Delany on "Pay to Play" for Athletes

Submitted by MFanWM on September 26th, 2013 at 12:00 AM

Delany thinks that NCAA should work with NFL and NBA to allow players to go from HS to pro or to develop academies like IMG or another league for players who want to be paid for their sports abilities or their likeness instead of having schools get involved.

http://espn.go.com/college-sports/story/_/id/9723411/big-ten-commissioner-jim-delany-discusses-possible-football-basketball-changes

 

 

Comments

MaizeAndBlueWahoo

September 26th, 2013 at 12:12 PM ^

So if the answer to "where does all the money they generate go" is "mostly other student athletes" - that's a little tougher to get upset about.

You've hit the nail on the head.  Anyone who talks about how much the athletes are worth to the school, well, I find it very contradictory that they want some athletes to be compensated based on what they're worth to the school but not others.  Really, what's on everyone's mind is the 1% of actually marketable athletes.  The vast majority of athletes are "worth" much, much less than they get in compensation.  IMO, you want a system that compensates players based on their "worth," you apply it to everyone or no one.  And I think people would hate the results if the answer were "everyone."  But we can't have it both ways.

 

Yale Van Dyne Fan

September 26th, 2013 at 7:14 AM ^

You wouldn't spend a 3rd or 4th rounder on an 18-year-old Jadeveon Clowney or Adrian Peterson? Shit, the Lions usually end up cutting their 3rd and 4th rounders a couple years later anyway.

What I'd really like to see is blowhard administrators like Jim Delany go make 7-figure salaries in the minor leagues. Oh wait, that would never happen. Guy is the absolute worst.

Baldbill

September 26th, 2013 at 10:23 AM ^

You would have two drafts, one as is now for the kids coming out of college if any are wanting to go that direction. The other would be for the high school kids. These would almost all go directly to your development team(s). This way you get two chances to to get good players. One is seeing the talent that is coming out of the college leagues, the second would be kids that you are developing in your farm system.

 

No wasted picks (well in theory).

grumbler

September 26th, 2013 at 7:31 AM ^

There are football leagues right now that will pay players right out of high school.  They don't pay them much, but, if it is true that anyone can "make millions" off of these players as the colleges supposedly do, then someone needs to lean down and pick up these millions of dollars just laying around.  Delaney is just noting that same fact.

I am all in favor of giving high school athletes more choices, and this idea doesn't hurt the NCAA at all, since the playing field is level and losing the few fans who come to the games because specific players are there wouldn't cost anything.  I can't imagine how a sport as expensive as football could be profitable on a minor league basis, but I can certainly see how basketball could be.

Even if it only works for basketball, this is worth pursuing.

Zone Left

September 26th, 2013 at 8:35 AM ^

None of you read the article, did you?

He basically demands the NCAA allow the power conferences autonomy to do things like increase scholarship value and all but threatens to leave if it is not granted. He also says he wants it in place by spring.

This is a pretty big set of demands.

LSAClassOf2000

September 26th, 2013 at 9:27 AM ^

"Delany said a restructuring plan in college sports must be in place by next spring to create better balance educationally and more options, including increasing the value of athletic scholarships. He said the major conferences need the "legislative autonomy" to push through some major changes."

This might actually be the key takeaway from what Delany said - the power conferences want the rules changed or the authority to make their own. I have a feeling that the disparity of resources that Emmert continues to discuss is pretty much going to be the theme of the next several meetings of Division I members of the NCAA. After all, Mark Emmert said just the other day that the one thing they all seem to agree on is that the system - as it is - does not work. 

ADSellers

September 26th, 2013 at 9:47 AM ^

Why not allow kids to get drafted by pro teams out of HS but send them to the college ranks to develop similar to what MLB does with its minor league system? For every Sammy Watkins who could play pro right out of HS, there would be at least 5 RG3s who require a few years to develop.

Toasted Yosties

September 26th, 2013 at 9:46 AM ^

if the NFL created a farm system similar to baseballs?  There are conflicting reports on Google on the amount a Toledo Mud Hen player (Triple-A) makes, ranging from $32,400/annually to $400,000/annually.  I've read that many players in the NBA's Development League are earning salaries near the poverty level.

