The National Collegiate Temperance Union

Submitted by Brian on December 2nd, 2011 at 12:49 PM


A few days ago, occasional MGoGuestPoster Jon Chait marked the start of the offseason by posting something at NY Magazine about whether or not players should be paid. In a week or so we'll get the annual flood of playoff proposals, all of which are better than the current system, none of which are better than mine. (There is also a long post answering Joe Posnanski's playoff objections.) It is in these ways that we brace for the long, football-free summer.

So let's argue about paying players. Chait makes a few arguments that I agree with: that the "man in the top hat and monocle" who's cackling evilly as he exploits revenue athletes is the nonrevenue section of the department, that the ever-more lavish facilities and resources devoted to revenue athletes are a form of compensation*, that Jerry Sandusky doesn't have anything to do with anything, that the massive Atlantic article that had the bad form to be released during football season is a litany of complaints without solutions.

But I don't buy the idea that it's impossible to answer this question:

This basic conceptual problem casts light on the practical problem: Which athletes deserve to get paid?

This is what markets are for. Chait acknowledges this but says…

Such reasoning is sensible if you regard the ability to produce market value as the sole arbiter of social value. But it’s a strange credo for a reform movement putatively concerned with protecting young people from exploitation. And it bears little relation to reality: Go ask a female basketball player if she’s exploiting her male counterparts, or ask a quarterback if he is being economically victimized by the volleyball team.

Since I'm not a member of this reform movement I can say this argument is a little silly. I'm guessing that quarterback might say yes; ask him about his millionaire coaches and you'll get more affirmatives. He dismisses arguments about low-income athletes by saying the NCAA "unfairly ignore[d]" non-athletes when they voted that cost of attendance increase and that the problem here is that revenue athletes are not getting college degrees.

And like the Atlantic article, Chait weakens his case when he gets down to solutions, which are pitched at the degree problem. He provides three:

…one obvious reform is to make all freshmen ineligible for athletics, as they were until three decades ago.

While this is feasible it is unlikely to make a huge difference in outcomes.

A second, related reform would be to guarantee five years of free-ride tuition to every scholarship athlete who maintains a clean record – the automatic red-shirt season plus four more years of eligibility.

Thumbs up. This is something I've been advocating forever and would be an improvement. If you want to cut a kid, fine. He remains on scholarship.

The explosion in college coaching pay reflects both market competition and a simple desire by schools to use an astronomical salary to signal their coach’s excellence. So why not phase in a cap on coaches’ pay?

Because the NCAA already tried to do this and lost a lawsuit.

Taken together, those reforms don't really do anything. Oversigning gets less odious. This does not stop tediously enormous Atlantic articles from being published because "not getting degrees" is not the issue. The issue is select administrators getting rich while other, poorer people beat their brains out. In such an environment, trips to Miami and free tattoos and loaner cars are inevitable. Fixing that is the real issue.

*[It's worth pointing out that colleges do not have the option to extort local governments for facilities.]

Fixing Everything Forever

Operative theory: the NCAA's prohibition on taking money from everyone is working as well as Prohibition. The following randomly selected picture has nothing to do with this argument.


Right now the NCAA stance in re: professional athletics is to stick its fingers in its ears and go "LA LA LA LA." Enter a draft voluntarily and your eligibility is gone. Sign something binding you to an agent—even without financial compensation—and your eligibility is gone. Get sponsored by something and your eligibility is gone even if you're an Olympic athlete like Jeremy Bloom and you're playing an entirely different sport at an amateur level.

This does not stop the money flowing into the system, it just pushes it underground where no one can control it and it unbalances the playing fields. Steps to fix this:

1. Allow players to sign with agents, and get paid by them. Several restrictions apply. Agents must be registered with both the NCAA and the professional league in question and have clients from a variety of schools. The league in question must project the player as a draftable prospect. And there should be a cap on how much any individual can get paid. The agent system should be phased in gradually and carefully examined for abuse and unintended consequences.

