September 20th, 2013 at 5:14 PM ^

Brandon Jennings decided to play pro basketball in Japan (or somewhere overseas) instead of being a poor college kid for a year.  No one has followed his lead. 

Why is that?  My guess is that college, despite not getting paid, is the better options.  Better coaching, better facilities, better marketing of yourself.  You get to live like a celebrity among a bunch of people your own age and you get a free education in case your sport doesn't work out. 

Right now - that's the best package.  If playing pro basketball in Japan or pro football in Canada was a better option, all things considered, kids would do it.  But it's not.  This is like if I asked my boss for a raise when no other company was willing to give me a package as good as I was currently getting.  Why would he do it?


September 20th, 2013 at 5:46 PM ^

It would be like asking your boss for a raise if

1. he first conspires with hundreds of other similar corporations to pay you well under your market value, say by offering you things like experience and job training and the ability to audition for future employment by people who aren't in his cartel instead of any pay above something approximating what he believes your cost of living should be;

2. his cartel threatens to cut off all of your benefits, including your future ability to work in the same industry in your native country, if you get compensated for any other work you might do; 

3. all corporations in the same industry who aren't in his cartel agree not to allow you to apply there for two years; and

4. your boss and his associates are making millions of dollars a year based on what consumers are willing to pay to enjoy the fruits of your labor, for which you are not being compensated at market rates.

If all of those things happened, then it would be like asking your boss for a raise when no other company was willing to give you a package as good as you were currently getting. But it would be totally fucking moronic for somebody in a different industry to give you shit for thinking you were getting a raw deal, not to mention that your boss's opinion of whether you should get a raise should quickly become irrelevant and he and the rest of his cartel get class-actioned like whoa.


September 20th, 2013 at 5:51 PM ^

You and your cartel talk.  Bottom line - these kids have options, and they don't take them because where they're at is still better.  Like a poster said above - this all went down when Arian Foster could have gone pro, but didn't.  So college couldn't have been that bad, right? 


September 20th, 2013 at 6:19 PM ^

Is that you feel like there is a "market" value for these players. In many cases, their true market value is less than what they are getting in tuition, room, and board. What's the value of a Richard Ash? More than $85k a year? Not likely. If you base it off of jersey sales, then there are only 4 or 5 players with any value. Ask yourself this...which players have made you MORE of a Michigan fan? Who's jersey did you have to have that you wouldn't have purchased anyways? Do you check mgo more because of Devin? Do you go to more games when Jake Ryan is back? No..they have no real Value because college fans support regardless of who's on the team and who isn't.


September 20th, 2013 at 7:11 PM ^

Yeah, I completely agree with this.  Most of these guys are making way more than their market value.  Almost all of them, in fact.  So, as a college football recruit, you can either accept the package as is, meaning you get no more if you're good and no less if you're bad, or you can choose anything else - pay for college on your own, don't go to college at all, go play football in the arena league or Canada or something.  


September 20th, 2013 at 9:12 PM ^

Is that you think a guy like Ash getting a (non-guaranteed) education and subsistence wage is a reason to prevent a guy like Manziel from getting paid what he's worth. TAMU didn't raise an additional 300 million dollars last year for nothing. If players could do out in the open what Cam Newton did under the table, we'd find out what their market values were, and I bet we'd find out that the top 100 guys on the 247 composite are worth a lot more than tuition, room, and board.


September 20th, 2013 at 5:05 PM ^

I would agree that their skills are what prospective bidders would pay for them on an open market. But focusing on 'what universities say they're worth' doesn't track that, for a couple of reasons. For one thing, there are also boosters, who would be bidding on their services if they were allowed to, so limiting the market to universities artificially holds down market values to begin wtih. But more importantly, universities, through the NCAA, operate as a textbook cartel to hold down prices: if you understand 'what universities say they're worth' as meaning what universities are currently paying for them, then I don't see how you can ignore the distance between the cartel-lowered prices and what the actual market value of their skills would be. But if you understand 'what universities say they're worth' as what universities (or universities and their boosters) would be willing to pay them were it not for NCAA restrictions, then your estimation of that value is off. Some universities would clearly pay more if they could.


September 20th, 2013 at 5:48 PM ^

Before we can even begin to have the paying players conversation in a meaningful way, we need to know how much per year a football player gets when you add up out of state tuition, food, academic help, access to facilities, stipends, rent money, free clothing, etc. 

Is there a good place to find this information? 


September 20th, 2013 at 6:00 PM ^

Point taken. 

I guess what I'm trying to get at is that they get a great deal as it is. If the argument is that they're not being adequately compensated then it makes sense to figure out what they ARE being compensated. At that point I think the argument falls through. I obviously don't expect it to convince anyone who disagrees, but it'd be nice to have a ball park. 