Baldbill

September 26th, 2013 at 10:29 AM ^

Single A and double A players do not make very much, Triple A can make a good living.

 

I have seen a few different numbers being discussed on some websites, along these lines.

A - $1000/month, plus some food budget while on travel.

AA - $2000/month, plus some food budget while on travel.

 

That is not very much, it said there are other leagues that pay even less and some leagues that will charge the player for the right to play and perhaps get noticed.

 

French West Indian

September 26th, 2013 at 1:58 PM ^

Maybe colleges should drop the scholarship athlete altogether and field teams of students.  Then if all the talent were cut loose they could take their star power with them to set up a viable minor league.

Or would the star power of 18-21 year olds be enough?  Maybe more fans would still be drawn to college sports because of alma mater & regional affiliations rather quality of athletic talent?  It's hard to say but I'd wager on the colleges outlasting such minor leagues.

Tater

September 26th, 2013 at 9:48 AM ^

Colleges don't have to pay kids; they just have to stop screwing them out of their ability to make money on the free market, i.e. from boosters.

Kilgore Trout

September 26th, 2013 at 9:51 AM ^

I think Delaney makes some good points here, but it's a little narrow. So college football and basketball shouldn't be the "minor leagues" or preparation for major leagues. I understand that when you compare it to hockey or baseball, but what about if you compare it to engineering or medicine? Isn't the point of going to college, on some level at least, to gain the skills necessary to succeed as a professional? I've had a nice career as an engineer, but I couldn't have done that right out of high school. I had to go to UM and learn more. Would IBM or Medtronic have hired me and taught me for five years before I was useful to them? Probably not. I don't know if it's the best arguement and there are definitely holes in it, but I think it can be argued that training for professionals is exactly what colleges are for.

Another issue is that the students don't have any negotiating power. A good engineering student can shop colleges to find the best deal, including stipends. It seems wrong to impose one set of rules without allowing people to get the best deal for themselves.

The likeness thing is just selfish hypocrisy in my mind. There's no good reason an athlete can't try to sell their likeness other than the fact that it takes away from what the university can do.

This is Michigan

September 26th, 2013 at 2:00 PM ^

99% of all NCAA athletes major in something other than sports.

You went to school to become an engineer. What was your alternative? Of course you could choose to not be an engineer after college. (And in some cases you would need more schooling, eg if you wanted to become a teacher instead).

College athletes (at least 99% of them) can't choose to become professional athletes. Some make it, most don't. Their alternative is their degree.

93Grad

September 26th, 2013 at 10:11 AM ^

the other day which is just to let kids sign endorsement deals or sign with agents while in school.  That way the players with the most talent and/or fan appeal can get fairly compensated for their efforts, the schools don't have to pay and it does not implicate Title Nine. 

The downsides are pretty minimal, IMO.  Any rogue agents who treat kids poorly will get policed by the pro leagues and the market.  Sure, it favors the high profile programs, but they already have numerous inherent advantages.  If the smaller schools don't want to compete they can form a new sub division.  Lastly, it could incentivize some kids who might otherwise turn pro early to stay in school longer since they are already getting compensated.

trathbun

September 26th, 2013 at 10:25 AM ^

Be careful what you wish for. Delaney's suggestion that the NFL and other professional sports organizations could develop d-leagues that cater to athletes that want to get paid may have the effect of “robbing” the college sports of some of the best college athletes and may dilute the talent pool. Could there come a day when revenue generating college sports become irrelevant?  The NFL has more money than God. Don’t poke a sleeping bear; Delaney, the BIG and his NCAA cronies may be out of a job.

PB-J Time

September 26th, 2013 at 1:56 PM ^

Completely disagree. While there may be a few less "wow" players like RG3 or Cam, the teams would still be very fun to watch as would the competition in general. 