This does a ton of things simultaneously. It lessens the hypocrisy of the system by allowing people who want to pay the kids to do so. It gives the NCAA leverage over a class of people who are banned outright—and therefore uncontrollable—now. It removes the agents' incentive to get kids out of school so they can enter a formal contractual relationship. It removes a big chunk of NCAA regulations, allowing the organization to focus on a smaller list of problems. It levels the playing field and removes a whole host of bad PR. It does not impact the schools' bottom lines.

2. Allow players who enter a draft to retain their eligibility. Hockey players all get drafted at 18 whether they want to or not. They can then play in the NCAA. This has not imploded college hockey. But if a basketball player puts his name in the draft he  has to withdraw it ever-sooner if he wants to retain his eligibility. Actually going through with the process terminates his college career no matter the outcome.

If a player enters a professional draft and the team who drafts him doesn't want him on the roster, it doesn't hurt to let the player in question go back to school and play. Every year there are players who enter drafts and are passed over entirely; if they've retained their academic eligibility they should be allowed back. Not doing so is punitive.

3. Drop the QB #16 fiction and acknowledge that players own their images. This is going to happen via lawsuit in the near future; when the NCAA gets its ass handed to it in court they can go one of two ways. They can either force EA to have random rosters or they can give the players a cut. They should do the latter.


The things that have put the NCAA under fire of late consist almost entirely of people outside the system trying to give revenue athletes money. The NCAA rejects this because they uphold the ideal of amateurism, which has as much relevance in 2011 as temperance unions.

What is the downside of acknowledging that players have market value and allowing them to realize some of that value? There doesn't seem to be any. If the NCAA ever derived positive PR from its stance that's dead and gone. Let the players have a taste of their labors.

BONUS: Braves and Birds responds to the same column.



December 2nd, 2011 at 12:59 PM ^

"Let the players have a taste of their labors."

They do, it's called the SEC. With all that happens down there I'm surprised that players actually go to other parts of the country.


December 2nd, 2011 at 1:04 PM ^

without getting somewhat political.  Chait's point is that college athletics aren't just about market forces and the bottom line.  That's why we have volleyball programs and wrestling programs and an array of non-revenue programs that are a massive drain on the University's pocketbook but are worth keeping around because we believe they add something to the social life of a university that is meaningful.  

You're kind of scoffing at the whole "amateurism" notion, but it means something.  This is one of the reasons, I think, that you hate John Calipari so much, because his entire modus operandi makes a mockery of the "college" part of college athletics that is still supposed to be doing work.  Why shouldn't college students get a percentage of the revenue they're generating?  Because this shit isn't just supposed to be about the money.  (it goes without saying, though, that a scholarship athlete should be getting a full-cost-of-attendance scholarship that doesn't leave them begging for food).  

Markets are (often) good at allocating resources to the most efficient user.  Coase theorem and all that, blah blah blah.  They're also fantastic at creating a world in which the amount of money coming in is the only relevant metric.  The day college sports turn into a sanctioned version of that is the day college sports lose a lot of what makes them different.  And you don't even totally disagree with this.  If you did, you wouldn't be proposing a cap on the amount an agent can play a player.  If this is all about markets and letting players capture the fruits of their labors, why are we only letting them capture a piece?  Why not all of it?  The only reason to impose a cap is if you think there's something problematic about college athletes being paid millions.  What is it?  


December 2nd, 2011 at 1:12 PM ^

"The day college sports turn into a sanctioned version of that is the day college sports lose a lot of what makes them different."

Then why did A&M and Missouri jump ship from the Big 12? Why did the B1G welcome Nebraska and the Fox TV $$ From the title game? It's already all about the money.


December 2nd, 2011 at 1:35 PM ^

But again, I'll point to conferece realignment as showing that it really IS all about the money for the Athletic Departments. Look at Kansas, one of the top BBall schools in the country. That's even a revenue generating sport. No one gave a damn because their football team won't help rake in money.