September 20th, 2013 at 9:27 PM ^

Many are getting much more based solely on the university they attend, although their skills might be bringing in just as much money as the kid that plays for M or Stanford, Duke, et. al.  There was a time, not too long ago that a Husker-any Husker-could attend the state university for roughly what you or I would pay for a year at a Michigan juco.  Obviously, they are not being compensated as much as they would if they were playing for a more prestiguous academic institution. I think just a few years ago, a study indicated the average M grad would make something like 700K more than the average MSU grad.  I am aware that people play with numbers to get them to do their bidding.  However, no one can argue that a M diploma is worth more than a NU diploma.                        ^Damn, wish I could just double hit enter like everyone else and get a new para.  Can't so here goes.  Any stipend must be the same throughout the FBS landscape, even though it's obvious, purely from an academic standpoint, many are being given much more as it stands now.  Look at Devin's case. He's working on his masters, but how many kids have the maturity and are driven enough to do so while still putting all that time into practice.  The average football player, just like the student who is working his way through school, should be paid a fair price for that time alone spent on the practice field, taking away his time from concentrating on his school work.  Give every kid a 700.00 stipend, in addition to his scholly and have it last for the time he's in school, not unlike the GI Bill. If they attend summer school and take a full load, stipend continues. If not, it stops.  Doesn't really matter dollar amount, as long as it's not too large and is equal to all players, from walk-on earning scholly as to no. 1 recruited player in the nation.  If association with booster becomes public knowledge where there is an exchange of money, school does not get sanctioned. Player merely forfeits right to play, booster is not allowed to associate with student/athletes and if this is found out after the fact, current players are not accountable for actions of their predecessors.


September 20th, 2013 at 5:58 PM ^

Even if they pay the players or allow them to get jobs the under the table money still flows.  The main focus is $$ for most of these kids so allow them to chase it. Give them a portion of jersey sales, allow them to get jobs and lower the draft eligibility requirements (1 yr out of HS). Some players will stay get an education, earn some cash and polish their game. The rest will earn some cash and get out of dodge. 



September 20th, 2013 at 6:07 PM ^

Yeah, I'd be in favor of these kids getting small amounts of money, but it seems like a slippery slope.  Let them get grand a month or something, I don't know.  I just don't want it to get to boosters bidding for recruits or anything like that.  And I'd obviously be OK with the draft age lowered.  Make it like the NBA - one and done.  Not many will do it.  The ones who can, awesome.  But most players can't even go after 3 years, I doubt you'd see many go after 1 or 2.


September 21st, 2013 at 3:47 PM ^

The draft eligibility is an NFL rule, not the NCAA. And as an employer, the NFL has every right to require a certain amount of experience, most employers do. Personally I think the NFL should require them to either have a degree or a certain number of credits in finance and marketing.


September 20th, 2013 at 6:56 PM ^

But if you are preventing someone from earning money, you damn well better make sure they have access to basic essentials. Food, water etc, at ALL times that they are under your rule. Period. Not just weekdays.


September 20th, 2013 at 7:14 PM ^

Why?  First year law students aren't allowed to have jobs and no one pays for their food.  I don't think med students are allowed to hold jobs and no freebies for them.  You know, these football players could all take out student loans like many of us had to.  My wife had a full-ride scholarship for undergrad, but she took out loans for her living and social costs.  


September 20th, 2013 at 7:22 PM ^

Are you certain they are allowed to? I am not. Honestly the education they get is one thing, most of them do not come for that however. They are recruited. They trade a service for that scholarship, in turn missing out on massive profits that their work creates. The cost of that scholarship compared to the massive amount of money they generate do not equal themselves. That delta figure is massive. Im not vying for a pay for performance system, i am vying for free food and water. If law or med students can not work, than they should get the same benefits.


September 20th, 2013 at 7:36 PM ^

My understanding is that the school frowns on students having a job; I can't imagine they can actually preclude you from attending if you do have a job.  Of course, you will likely struggle that first year because of the time commitments associated with school (unless you have a great situation with your work), but that's on you, not the school.  


September 20th, 2013 at 9:24 PM ^

who has made great money for their university while attending. Show me one that has 1115,00 watching live and millions others on t.v., and show me one that barring unforseen future medical problems, can't practice their scamming well into their 70s.  Then we're talking somewhat realistic shit.


September 20th, 2013 at 10:37 PM ^

Took me a couple of tries to track your comment. But the comment you're criticizing makes a perfectly valid point: WolvinLA2 has failed to identify a Q-but-not-P case. You're ignoring far too many relevant facts by the time you're equating 1Ls and med students (both of whom can have jobs anyway, as far as I know) with D1 football players.


September 21st, 2013 at 2:55 PM ^

I understand what you're trying to get at, but what you've actually identified is that the original argument (if Q then P) is inadequate. Notice that the comparison is NOT D1 football players to 1Ls/ med students. It's one instance of not allowing people to earn money and another instance of not allowing people to make money. They might only be analogous insofar as they're not allowed to make money, but that's as far as they need to be (since if not-P and Q, then it's not the case that if Q then P).

That there are a bunch of disanalogies between 1Ls and what we want to say about football players is certainly relevant if you want to extrapolate from WolvinLA2's response that we therefore don't have ANY reason to pay football players, but I don't think anyone's trying to do that. 


September 21st, 2013 at 7:29 PM ^

No, that is not right.  I went to Michigan for law school and had a job during my first year.  I also had a partial scholarship to law school for my first year, and I wasn't expected to ram my head against 300 pound linemen.  I don't think the football players are being "exploited" per se, but I certainly don't think that the current system fairly compensates football players for the actual amount of time they put in vis-a-vis the revenue being generated by the football program.   


September 21st, 2013 at 7:58 PM ^

Let's see, athletes get room, board, tutors, and tuition for 4 -5 years.  For out of state, what is that these days?  400k?  Athletes making 100k a year is plenty.  I graduated 12 years ago with an engineering degree and I still don't make that much.  Players don't need to be paid any more than they already are, otherwise division one would be the 10-20 schools that can afford to pay the players.  What we need is an NCAA with teeth to be able to sic cops on all the cheating programs.  Or hell, arent they making a ton of money?  Why can't they hire an army of private investigators?