“How much do I get?”

Talk about adding insult to injury – it’s not enough that schools sell the paraphernalia of former players… er, ‘scuse me, student-athletes, without cutting them in on the action.  Nope, they make ‘em pay for that stuff, just like any other sucker.

… And yet, Asper says, “it kind of ticks me off” that the school would sell it.

Asper has three jerseys he wore in bowl games. Under NCAA rules, players can’t be given much more. They’re allowed to buy them, but while Asper waits for the weekend, hoping to get a call from the NFL, he’s living on a shoestring budget in Boise, home of his wife’s parents, and says:

“I haven’t made a trip back with enough money in my pocket to buy a jersey.”

When Nate Costa’s career ended, he borrowed from his parents to purchase every uniform he’d worn. At least he thinks he got all of them. He does not want to see No. 7 with “COSTA” pop up on the site.

“We just don’t feel it’s right,” says Costa, speaking for several players. “You have to buy your own jersey and if you don’t, they’ll sell your own jersey to make a profit.”

That’s what amateurism is all about.

(h/t CBSSports.com)

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40 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

40 responses to ““How much do I get?”

  1. Ubiquitous GA Alum

    This reminds me of when AJ Green declared for the pros on a Tues or Wed … That Fri night we were at a Gym Dawgs meet and the athletic assoc was auctioning autographed pictures of him … Yes I bought it but thought just damn …

  2. hassan

    I agree that they should at least get the jerseys when they are done. In the grand scheme of things it’s not that much money the schools are missing out on. Let the kids sell them when they are done as a nice parting gift. You give them rings which cost way more. If it means something to them, they can keep them. If not, they can sell them. This is all provided of course that they complete their eligibility. Not while they are playing.

    Heck, maybe it’ll provide extra incentive to push a little harder to drive up the market price.

    Of course this is coming from the guy with current open bids on jerseys on the Bulldog auction site.

  3. On the one hand, I understand that it sucks. I think players should be able to profit off their own names, and to prevent someone from doing so is un-American. On the other, I see that athletic departments have to maximize their potential revenue streams to pay for bowl trips, fancy workout and practice facilities, etc.

    I wonder if the players’ would be in favor of increasing the amount of a scholarship by tacking on a stipend or whatever, but then reducing the scholarships available and allowing partial scholarships like other sports. That way, the stars get full rides, and the marginal players get partial rides, the rest of which they pay for themselves. That would seriously inject market forces into the equation, and the CFL would love that rule.

    Another question I have: Did James make Oregon more money than Oregon made James? For that matter, did Oregon at least break even on Costa or Asper? If not, is it still “profiting” off their names or trying to recoup their losses?

    • Yes, Oregon did. James skills and work ethic were his own. Whereever he went, those skills would get him in to the NFL. If he went nowhere, and in to some NFL minor league, his skills and willingness to improve those skills would have made him money. He’s making money because of himself. Oregon is making money because the system allows them to pimp kids without paying them. As you appear to be a South Park fan, perhaps you should watch their episode on the crack baby athletic association.

      • In regards to South Park, I’ve seen it.

        I challenge your notion that James would have profited the same off his skills and work ethic no matter where he had attended college. You think he would have received the same accolades/fame/attention at San Jose State? For that matter, you think he would have enjoyed the same success in Alabama’s offense? How do you know that he would have succeeded equally well in a pro-style offense that asked him to pick up blitzes or to run between the tackles 30 times a game?

        Oregon was a school uniquely suited for his skill set. They ran the type of offense that highlighted his ability to run in space. In addition, Oregon was already good enough prior to his arrival to garner national attention to which James was the beneficiary. It was mutually beneficial for both in that regard. It’s plug-and-play for colleges who get elite players for three years in most cases. Some players may make a big difference, but do you think more highly of Oregon now than 4 years ago when Dennis Dixon was wowing people in the same way?

        While James contributed quite a bit in his time there (without question), can you really say that he, in particular, generated funds that his backup wouldn’t have if given the same opportunity by the school? I’m not saying James didn’t, but what about the other 80+ players?