Your point about non-revenue sports is a really good one, but to me it's somewhat obvious that all the other sports don't matter nearly as much as the huge moneymaker that is football. Even with the sports themselves, people have asked if it makes competitive sense for A&M to go to the SEC in football, does anyone even care about the other sports? Does it matter? A&M will get more money, so everyone must go to the SEC!


December 2nd, 2011 at 2:00 PM ^

I don't even think we're really disagreeing about anything.  A point I would add, though, is that the money that A&M gets from the SEC will mostly go back into the school/athletic department (I don't know how A&M's athletic program is set up).  They're accumulating a lot of money, but (mostly) not to make people rich.  Instead, the money is mostly used to become a bigger, so to speak, program and/or school...In other words, the money is largley a means to the end of becoming an 800 lb gorilla, which is mostly about winning for winning's sake...That's how I think of it, anyway. 


December 2nd, 2011 at 2:06 PM ^

I just think that since there is money flooding the system, some of that should go to the players. Let's say this is Michigan's AD Breakdown (with made up numbers)


Total Revenue $50M

Scholarship Athletes: $12M

Facilities: $12M

Coaching Staff: $12M

AD/Support Staff: $12M

2011: (New B1G TV $$, added Lax, new coaches, etc.)

Total Revenue: $55M

Scholarship Athletes: $12M

Facilities: $14M

Coaching Staff: $14M

AD/Support Staff: $14M

Shouldn't the players get some of that new money too? Why does everyone else's share go up but theirs?


December 2nd, 2011 at 2:19 PM ^

I think it's ridiculous that the NCAA owns them for life.

Re: Giving surplus back to student athletes, someone below mentioned adding new varsity sports, and thus increasing the number of scholarships available. Money then does go back to "student athletes" the group (more on scholarship) but not to individual student athletes.


December 2nd, 2011 at 1:25 PM ^

The problem is that right now, college athletics is a free market for everyone EXCEPT the players, who are expected to be amateurs. The NCAA shouts "noble Scholar Athletes!" while simultaneously signing huge contracts with TV and merchandisers.

But I agree with one point you made - why cap the agent payments?


December 2nd, 2011 at 1:30 PM ^

The hypocrisy is a huge and legitimate problem.  I just don't see how the best solution is to abandon the amateurism idea for athletes too.  I'd rather deal with it by reining in or fixing the current problems with the NCAA.  

If we're going to decide that all of this is about the money and none of it involves the things college is supposed to be about, I don't see any reason for big time college sports to continue at universities.  At that point, we've strayed really, really, really far away from their mission. 


December 2nd, 2011 at 2:02 PM ^

Not saying I agree with the idea in the first place.  But why does any pro sport cap salaries?  Because otherwise they get out of control and teams start losing money.


Funny thing about sports and markets in general, they combine two "ultimate goals":

Markets = "maximize shareholder value"

Sports = "win at all costs"

Usually pursuing winning makes you the most money, but definitely not always (LA Clippers theory).  So how do you reconcile these two pursuits?


December 2nd, 2011 at 2:42 PM ^

but it's just as accurate, if not more so, to say that pro sports cap salaries because owners want a progressively larger slice of the pie, and a salary cap is one way to accomplish that.

Besides, higher spending does not necessarily lead directly to losing money: it isn't like each franchise has a fixed amount of income and thus spending more means making less. (In fact, in some cases, like MLB, the discrepancy in income is so large that the salary "cap" has a marginal effect on payroll. Teams that want to win spend anyway and just pay a luxury tax on top of their payroll.)

