engineering school prevent recruiters from Intel, Apple, Microsoft, Siemens, etc. from hanging around?
7. Any one can try out for the team - in fact like the orchestras and bands, most of the team will be non-performance athletics students, but the real stars of the teams will probably be these performance athletics kids.
8. Kids are free to turn pro any time, but once they take pro money their eligibility to play in the college leagues is over and done.
9. Admittedly such a system will probably lead to the demise of most dynasties - the top players may only stay on for 2-3 years, a few for the full 4 years but it would stop the whole shamateurism hypocrisy. An open policy will drive the shady boosters, "friends" and other hangers-on into the light and a lot of their crap will be exstinguished. We won't see scores of kids being strung along with pipe dreams of turning pro when they are just roster fodder.
10. I know this is a tough sell for those who still hold physical activities as being something which is not academic or scholarly. But if the university consortiums can certify degrees in music, dance, and art, why not performance athletics?
Great comparison and very good ideas. These deal with the realities and also maintain the principles of higher education.
Create a [Football] major in the School of Kinesiology with a curriculum as you describe. I have absolutely no beef with it. Moreover, it would be practically marketable. I think WVU has a Master's Degree program in Athletic Coaching. Why can't there be an undergraduate degree in coaching? Those are real jobs
How many Middle School, High School, College and Professional football coaching jobs are there in this country? Yet we have no FORMAL education programs to cultivate those skills. How many athletes would be better off having a degree like that versus on non-specific general studies degree?
Anyone who is interested can get the degree--Mike Hart, Nick Sheridan, Brian Cook...pony up the tuition and all aboard!
Nah, we just can't have something like that. Logical solutions aren't wanted 'round these parts (NCAA land).
If only there were organized leagues were athletes could be payed millions of dollars a year to play.
have the world by the ass. In more way than one. If they aren't able to make it to the next level (whether it be the NFL, NBA, or what have you), then you were just at a top flight university (for arguments, some schools are less so) free of charge. They don't pay any tuition; for their books; for food; for room and board. Hell, they're given money for that which they can spend on cheaper housing themselves. Giving them the chance to pocket the difference. So if a few players get a place together, they're able to keep a considerable portion of that money. They have so many advantages that it's not even funny. So any players that aren't able to get ahead one way or the other without "cheating" has only themselves to blame.
if you are on "full ride" ie everything is paid for, you get a monthly check for about $1000 (monthly room and board allowance) to pay bills and rent, that you can spend as little or as much as you want. I know some of the players live wayyy off campus pay 300$ a month in rent and bills and pocket a good chunk of whats left. 100% legally.
Joe Paterno has said for years that players should get paid. I tend to agree, and what happened yesterday has nothing to do with my reasoning.
Personally, I don't think a college education is necessarily a fair exchange when you factor in the long term effects of football. We're seeing all sorts of research about the long term effects of even minor concussions. Linemen are likely to have significant joint problems-both knees and hands. Running backs and wide receivers tend to have all sorts of long term health issues because of the sheer number of hits they take.
Look at Chris Henry's brain. An autopsy found many of the same types of damage as are found in Alzheimer's victims. He'd never been diagnosed with a concussion, and it wasn't solely because of the NFL. "It is the constant thumping of the helmet and the brain inside the skull that causes long-term harm. The scientists found in Henry's tissue "chronic changes that have been there for several years," Bailes said. "And these are not all NFL-caused," meaning they stem from youth, high school and college football, as well."
That's not even considering the chance of a catastrophic injury like what happened to Tyson Gentry, Taliaferro or LeGrand. At some schools *cough*SEC*cough* a career ending injury can kill any chance a player has at making a decent living because they're told to ignore academics in favor of athletics. That's shitty for many reasons, but until half the SEC schools get the death penalty, it'll keep happening.
There are a lot of long-term hidden costs to playing football at the college level. It's true that they get a free college education, but when there's a good chance they'll be so brain damaged that they won't be able to use that college education, is that a fair trade?
I'm not sure if this perspective has been mentioned in the previous 166 comments, but as a former graduate student I think student athletes should be paid. I see a lot of parallels between grad students and student athletes, particularly in the revenue sports. I was given tuition and a stipend to be a research assistant. In other words, I went to school for free and was paid a salary to promote the University by writing papers with the University's name on it. The University profited directly from grants that I worked for my advisors and indirectly from the small amount of fame brought from recognition of my work. In a certain sense, student athletes provide a similar benefit to the University and it seems like they should be compensated in a similar manner. I haven't thought through the exact implementation, and I'm sure it would have to be carefully crafted to avoid abuse, but from the viewpoint of a graduate student, I can't justify not paying them.