NCAA basketball as a product isn't nearly as good as it used to be when players were staying 3-4 years and dynastys were forming (Kentucky can't keep anyone good even 2 years). But we're still watching. A lot. You know why? Cause its fun to watch these teams, even if the top talent isn't quite there. Same thing would happen for football

French West Indian

September 26th, 2013 at 2:10 PM ^

...but I would actually be more compelled to watch college football if the talent was "robbed" and even if we were fielding teams of non-scholarship students for two reasons:

1-  I'd feel more compelled to support our "kids" who I'd know are representing the University on a strictly volunteer basis.  Scholarship athletes are actually a kind of hired gun even though they arn't literally paid.  They exist in a sort of bubble that makes it difficult for the average student/alumnus to have any real empathy for them.

2-  The big crowds, attention & money that all this 4 & 5* talent supposedly attracts can be off-putting.  I was a lifelong fan but in recent years have nearly lost all interest.  I haven't gone to or even watched a televised game in years now and my only real attachment anymore is to come ot Mgoblog and bitch about the state of things.  Unfortunately, once you've grown up with it and graduated from the University, it's nearly impossible to leave it behind completely.  I still care because it is part of my history but I shouldn't care because it doesn't seem to have any role in my future.

Yeoman

September 26th, 2013 at 3:27 PM ^

because we have that now, and call it Division III.

No crowds, attention or money. No fancy scoreboards, no television, no media timeouts, no bubble around the athletes separating them from the student body.

And did I mention no crowds? I'll be going to a game this Saturday and I'll be surprised if there are 1000 people there even though the home team is undefeated and in the top-20. It's not just the size of the schools--the student bodies (and presumably the alumnae bodies as well) are 10% the size of Michigan's but the crowd will be 1%.

cutter

September 26th, 2013 at 10:45 AM ^

Delany clearly recognizes, as well all do, that there is a subset of football and basketball players who are either not academically prepared or not motivated to go to college in and of itself. 

But because the NCAA provides the only realistic path to getting into the NFL and it also the way most athletes get into the NBA (even if it's just one and done), then that's the only route being offered. 

I wrote before how I'd like to see the NFL set up a "prep school" for guys who don't want to go the full-time college route. It'd be somewhere they could train for pro football, get paid, hire agents, and if they desire, do additional basic course work that could provide transferable credits if they opt to go to college in some future scenario. This is roughly the IMG setup that Delany discussed. 

What I would like to see some reporter ask him as a followup is this--can these players eventually come back to college? For example, let's say a 18-year old goes to IMG/NFL prep for two years, gets draft by a NFL team, and has your typical three year career in the pros. 

Would college football be willing to take him on as a full scholarship athlete when he's 23 or 24? I'd like to think the answer would be yes. The NCAA would have an older, more mature individual coming back to campus (roughly akin to what happened after World War II, but under markedly different circumstances) who would also elevate the talent level of any team. 

The other thing I'd advocate for the NCAA is to allow players to go to pro camps or IMG/NFL prep for pay during the summer months (late May to late July). You can call it "job training" or "work study" or any other title you'd like. What it would allow them to do is make some money, get high level coaching (instead of organized drills by the upper classmen supervised by the S&C staff), and allow them to have earlier evaluations in terms of their professional potential. 

We aren't talking about everyone here--we're talking about guys getting hired for what are essentially jobs (or perhaps we can call them internships). That means they're competitive and will mean that only the top prospects get the invite. That also means the rest of the team--the non-invitees--continue the typical summer conditioning, 7-on-7 drills, etc. When August rolls around, everyone is back on campus and in place getting ready for the next college football season. 

College football and basketball realize they have a "pro problem", but they want to keep it at arm's length. While a school like Michigan could probably pay players out of its budget without major problems to its operations and future building/modernization plans, that's the exception, not the rule. I think what Delany would like to see if for the NFL (primarily) and the NBA to help share some of the costs and to provide a realistic, alternate path of player development that doesn't rely so much on the colleges. 

All this doesn't speak to some of the other problems we're dealing with, such as can players sell or profit from their images and should college pay the players/make them employees? I suspect the major colleges would be more than happy to have a cost-of-living scholarship arrangement. Would they be willing to go much further than that? I don't think so, but with the IMG/NFL Prep/summer training camp setup, they might not have to do it. 