I'd also disagree that pursuing winning makes you the most money. According to Forbes, in 2010, the three clubs who posted a loss for that season (Mets, Red Sox, Tigers) were also among the six highest-spending clubs in baseball. What generally makes the most money is spending as little as possible and seeing what happens: if you're lucky, fans will come out anyway, and besides, ticket revenue continues to become less of a factor at the professional level. (Premium seating is another story, I think.) If you'e not lucky, then you can just meet with your fellow owners and see if you can get another lockout to lower salaries so you can make even more money.

There are obviously other factors that would come into play at the NCAA level, but keep in mind that some of the same rules apply: there are some schools willing to spend as much as they can raise to compete and others that will spend as little as they can manage, regardless of whether or not they can be truly competitive.


December 2nd, 2011 at 4:11 PM ^

Don' t the leagues with caps also have a minimum payroll requirement? So while to some degree it's a case of "owners want a bigger slice", it's equally true that "players want a bigger slice". The caps (and revenue sharing, and luxury taxes) are all various means of ensuring enough competitive balance to have a viable league.


December 2nd, 2011 at 1:31 PM ^

I agree with AAB.  And while I agree with Brian's suggestion concerning retaining eligibility, his suggestion concerning agents in college is just not feasible on many fronts.  The most obvious to me is:

"The league in question must project the player as a draftable prospect."

How in the world is the NFL going to project whether a high school senior is draftable? The NFL has enough of a hard time projecting college players for the draft.  Other than economics, I see no worse science than that.


December 2nd, 2011 at 1:59 PM ^

Ask our last couple of basketball guys who jumped into the draft how their projections went.  It'd be great if they didn't lose elligibility over that ("just" potential earnings), but I don't see how Leagues project that.  Sure, in baseball and hockey there are a couple of elite guys who bounce up to the top of the draft....but the rest is endless rounds of guys all basically the same put in minor leagues earning the same low scale....kinda like going to play for a college.

And I'm not sure agents (being the great people they are) getting in bidding wars over players is going to "fix" anything. Cap or no, if agents pay guys now when they're not supposed to give them ANYTHING, what is a cap going to do?


December 2nd, 2011 at 2:20 PM ^

While flawed, the recruiting services do a decent job of projecting, at least athletically, the players who have NFL potential. If a pro team doesn't want to take the chance on a high schooler, then don't. If a high schooler declares for the draft but doesn't get drafted, let him go to college. That is the brilliance of Brian's strategy. Its puts the pressure on NFL teams to scout well and choose wisely, not the student to guess whether or not an NFL team wants him.


December 2nd, 2011 at 2:56 PM ^

Why not put the risk on the agents? They sign a player to a contract, and if he busts, the agent is out his initial investment. If the player makes it big, the agent gets a ton of cash.

Distriubutes the risk and naturally sets an upper bound on player payments, since the risk of not making the big leagues would be factored in.

marco dane

December 2nd, 2011 at 1:10 PM ^

MoC13 was driving while attending tuos.  Chevy Tahoe or Suburan sitting on tweny inch dubs,quite impressive,to say the least.  TP stepped out in style with the vet tho...


December 2nd, 2011 at 1:10 PM ^

"It's worth pointing out that colleges do not have the option to extort local governments for facilities."

Somebody has never been to Minnesota.

Freshman ineligibility would only work in sports like football and basketball where the NCAA is the only option. It would have a pretty devastating effect on a sport like college hockey, or, I'm presuming baseball.



December 2nd, 2011 at 1:42 PM ^

I'd add that it's a terrible idea for any sport except head count sports. It would destroy hockey, baseball, softball, ect. because a lot of these athletes are paying a ton of money to go to school. For example, softball gets twelve scholarships for about eighteen spots. At Michigan, that's a descrepancy of nearly $9,800 per softball athlete, assuming they're all lower-division Michigan residents and Michigan's CoA is accurate.


December 2nd, 2011 at 2:22 PM ^

Just to clarify, is it a terrible idea economically because they'd presumably want a 5th year? I'm not sure, but I believe that most athletes only played 3 years back when freshmen were ineligible. If the norm was to play 3 years and graduate (made more possible by the ability to take a greater number of classes freshman year), it's no different than the current structure.

