Business Time

September 20th, 2013 at 5:37 PM ^

I figured there was a statute of limitations issue, but in a hypothetical world where the NCAA was competent, this would have to be a huge case of "where there's smoke there's fire". In other words, if former Tennessee players said they were getting paid, wouldn't that be enough reason for at least a token audit or investigation or something into the current program just to check that it's not still ongoing?

Space Coyote

September 20th, 2013 at 2:40 PM ^

I know the joke is always to point and laugh at the NCAA, but really, what power can they have? The reason they exist at all is partially because they don't pay players. And with all the things that happen behind the scenes, even if everyone didn't turn a blind eye to it, how to you solve it? 100k fans at your stadium, but business, how do you handle this?

The answer is that there isn't an answer. The is no solution to this. You can't make it another pro league. You can't pay them a little because then where does it stop, how do you prevent someone from bending those rules to make millions while others make a couple hundred. And clearly you can't pay them in just a scholarship and whatever else they get now.


September 20th, 2013 at 4:32 PM ^

See, I think that would work for football and basketball (hell, it did work for basketball until they changed it).  The problem isn't that it wouldn't work.  The problem is that the NBA and NFL love that they have a free minor league that trains and markets their players for them.  That way, NBA GMs don't have to worry about scouting high school kids for the draft and they already come with name recognition.  Same goes for the NFL.  They don't have to worry about drafting a kid with a ton of talent and teaching him anything - they get to draft them once they're a finished product. 

The NHL and MLB have minor leagues where a young prospect can play until he's ready to bring up.  The NBA kind of does, but the NFL has nothing like that.  And since starting one from nothing would be too hard and cost too much money, they're content with telling kids they can't go pro until they're 21 and letting the NCAA act as their farm system.


September 20th, 2013 at 5:49 PM ^

One very significant difference between football and the other sports is that big-time college football pre-dates the NFL by a wide margin.  It was big before there was an NFL.  The NFL only came into existence because of college football.  Replacing all or part of college football with a minor league will never happen.


September 20th, 2013 at 4:42 PM ^

I wish this retort was given more often to the college kids who think they should get paid.  You think people want to pay to see you play football?  Go play in Canada.  They'll pay you. If you're really as good as you think you are, the NFL will still be available in a year or two.


September 20th, 2013 at 6:15 PM ^

I mean for starters the game doesn't translate as well and second of all, why does this notion of amatuerism only apply to players? They're "amatauers" but how much money did Addidas make off selling #16 Michigan jerseys from 2009-2012? Nick Saban makes 5. how many million per year? Get money out of the game and I'm fine with this argument. But I don't really buy it when everyone else is able to get as much of the cut as they feel they deserve except the people who others actually pay to watch.


September 20th, 2013 at 6:31 PM ^

Just because people pay to watch them, doesn't mean they aren't amateurs.  People pay to go to HS games, and their coaches are paid, but no one thinks HS player should be paid.  

And I don't pay to watch Denard Robinson or Devin Gardner.  I pay to watch Michigan.  I will watch them no matter who the guys are they trot out there.  So no, I don't think they should get a cut of it.  If people weren't buying 16 jerseys, they would have bought some other number.  


September 20th, 2013 at 8:45 PM ^

C'mon man, I know you aren't that naive. The difference is in the revenue,  You don't see head coaches of high school programs averaging millions of dollars per year. You don't see high schools claiming millions in revenue off of their games. People think that college kids should be paid because the teams they root for rake in money and their favorite players don't (legally) see a dime of it. If College Football was making as little as 99% of high schools do off their football programs, then this wouldn't be an issue.


September 21st, 2013 at 4:57 PM ^

Not all college football teams are money makers.

Additionally, if they were to be paid, how much?  Would QBs get paid more that kickers?  Would starters get paid more than backups?  Would local cost of living be adjusted for each area?  Bottom line, even if they are paid, do you really think that will keep them from getting additional money from boosters?


September 20th, 2013 at 5:28 PM ^

The Olympics tried the whole "Amateur Athlete" thing for the longest time and it just wouldn't work.

Allow the kids to get endorsements.  They can't wear things on the field/court that violate the school's contracts, but why the hell can't Denard do a couple Pizza House commercials while he's in town and make some cash?

I suppose you could attempt to regulate that a bit.  Cap the number of allowed endorsements.  No endorsing booze/smokes/etc.  Cap the money a bit.  Would it be the end of the world if Denard had received $250k for drinking some Gatorade infront of a camera?


September 20th, 2013 at 7:50 PM ^

This is an inconsistent argument.  If players should be able to get whatever the market will pay them, why "regulate that a bit?"  Your proposed cap would be identical to the current system, except at a higher corruption level.

Would it be the end of the (college sport as it currently exists) world if boosters could pay players to play for their favorite teams?  Yes, of course it would.  Endorsement contracts would simply be ways of channeling payments to players who picked the highest-paying schools.  Why even play the games if the highest-paying schools are going to win anyway?


September 20th, 2013 at 8:58 PM ^

Oh I agree, they should be free to get whatever they can, whenever they can.

It was in response to the people who believe that you can't give them an inch because they'll take a mile.

A compromise would be giving them a couple yards so they're at least comfortable and able to cash in the short amount of time their bodies can earn them cash.

