Does Everyone Pay Players?

Submitted by jsquigg on February 19th, 2016 at 2:39 PM

I hope this doesn't devolve into attacks on me for bringing it up, but I have a friend who is an alum of Florida State.  We have a pact to stick together in the midst of our Sparty friends.  He believes that every big time program's boosters pay players, including Michigan.  I believe that Michigan does not pay players, but that the practice is common in big time football, specifically the south and Tressel era Ohio State (among others).  Is there any evidence linking Michigan's boosters to paying players?  Is there evidence that proves they don't?  I know on the surface Michigan has a tradition of doing things the "right" way, but I've always wanted documented evidence to support this, especially in light of the SEC/ACC/NCAA's war against Harbaugh.  I'd appreciate any links anyone has because I hate the "everyone does it" argument.



February 19th, 2016 at 2:42 PM ^

think of one instance in which there was ever any evidence that any Michigan booster or affiliate ever paid any players.  Oh wait..... I think I might remember one.


February 19th, 2016 at 2:44 PM ^

I was going to post something along these lines as well. I don't think sportswriters generally write critical articles about programs in the SEC or whatever (or they don't see them as scandal-ridden) because few people actually believe that it's a common practice to pay recruits. I wish there was more hard evidence that this practice was widespread and not just linked to a few extreme cases (like Reggie Bush).


February 19th, 2016 at 2:44 PM ^

I doubt every big name school pays players, but I think that big name schools in the SEC do. I don't think Michigan does, I just think that Harbaugh is just a really good recruiter.


February 19th, 2016 at 2:46 PM ^

I live in Wisconsin and even smaller schools "pay" their players.  I know players that have played for Wisconsin-Green Bay and Wisconsin-Milwaukee that got money.  But its not like they are receiving a check.  Its hidden money that is labeled extra "food" or "athletic apparal".


February 19th, 2016 at 5:27 PM ^

I went to the BIG basketball tournament a couple years ago in Chicago and our hotel just happened to be Wisconsin's team hotel. My buddy and I were in the lobby bar having a drink while we waited for the wives to finish getting ready to go out and it was packed with Whisky boosters and families. One very drunk booster was telling Brust's dad loudly that he was having a helluva hot streak and that he was going to talk to the head booster to make sure he was financially rewarded for his efforts. His dad was pretty adamant that should happen and they had no problem saying this in front of 2 total strangers in a bar so I would be safe in saying it does happen everywhere.

turd ferguson

February 19th, 2016 at 2:51 PM ^

I can't imagine Hackett would have said what he said if he thought Michigan offered Gary what the other school(s) offered.  It's possible that almost every school offers something - or that athletes everywhere find benefits from someone - but there's no way that it's the same, or even similar, across programs.

turd ferguson

February 19th, 2016 at 2:59 PM ^

What's Gary's incentive to do so?  For that matter, I'm not sure it's wise for Michigan to lead that battle.  

I just finished ranting about Jim Delaney in Brian's front page post, but he's the one in position to go after this.  Either make it okay to pay kids or don't let schools get away with it.  As it is, rule-abiding schools (like many in the Big Ten) are at a major competitive disadvantage.  That's the kind of thing the Big Ten commissioner should care about.

Mr Miggle

February 19th, 2016 at 3:02 PM ^

clean up dirty recruiting. Maybe he doesn't want to devote his time and energy to testifying and the endless questions and attacks that will follow. Maybe he's okay with college players getting paid, but he thought going to Michigan was a better decision for him than taking money to go somewhere else.


February 19th, 2016 at 3:20 PM ^

It's often not the schools that are offering money.  It is people not truly affiliated with the school.  If you read that SB Nation article about bagmen, it's not surprising.  There are several grown men who deify young men.  It's not unlikely that some of these men who obsess over these programs would offer to pay players in hopes that their program succeeds. 


February 19th, 2016 at 2:49 PM ^

Yes, its called the cost of attendance stipend and I believe most of FBS schools are providing it now.

I know this isn't the context of payment you're looking for, but players to get paid in this sense. I've even seen a story or two where it has effected a recruits decision.

Wolverine Devotee

February 19th, 2016 at 2:50 PM ^

Walton, Doyle and DJ Wilson all walked into Pizza House after the Minnesota game last season and sat in the booth next to us.

They had two meals each and I highly doubt they paid a dime. I didn't see them pay. And honestly, they shouldn't have to.

Fuck off, NCAA. 


February 19th, 2016 at 6:24 PM ^

Well, if that is the definition you want to use, then "no" Bama and Ole Miss don't pay players either.   As an earlier poster said, the Bagmen do not get money from the schools.   They don't have to.   Wealthy boosters are more than willing to pony up the $$.  I have absolutely no doubt that boosters buy things for UM recruits too.   With the terribly confusing NCAA rules, it absolutely impossible to be absolutely clean.   

The only question is whether the schools know about it, allow it to happen, openly condone it, or just turn a blind eyet....I'm looking at you Steve Fisher.

Wolverine Devotee

February 19th, 2016 at 4:00 PM ^

There's no proof that they didn't pay, but I didn't see it. Even if they didn't pay and got a free meal, who cares?

They deserve it. And the NCAA can go play with itself if they think athletes at every big time D1 school don't get well-deserved breaks at restaurants.

Never knew about the voucher thing. Maybe they used them. 

Michigan Shirt

February 19th, 2016 at 3:21 PM ^

They get a certain amount Chits a week for specific restaurants.

I was friends with a Freshman o-lineman and he was given a few extra for Mr. Spots so he could "fatten" up. He had to get from 260 to 290 in one year. We would have a lot of pizza parties with us playing COD when the whole team got a free X-Box  360 for the Alamo Bowl, while I had to wait in line for hours in the cold to get a first release. Still bitter about that. /s


February 19th, 2016 at 3:00 PM ^

...has boosters who give illegal benefits to recruits and players.  But I think there are giant differences as far as the extent to which that happens and the extent to which it's tolerated by schools.