To know whether freshman ineligibility is a good idea, I'd want to see some numbers of athletes that become academically ineligible after their first and second semesters, versus the rest of their college careers and versus the broader student population. I would support it if the numbers showed a substantial "academic adjustment" problem among athletes in their first year. 



December 2nd, 2011 at 1:23 PM ^

A similar suggestion I read was to do a 1.5 per 1 rule. So if youre a scholarship football player for 4 years (8 semesters), you get 6 years (12 semesters) full ride. The money is all already within the AD, and it will give the overwhelming majority of athletes who don't go pro the chance to focus soley on academics (no season after their eligibility is up) and even possibly get advanced degrees.

Also Re: #2, The NBA used to be able to draft players who continued to play in college, even somewhat recently. See Bird, Larry. I don't know when this rule changed


December 2nd, 2011 at 1:21 PM ^

A couple items:

1. Cap the amount agents can pay their clients.  That sounds good theoritically, but doesn't it open the door for massive under the table payments by agents to players?  How do you control how much an agent pays the players parents?  'Hey player, I can only give you 1K a month but I'm going to give your parents 5K a month too.'  How do you police under the table payments to the player and his family?  It's pretty much the same situation we're in now except that a portion of that money would be legal.

2.  Draft status - what leagues does this fall under?  In basketball is that the nba only or does that include the nba developmental leagure, leagues overseas?  In football is that just the nfl?  Does the cfl and arena football league have drafts?




December 2nd, 2011 at 1:25 PM ^

projecting draft status:  when is this done - over the summer after the nfl draft but before school begins in the fall?

How many players are allowed to be projected as draftable?  Assuming 10 rounds of the nfl draft and 32 teams, that's only 320 players.  Do you say we're only going to let 350 players be projected as draftable?


December 2nd, 2011 at 1:43 PM ^

How about leagues that want to do it have to sign up with the NCAA, and players who want to enter drafts have to officially do so with each league? So for Football, lets say the NFL and USFL both sign up with the NCAA, and they do their agent stuff. Now maybe a certain Stanford QB wants to play in the NFL, but not the USFL, and his stock has never been higher. He enters the NFL Draft, does not enter the USFL Draft. The Colts pick him #1, but he wants to stay at stanford to have 1 more run. He does, and the Colts own his rights. Once he's done with college, they try to sign him, or they can deal his rights. While he plays in college the team doesn't pay him directly, but they own his rights.

That's what happens now in Hockey.


December 2nd, 2011 at 1:21 PM ^

 Not getting degrees is a problem.  D-1 sports take up so much time, and so many athletes have unrealistic expectations re: their pro futures, that too many leave with no degree.  I think because of this that you should have a full scholarship for every year that you play, and that you should not have to use the academic part of that scholarship while you play.  You should be able to just play your sport when you're young and then come back and study later (if need be). 


December 2nd, 2011 at 1:23 PM ^

Point 1 never could, would, nor should happen. Sure, giving agents the opportunity to pay players wipes out a lot of NCAA wishwash, but "monitoring it closely for unintended consequences" would be futile if you ask me. The NCAA/universities have a hard enough time monitoring things already, now they have to monitor the entire landscape where some players are getting paid while their less talented counterparts do not? To me, that is asking for trouble.

Agents should never be allowed free reign to compete over the rights to represent student-athletes while they are still participating in college athletics. If you ask me, it's a major distraction and deterrent to what they kids are really (supposesed to be) there for: getting a degree. 

MY SOLUTION: Each university hires one or two agents (or agencies) to represent their players in all sports . The university takes the $ (the $ that everyone says belongs to the players) and uses it to pay for this service. After the player has signed his first contract, he is then free to choose the agent of his choice.