I also don't have a problem with Delany defending the brand, for lack of a better word. While college football generated a lot of the money, it's the schools that invested it in bigger stadiums, etc., and provided the environment (and the player development) that we see today.  In return, the schools get a great platform for advertising the school (the proverbial "front porch"), entertaining major donors and generating generally higher admissions applications.

Both sides (the players and the universities) have benefited from the arrangement and will continue to do so. The question now is where we draw the line between the two of them and how those benefits are going to be realized. A free education, etc., will still be there, but now it's time to add something more to the athlete's benefit.

French West Indian

September 26th, 2013 at 2:24 PM ^

That's kind of an interesting question...would a 23-24 be eligible to play for a college team after trying out for the pros?

I think that could depend on the college landscape in such a scenario.  If young athletes were to have viable pro options at age 18 then maybe it's possible colleges wouldn't offer scholarships either and field teams from thier student body.  In that case, there be no reason a former pro player couldn't be on the team assuming he made the cut.

If colleges were still using the current scholarship model then it would probably be more complicated.  Presumably a former pro should have enough cash to pay for school and wouldn't need the free education...but maybe not.

I'd also have to assume that after being immersed in the cutthroat world of professional sports, that most athletes wouldn't be too compelled to play for a school.  Probably they'd be more interested in actually studying and getting a degree but who knows?

xxxxNateDaGreat

September 26th, 2013 at 10:51 AM ^

Yep, let's set up a competitor that actually pays players and watch every year as our future top 200 players don't flock to the option that puts money in their hands. Good call, Delaney.

BlueInWisconsin

September 26th, 2013 at 11:29 AM ^

This college athletes should be paid thing is really starting to piss me off. We have a national crisis where college graduates are being crushed under student loan debt that can take a lifetime to pay off (and which Congress has made impossible to get rid of even in bankruptcy) which these poor downtrodden athletes ( who have been coddled since elementary school in many cases) are completely immune from that. They are already being compensated in many cases in the hundreds of thousands of dollars (care to guess what it costs to pay off student loans for four years of out of state tuition at Michigan?).

If you are a football or basketball player and you want to be paid cash then maybe college isn't for you. If free tuition is meaningless to you then I suggest you just skip college and find somewhere else to showcase your talents. The is getting to be a bit much.

If we're going to do anything to reform the system it should be capping all of the money that is going to coaches and AD's. That is where the corruption is.

ndscott50

September 26th, 2013 at 12:38 PM ^

It seems like the NCAA and the schools are using the pay for play concept as a way to stonewall changes to the current system.  This is not just current system vs. minor league and all other college sports destroyed. I always find slippery slope arguments questionable.  Why does increasing scholarship money by a few thousand mean that college players will eventually become fully paid professional athletes?

How would the following reforms destroy college athletics?

  • Provide an additional $5,000 per year in living expenses – (you could potentially make this need based)
  • Require up to five years of scholarship for athletes forced to leave the sport due to injury who maintain good academic standing
  • Consistent Concussion Protocol for all NCAA sports with enforcement and monitoring mechanism administered by independent organization
  • Create a fund using a small percentage of TV money to provide long term medical care related to injuries suffered competing in college athletics
  • Relax transfer rules – you can transfer wherever you want though you must complete 20 to 30 credit hours at the new institution before competing.  In theory this would allow you to not sit out a year but you would have to put some work in to accomplish this
  • Payment to players from video game companies to use their likeness in a game.  This does not look like much money.  UCLA got $57 thousand from EA in 2012 while Wisconsin got $143 thousand.  If the average is $85,000 per team and school and athletes split it you are looking at $500 per player per year.
  • Allow players to independently profit off their likeness.  I realize this could get out of control but you could require it to be disclosed and be at market rate.  There is a going rate for a local celebrity to appear in a car commercial.  If a college athlete does the same that is fine as long as they disclose it.
  • Allow student athletes to sigh with agents, with restrictions on what they can be paid up front, and be drafted and sign with pro team, while maintaining their eligibility.  If the student athlete signs with the pro team the signing bonus would be deferred until they complete college eligibility.  There could be an allowance for some portion of the bonus to be paid while in college ($20,000?)
  • As a last point you could make the extra scholarship money contingent on not making use of the other revenue sources listed  

It does not seem like these reforms would destroy college athletics. The typical football player would get a little extra cash.  The top player would get some more but I doubt anyone is going to pay millions for Devin Gardner to do a commercial.