Naked Bootlegger

September 20th, 2013 at 2:41 PM ^

So this leads me to a question that I honestly am clueless about:    What type of housing/food allowance is provided for football players - or any other scholarship athletes - that don't live in residence halls after their first year or two on campus?  Is it exactly equivalent to yearly residence hall costs? 

Naked Bootlegger

September 20th, 2013 at 2:50 PM ^

Makes sense why you see 5-6 football players renting a house, just like the rest of us students who needed to share rental costs.  The cynical part of me says that I could've stretched that monthly stipend budget by eating a lot of pasta and soup, but I wasn't feeding a 6'6" 310 pound body.  

I also assume there's food available during the football season for off-campus football players @ the South Quad training table?  But not off-season?  

So many questions.



September 20th, 2013 at 3:30 PM ^

This was taken from the SI article, but they also get,


After home games players get a per diem of around $15; after away games the NCAA allows them to receive an amount equal to what the university allots for any athletic department employee on a work trip.


September 20th, 2013 at 4:50 PM ^

What about cell kid spending insurance. Lets not forget how much it costs to simply live. Why should athletes who cannot work jobs to make money have to go without simple things like the aforementioned? I dont think athletes should be "ballin" but I do feel that the NCAA can do more in providing the niceties for the money making university building athletes in such that they dont have struggle to have simple things. The education is an awesome perk....but make no is a business investment by the respective university and the university RAKES in cash at the players expense. The NCAA could and should do more for these young men.


September 20th, 2013 at 5:00 PM ^

As stated multiple times in this thread, the players are given enough money for thos things (except maybe a car note, but I didn't have that in college because I either didn't have a car or I had an $800 Ford Escort).  Either way, with the $1300/mo they get, they can pay rent and still have enough college kid-type spending money for a cell phone, late night eats, whatever. 

Ask most kids at Michigan if they spend more than $1300 a month on that stuff. I bet for most of them, it's no.


September 20th, 2013 at 7:58 PM ^

"...the university RAKES in cash at the players expense."

How is this at the players' expense?  What is the opportunity cost to a college football player to go to college and get a degree and play football along the way?

People didn't buy tickets to watch Denard Robinson.  They bought tickets to watch Michigan football before he got there, while he was there, and after he left.  May the FSM always hold Denard in his Noodly Appendage, but the school didn't rake in money at his expense.  It just raked in money at the ticket-buyers' expense, and Denard was part of a package.


September 20th, 2013 at 3:03 PM ^

Here's NCAA Bylaw - Off Campus Room And Board Stipend:

"If a student-athlete lives and eats in noninstitutional facilities, the institution may provide the student-athlete an amount equal to the institution’s official on-campus room allowance as listed in its catalog, the average of the room costs of all of its students living on campus or the cost of room as calculated based on its policies and procedures for calculating the cost of attendance for all students. The institution also may provide the student-athlete an amount that is equivalent to an on-campus 7-day or 21-meal board plan or the cost of meals as calculated based on its policies and procedures for calculating the cost of attendance for all students, excluding those meals provided as part of the training table"

State Street

September 20th, 2013 at 2:46 PM ^

Players are given checks in the amount of $1000/month for rent.  Many of them live at places that don't cost half that (i.e. the homes down by the Athletic Campus) and they pocket the rest.  Ever wonder why Denard was always able to sport a better wardrobe than 99% of undergrads?

The sob story by Foster and others is just a manipulation of the public to deflect the real reason he and others accept money - because people like money.

Creedence Tapes

September 20th, 2013 at 8:00 PM ^

I'm a little late to the party, but Foster was a 3* recruit who go a scholarship + room and board and a chance to develop as a football player. He went on, through hardwork ,playing opportunity and coaching at tenessee to become a successful NFL player with a $43 million dollar contract. He's not really a victim here.


September 20th, 2013 at 4:57 PM ^

I guess ball players should forego the desire to....I dont on a cell phone... ...go to a a car lol. That stipend money goes away very quickly. Lets not act like these kids are rolling expendable cash because they are NOT. Easy to judge them and say its all good because they get to play football. Football is hard and there is way more to it than just football. not saying Terrel Pryor thebplayers.....lets just be real and not assume that the kids have money to burn...because they do not. Being a college athlete is hard and you do a lot of work on top of your personal and academic responsibilities. You are most always broke and its not as glamorous as we like to make it out to be especially from a financial aspect. NCAA has to find a more realistic middle ground.


September 21st, 2013 at 3:06 PM ^

In 1970? Either it was a while ago or you lived in a van down by the river.

I graduated in 2010 and I was living in a house with 6 other dudes... We were still paying 600/month rent EACH. It was not a glamorous house. Ann Arbor is an expensive place to live now if you don't have a decent amount of cash. I pretty easily went through $1600/month including rent. Maybe a bit excessive, but, I guess that's my fault for having a girlfriend and going on the occasional date.

And re: having a car? Kind of essential especially when you are pressed for time. Grocery shopping? Yeah, I'm sure these guys have the time to take the bus to Meijer and haul their groceries between practice and other obligations. And they would always be on time to practice taking the bus or walking. In the crappy Michigan weather. Right.

I don't claim to have the solution here; I think everyone is remembering college with a bit too much bravado, though.