Doing it this way eliminates the shady, underhandedness of the process and is more upfront with all those involved. Players don't have to worry about which agent to choose, the university has done the dirty work already. It would function much in the same way a university uses its connections to get graduates jobs in the real world. This one would be for its high profile athletes.  


December 2nd, 2011 at 3:53 PM ^

I agree with you about that, as unfortunate as it is. Either way, letting agents roam campuses like sharks (even though they may do that already anyway) is probably not the answer. It just reinforces what the kid may be using the university for. I would hope that some of the guys who go D-1 would at least have some sort of realization of the benefit of doing their schoolwork and completing their degree. You're right though, many don't,


December 2nd, 2011 at 1:24 PM ^

"1. Allow players to sign with agents, and get paid by them. Several restrictions apply. Agents must be registered with both the NCAA and the professional league in question and have clients from a variety of schools. The league in question must project the player as a draftable prospect."

I don't understand how this would work. This rule is way too vague. What does it mean to say the agents must have clients from a variety of schools? What if he only has one or two clients, do they have to go to different schools? When can you determine who is or isn't a draftable prospect? For example, would Donovan Warren have been eligible for this? Or Brandon Minor? How about Jonas Mouton, who did very little on the field and ended up a 2nd round pick?

Agents recruit the same way that college coaches do, by builing relationships. There are agents who operate in certain areas and rarely let talent get out. That's because they hang around the local arenas, know all the kids, the coaches, and have professional clients who came from the area. What's wrong with this? Drew Rosenhaus made his name by monopolizing the talent that came outta the U, and good for him for being able to do it. There are very few agents who can go into any area and have a shot at signing a top prospect. Most of them depend on signing talent from certain schools and areas.


December 2nd, 2011 at 3:36 PM ^

While I pretty much agree with #'s 2 and 3, I can't convey my horror at the prospect of agents in college football any more clearly than that. The prospect of agents involved in any fashion at all makes me want to throw up, no matter whether they are regulated or not. If allowed they will:

A- promote team disunity, as the other 80 or so players that don't have agents, and therefore don't get any money, watch the 7-8 guys that do live differently from them. Good luck from then on with coaches preaching the "all together now team" speeches.

B- promote an entitlement mentality. If you think a Pryor was bad before, just watch the future Pryors of the world once they can openly flaunt their future and current wealth. 

C- Create a caste system that will destroy forever what is, despite many many flaws, an actual system where yes, there are such things as student athletes. With pro prospects having agents, there will not even be a pretense of anything student related. Except for the other 80 guys--see point A above.

D-Take what is now an individual desire and hope to go to the NFL and make it official--player X is only here to go to the NFL. A system that strives, despite many failures, to promote a culture of the student athlete is far better than one that does away with it, for a few guys.

E- Create yet another way for an successful athlete to think more about himself than about the team. Just wait until the the prominent players now have an officially liscensed guy motivated by dollar signs whispering in his ear about taking fewer hits, or that he needs to play more, or he needs a position switch to his future NFL position to maximize his future market value. Ugh.

If agents come in, I instantly will lose the additional love for college football I have and view it as the junior NFL. I'll watch our games, but with far less love. A far far better solution to figure out some sort of revenue dispersal and give each athlete a equal stipend of some sort, coming out of liscensing and TV revenue.


December 2nd, 2011 at 4:40 PM ^

We should discourage it. In the current case some of that indeed happens, but it is frowned upon and mostly hidden from view--because most people think it's wrong. That is not a reason to bring it into the light and make it offically sanctioned. Officially sanctioned is approval. This is not prohibition, where you have a benign product that some people abuse--every one of the things I listed is wrong on it's face, harmful to college football, and should be discouraged in every way possible.


December 2nd, 2011 at 1:38 PM ^

I just don't like where that's all headed.  I know I'm older than the average MGoBloggite, but I don't like where Brian's model takes us.  I don't know what the solution is, but then again, I'm not so sure there's a major "problem" that needs to be solved.