PB-J Time

September 26th, 2013 at 1:52 PM ^

I actually strongly agree and have been saying this for a long time. If a system more similar to hockey and baseball were to be set up, it would fix MANY problems:

-Athletes that had not interest in being students would not have to be.

-the NFL & NBA (through collective barganing because of fear of veteran players losing jobs to 18 year old rookies) wouldn't have to take these young athletes on before they felt ready

-colleges (and subsequently the NCAA) would not have to treat their product as THE minor league for NFL & NBA

There should be a real NFL minor league and NBA minor league which could (but doesn't have to be) administered by the respective league. 

If the NCAA is a minor league (players paid significantly more than a scholorship & other benifits they recieve as athletes) it will ruin the product. Ironically, I doubt that people would want to see this new minor league even if some of the "5-star" types went there. There is something about this amatuer competition with people emotionally tied to their alma mater that is truly special. Even if some of the top players leave, the product will still be very entertaining (anybody stopped watching NCAA basketball once all the great players because 1-and-dones?) 

REAL minor leagues for fball & bball...DO IT

charblue.

September 26th, 2013 at 2:00 PM ^

college ameturism rules by the very arguments so well articulated in the various points on this topic. 

Because of this, the pro leagues have taken steps not to intrude on the sanctity of the college game in order to protect their own interests (in gaining talent from an unfunded minor league system) both to ensure greater player development at less cost. 

Training, technology, research have all changed the nature of sports growth and the athletes who can successfully compete at the amateur and professional level. You'd be hard-pressed to argue that only athletes from major conference football and basketball programs are the types who successfully earn roster spots as professionals. This isn't true at all. 

Baseball and hockey have historically developed players from skilled amatuers to the pro ranks. Basketball and football have traditionally used college as an unfunded player development pool to acquire talent, and have shaped their policies in drafting and acquiring talent for liability and competitve cartel reasons. Only when the NFL was challenged by rivals, did the threat of spiraling player acquisition costs and the potential cost of salaries and expenses driven by these pressures, force the kind of labor strife and battles that are now quaint reminders of foregone history. 

Universities have become willing participants in these endeavors because their role is essential preparing students for professional life and because there are ancillary benefits in fielding successful sports programming, especially winning teams in football and basketball. 

Amatuerism is the heart of college athletics, and so the dollar pressure which has changed the economics of the marketplace through the explosion of rights and license fee growth coupled with the 24/7 exposure of teams and athletes is the rationale for pay for play. 

I don't think that Jim Delany would be making an argument for some kind of athlete compensation if he didn't see the writing on the wall in the form of a looming judgment that is going to seismically alter the landscape of college sports. 

Whether Delany has the kind of foresight others don't, his sentiment for change in paying athletes even a stipend is just not there-- yet.

On Wednesday, the nation's collete athletic directors wrapped up a joint  meeting in Dallas, saying they are working on recommendations for improving NCAA governance and enforcement, while discussing the disparity of resources and interests among Division 1 schools, while rejecting the idea of endorsing a pay-for-play concept for athletes. 

So, you know what it's going to take to shake things up. The same thing it always does: a historic judgment and court ruling doing what people are otherwise unwilling to compromise on or work out independently. It's only a matter of time. The money is too great to avoid the probem too much longer. 

treetown

September 26th, 2013 at 2:37 PM ^

Paying something to the college athletes is sort of a solution but continues to miss a key point about ALL collegiate sports.

1. There are really two types of sports and I don't mean the division between intramural, club and NCAA sports, men and women but between those where there is a realistic professional future and those which do not. For those in the former group (for men - football, basketball, baseball, hockey, lesser degree soccer, swimming/track and all other olympic sports, for women - basketball, olympic sports, softball) there is surprising little actual formal training. On campus their development is actually hindered by the NCAA rules on practice time. There is also an artificial separation which prevents the whole of subject of professional sports performance development from being a serious academic topic.

