Tapping the pipeline

You know, the NFL has a pretty sweet deal when it comes to college football.  All that development of talent for three, four, five years without any direct expense – not bad.

So I can’t say I’ve got a lot of sympathy for any inconvenience the League might suffer when it comes to dealing with the talent pipeline.  On the other hand, college football isn’t exactly covering itself in glory with its latest move.

Though it is not the over-arching, long-term agreement it sought with eight of college football’s major conferences, the NFL believes a short-term arrangement to receive digitized versions of this season’s game tapes directly from all affected schools is now in place, a league source told SI.com Thursday.

SI.com first reported almost three weeks ago that the stand-off between the NFL and a Boston-area company that produces and disseminates the digitized content of NCAA games for eight major conferences was proving to be a stumbling block for the league committee charged with evaluating the readiness of juniors who are potential 2010 draft prospects.

XOS Technologies, based in Billerica, Mass., in August requested the NFL pay a rights fee between $20 million and $30 million for a multi-year commitment to electronically receive the coaches’ tape content that formerly was supplied basically for free as a mutually beneficial consideration between the NFL and NCAA.

XOS said it requested the rights fee on the behalf of its eight client conferences — including the SEC, Pac-10, Big 12, WAC, Mid-American and Sun Belt — but the NFL asked the conference commissioners to differentiate between the value of the game-tape content for the league’s evaluation purposes as opposed to any commercialization of the content to media outlets.

Sure, we get the idea that you’re pissed about the lack of monetary support from the pros, guys.  But using the draft-eligible pool of college talent – kids, in many cases, from whom you’ve been generating a pretty good revenue stream of your own – to squeeze a few bucks out of the bastards is a pretty shoddy move on your part.

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8 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness

8 responses to “Tapping the pipeline

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    Assuming money is a rational motivation, is it any worse for the colleges to want it than the pros? (In that question I concede the hypocrisy of our alleged charitable educational institutions engaging in sharp dealing).

    And, if the colleges are rationally entitled to chase a buck the same as anybody else, what other capital do they have? The players are the dancing girls.

    • HS – they don’t pay these kids (and I’m not saying they should) for what they bring to the table during their college days. The least the schools can do in my opinion is not be a road block as these players attempt to attain a pro career.

      • Hogbody Spradlin

        I would answer your point (that the least the colleges can do is not be a raod block) by saying: Why should they? They have rarely thought about the players first on any other issue? I think it’s a two way street too. The players are willing participants.

        But the main point of my post is different: the players are capital assets and I don’t see how this is any worse than a lot of other ‘uses’ they’re put to.

      • Furthermore, a free college tuition plus books and waived out of state fees works out to getting paid IMHO. Granted, it’s not millions or even hundreds of thousands (at least, not at UGA), but I would have been glad to get that myself after my academic scholly um… ended, let’s call it.

      • Ausdawg85

        Many agree that “pay to play” would be a corrupting influence on college football, though clearly $$$ is out there trying to influence recruiting and game outcomes anyway. Most would also agree the schools are profiting from the marketing of these atheletes. UGA “invested” and built “brand identity” for Stafford and Moreno that exceptional kids like them were able to cash-in, but it does seem the schools should do far more to assist with the careers of student atheletes, pro sports or otherwise. I think the schools should take the NFL’s money, but in turn, do more to assist with the package, promotion and ultimate success of kids in the draft. Isn’t that what the Med, Law, Business, Ag schools, etc. do in their own way?

  2. Chuck

    Funny thing is that I bet if they had just asked for, I dunno, $500,000 or so per conference, the NFL might just have paid it. Then they could have had marginal cost ‘increases’ over a few years and they would have been right where they want to be without any fuss.

    I also doubt that not making the tapes available really hurts any player. There is the combine, personal scouting and tryout camps. Any player that can compete would have a chance. It might affect the some of the final contracts, but I doubt any agent worth his/her salt would not be able to produce some video to support contract negotiations.

    All that said, the conferences are getting greedy as all get out. And some of the greed might be XOS Technologies fault.

  3. The Realist

    With so many athletic departments running in the red, I understand why they want to tap new revenue streams. There is a giant pile of cash there, and I’m not sure the colleges don’t have some right to it. It’s hard for the NFL to make a case that someone else is being the greedy one when they refuse to pony up $20M out of the billions of dollars they make per year for the right to view every single play from around 70 teams over the course of a 12-14 game season.

  4. Dan A.

    XOS is the same company that was responsible for the BS licensing crap that the SEC tried to impose on all media earlier this year. Remember the supposed banning of facebook updates from games? Yeah… that was XOS. I’d like to punch their head executive right in the face. Fat greedy bastard is what they are. Trying to get their hands in everyone elses pocket.