Ask 100 ex-college athletes who were given full grant-in-aid if they feel like they suffered through college.  I'm not talking about hard feelings because the NCAA uses their likeness or the makes billions "off the sweat of 18-22 year olds."  I'm talking about the anguish trying to keep the heat on or having enough for their next meal.

When a kid gets a half million dollar education fully paid for, I'm not likely to worry too much if he doesn't have a few extra bucks lying around to hang out at Ricks or buy a new iPod-thingy.  I'm not bitter about my circumstances (some of you may know, some may not - Brian does).  I went through all the work AND had to pay my own way through loans or asking my dad for a couple hundred bucks.

Admittedly I am sorta stuck in a mindset of how things were back in the mid-80s.  And I also acknowledge that I may be out of touch some, but my opinion is based on being in and around the situation for 4 years.


December 2nd, 2011 at 1:45 PM ^

I don't know your circumstances, nor am I trying to critique anything you just said. But for example, the B1G made an extra $20-25 Million this year from its title game TV Money. That money is entering the system. The big question is, what do you do with it? More money is entering the system, and where it goes is the problem. Do the coaches salaries just skyrocket? Do you just build bigger and better facilities? Add more varsity sports? All of the above? Give any to the direct REASONS (players) why the money is entering the system?

The proverbial Pie is growing, as it grows, shouldn't the players slice grow as well? (They currently are "paid" with an education, room, board, etc.)


December 2nd, 2011 at 2:04 PM ^

To pay for their tuition. Yeah, Michigan's share is extra profit. And going into facilities and such. But Michigan is a rare case...the vast majority of schools lose money on athletics, and have the University suppliment the programs. More money means they're closer to breaking even.

And even in the case of Michigan, what does more money mean? An LAX team, that there was no "need" for, but certainly benefits a bunch of students who are varsity now and get schollies.


December 2nd, 2011 at 2:14 PM ^

So the new money WOULD go to students if they add more varsity sports/scholarships. So if coaches pay goes up 10% over the decade (across all sports) I'd argue that the number of scholarships offered should go up 10% as well. It wouldn't benefit the same student athletes that caused the increase (football) but it would benefit student athletes as a group.


December 2nd, 2011 at 2:06 PM ^

I like that you said they are paid with an education, but I don't think there should be quotes around it.  I think the problem with the whole pay for play idea is that it devalues the importance of a fantastic college education.  They're getting a free education that other students have to pay in some instances over 200 thousand dollars for.  That's a pretty sweet paycheck if you ask me.  Colleges are institutions of learning, not athletics, that's why student-athletes have to have qualifying grades in order to play.  They need to recognize the value of the education they're getting (insert janitor's monologue from Rudy here).  I get that the pie is growing, and I also think it's BS that they can't sell their own stuff on ebay if they want, but giving a paycheck to an athlete for playing for his school is a serious mixup of priorities.  They should just eliminate the requirement to go to college before going pro, so if all the kids care about is money then they can try and go get it.  However, 99.99 percent of them aren't good enough to get paid without going to college first because they're not man-sized or not technically sound enough.  They go to school, hone their skills, bulk up, GET AN EDUCATION, and then go pro.  That way, the school gets a ton of profit off of them, yes, but it also prepares them to earn that profit for themselves.  If they don't need that preparation, then they won't go to college.  Seems like a fair trade to me.  The ones that are never going to be good enough to go pro get a great education because of their athletic ability, the ones who need some work but can eventually go pro get that education plus the work they need to get to the next level, and the ones who are good enough can skip it and go earn their money.  The majority don't take handouts, so let the ones who so badly "need" that money go get it in the pros.


December 2nd, 2011 at 2:11 PM ^

I'm a huge personal believer in education, and if we agree that the student athletes are paid, then we agree that they are paid.

However, you're saying that they are paid enough. I'm saying as the pie gets bigger their slice should get bigger as well. Everyone else in the establishment does, why not the players?