2. The universities and colleges can actually make the whole college athletics experience more transparent by allowing athletes in the sports with a professional future to have a degree major called Performance Athletics. Just like one can get a degree in Performance Dance, Performance Cello or a degree in drama (Yale has a drama school so it is hardly just a public school thing) or a Bachelor/Master in Fine Arts, why not Performance Athletics (PA or a Bachelor in PA or BPA)?

3. Look how much cultural influence spectator sports has in the USA and worldwide. It seems to be just snobbery ("football can't be a cultural art like oil painting or ballet or violin") that prevents people from acknowledging it. Right now we have a 200 million dollar plus athletic facility with crowds of over 100,00 for a NON-DEGREE GRANTING NON-CONCENTRATION extra-curricular activity. For critics who say you can't earn a living with a Performance Sports degree,  I would point out that most people who have an art, drama and music degree do not become star artists, actors, and musicians yet we continue to pump out graduates in these fields. No one seems to mind producing starving artists. The chancellors, presidents and regents have to accept the fact that this is legitimate field into which young men and women devote their lives and which has culture relevancy and deserving of official recognition.

4. Make Performance Athletics serious - have it vetted like all other degree programs - no one stops the History major from LSA from going to the libray or reading and writing full time. No one who is a BPA major should be enjoined from training year round as much as they want. Once committed to that major, they have a 5 year time frame to complete their training. The curriculum would consist with sports specific training and classes and because it would be an actual academic discipline. Here is a sample core curriculum

120 credit hour with cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or better, at least half of the course credits must be in the BPA core curriculum.

First Year Writing and Speaking Course

Upper Level Writing and Speaking Course

Introduction to Psychology

Language Requirement - 4th term proficiency in some language beyond English

Quantitative Reasoning Requirement - statistics in sports

Sports and American Culture 1

Sports and American Culture 2

Sports and World Culture 1

Sports and World Culture 2

Economics of Spectator Sport

Introduction to Sports Law and Contracts

Introduction to Musculoskeletal Physiology and Kinesiology

Human Anatomy and Physiology for non-science majors

Position specific master classes: Charles Woodson comes back to hold two week seminar on modern defensive back play, Tom Brady to spend two weeks on how modern offenses analyze and create a game plan.

Sports specific conditioning

Etc.

5. The bargain that the athletes currently are making is very one sided for most of them. They can get hurt, driven off the team (either directly or via a phony medical retirement) or simply not get renewed and they end up with little or nothing. A few with marginal or average skills do take advantage of the situation and end up getting a funded degree but many (too many) end up with nothing - no formal sports training and no other option. This approach will allow that 10-15% of the elite level college athletes to really be well prepared for their sports - it isn't for everybody - some will find they aren't good enough, others won't want to do the work, but for others it will be exactly what they are seeking.

6. The bargain will then be more fair - these top athletes will then be getting something back that is worth more than a stipend or salary - top notch preparation, top notch training and top notch teaching about the ins/outs of contracts and the legal aspects of big money sports.

7. I know it is a dream right now but consider this - how many theaters, musuems or art shows draw 100,000+ 8 times a year for over 20 years? How many people brag about being in the audience when Olivier played Hamlet for the first time versus how many will claim they were there for UTL1?

DoubleLegTakedown

September 26th, 2013 at 3:06 PM ^

I was raised to value a college education and how it will set you up for a successful life. If these players aren't fine with playing for a scholarship then they shouldn't be in college sports. What happened to this world we live in, values have changed so much in my 28 year lifetime, such a sense of entitlement.

ndscott50

September 26th, 2013 at 4:14 PM ^

Why does playing for a scholarship mean you can’t do a commercial or sign some autographs to earn some extra cash?  I am not advocating full salaries for the players just questioning the restrictions that come with playing for a scholarship.  Players should also not have to take on the full risk associated with long term injury related to playing a sport for a scholarship – The schools should do more in that area.

I worked a good amount of time during school to make cash to support myself while still doing everything I needed to do to be a successful student.  My work outside of school was between me and my employers and did not concern the university.  It should be the same for the student athletes.  If an agent wants to gamble signing a player well before they are ready for the pros that should be between the agent and the player. 

From a compliance perspective the most important aspect is disclosure.  Taking money and not disclosing it should result in a ban.  Taking money for nothing, such as booster giving money because they like the team, should not be allowed.  I don’t see why players should not be able to make legitimate income, be it through endorsements or an agent signing them based on their pro potential, should be illegal.

Yeoman

September 26th, 2013 at 4:52 PM ^

"Taking money for nothing, such as booster giving money because they like the team, should not be allowed. "

If you accept that, then it's hard to avoid the full ban. Of course boosters won't give players for nothing--they'll pay top dollar for an autograph and a game-worn sock though. And those jobs that are strictly between the players and their employer? Come to Oregon, where you;ll be gainfully employed in a marketing advisory role while we use your visage to sell Nike products.

 

ndscott50

September 26th, 2013 at 6:32 PM ^

Requiring disclosure should help.  If the players have to disclose all income, with very severe penalties for non-disclosure, you would then have the ability to monitor and control excess.  The basic requirement would be that players should be paid market rate for services rendered.  If a signed Johnny Football sock is going for $100 bucks on eBay he should receive compensation in that range ($50 to $150).

From the employment angle there is plenty of data out there to establish market value for a range of services.  We would still need a compliance department but their job would change.  They essentially would audit a random sample of the income reports from the players.  For a smaller percentage they would make sure the work was being done that players were being paid for.

In the end the players would be told that they will receive a scholarship for playing football.  The primary condition is that they must disclose all income to compliance. They are free to pursue other income sources based on legitimate work and/or services.  They are not allowed to accept gifts of money from anyone other than family. The primary reason for this restriction is that a money free for all would have high potential to corrupt the game through gambling/organized crime.

The key is to be very strict on the disclosure element.  You take substantial money you don’t disclose and you’re banned forever. You could be a little less strict on the income element. No reason to argue if a summer job should be $10 an hour or $12.  Now if Nike wants to pay you $50,000 for a day to “consult” on a new shoe design that would raise a flag.  The player would then have the option to take the 50K and no longer be eligible or get paid a market rate and keep playing. (if Nike want to pay players $500 bucks to sit in on a focus group, that’s Ok)  

ca_prophet

September 26th, 2013 at 3:15 PM ^

Is surprisingly civil. Thanks, MGoBoard!

I personally favor going halfway (as others have advocated above) - increase the value of scholarships and make them mandatory four-year, allow individual athletes to profit off their likeness/endorsements and to sign with agents, ease transfer rules and take them out of the originating university's control (a guy wants to transfer, that's between him and the other school), and set up long-term medical care and five guaranteed years for players on medical scholarship as long as they remain in good academic standing.

Ed Shuttlesworth

September 26th, 2013 at 5:19 PM ^

If you let guys sign with agents or do commercials, boosters and guys like Phil Knight are going to set themselves up as "agents" simply to funnel money to players, regardless of whether the players are NFL-caliber.  They do that now with no expectation of any return other than seeing Oregon and Ohio State be winning programs; why woudn't they do that if they may get some money back from the few guys who might make the NFL?

It's unworkable.

Same thing with paying players for their likenesses -- Phil Knight just pays guys to provide him and/or Nike with their pictures and rights to pictures and doesn't care whether he can sell them.  Again -- for decades boosters have donated big money to schools and players with the expectation of getting NOTHING in return (other than a better football team).  These proposals just let them "launder" the money.

Ed Shuttlesworth

September 26th, 2013 at 5:26 PM ^

... and Delaney and others continue to signal to the fans and press that the colleges are simply not going to run athletic programs with semiprofessional players who get paid for playing. 

And they aren't going to.  At some point, people just need to get comfortable with this fact and the contradictions in the system.  The first thing Delaney said was that they'd go D-III before paying players, and that was a little over-the-top, but yesterday he said the colleges would be willing to sacrifice players who didn't want to play as students, even if it meant some elite players would skip college football and basketball.  Since there was a recent era where a lot of elite players skipped college basketball (starting with the best player in the world, LeBron James), there's simply no reason to doubt the colleges' intentions on the matter.