        I see this as a chicken-and-egg argument, for which I can see both sides, and I don’t necessarily know which is correct. I would like to see players at least be able to sell what has been given them and make some money off their names. What is the best way to do that? I don’t know. However, you seem entirely convinced that you know which side of the argument is correct without anything to back it up besides your opinion. Quantify what a player created for his team monetarily, subtract what he was given in education, aid, training, etc., and if there is something left over, then you will convince me as well.

        • Cojones

          I hear you and agree, Trey. No one is against the players getting more compensation, it’s just how to pull that off without ruining the system is the problem. Giving uni sales credit is not the way. It could never approach equality. And making the Institution the bad guy is never going to get the leverage. It’s similar to the bowl system killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

          Certainly there are Dawgs on here who can conjure up some answers/directions to solving this problem before it becomes the Gordian Knot.

        • See Marshall Faulk at San Diego St. Yeah, he’d have been fine whereever he goes.

          • I don’t think you addressed either concern I brought up regarding his style of play and the uniqueness with which Oregon deployed his talents. It’s like you are implying that he received zero benefit from attending Oregon over any other place. He could have gone absolutely anywhere and enjoyed the same amount of success, stardom, and financial gain?

            And, San Diego State really hit a financial boon with Faulk, didn’t they? A real program changer. I bet they are still living off the pile of cash he made them in his time there.

        • And as for the other 80, if the school couldn’t profit off the entire team, you think they’d keep losing money on this deal? They are all cogs in their money making machine.

          • According to an analysis by the Indianapolis Star newspaper of the 2004–05 budgets of 164 public universities, just 9 percent of these Division I schools had athletic departments that were able to support themselves. The rest received a total of more than $1 billion in student fees, general school funds, and other subsidies. Without the financial assistance, the average school would have lost $5.7 million, according to the Star.- CFO Magazine

            Yes. Schools still invest in athletics without regard to profits. There are many other articles with similar info. You can also look at Divisions II, III, NAIA, etc. to see similar findings.

            • Cause I’m sure those accounting firms are doing bang up jobs, just like with Enron, Lehman Brothers, etc.

              • I think you have taken the last shred of credibility out of any argument you made prior and subsequently.

                • And you’re not biased on the subject of accounting at all, are you cpadawg? See below for a more thorough description of the argument. Plainly, if these programs were all losing money, they’d change how they operate. But they don’t, and keep right on along. It’s interesting that when people accuse them of profiting off the sweat and blood of kids, they can show these books that none of them are making any money. Just like MLB, the NBA, etc when they begin collective bargaining negotiations.

                  • Lehman Brothers was not an accounting scandal. It was an inefficient market overpricing derivatives on bundles of underwater mortgages. It was an investment bubble just like the Tech bubble of the late ’90s and the tulip bubble of 1637.

                    And, no. I am not biased on the subject of accounting. Books can be altered to say things that are not true. We call that fraud. But, the books of state organizations are public record, so if you want to go digging through their audits and financial records, feel free to do so to prove your theory. Newspapers and journalistic entities have the same access, and they would kill for such a story. Instead, they pump out stories with the opposite information. That means they are either in on it, or irrationally ignoring their own self-interest. Exactly how far does this conspiracy theory go?

                    And, while some D1 schools claim a profit. There are hundreds of schools in lower divisions that do not recover the amount they spend on football. They maintain the sport, like they do every other sport that doesn’t make money, because they believe it contributes to their academic community.

              • I’d like to point out that a few isolated incidents of failure aren’t in indictment of accounting firms. I started my career at one and it’s full of the best and brightest minds I’ve been around. They do good work, but the standard the general public has and what they can realistically catch regarding fraud is a pretty wide gap.

                • I didn’t mean to demean the entire industry. But are we really to believe college athletics programs, for the most part, operate at a loss? OK, that’s why they keep pumping more and more money in to the system. And MLB franchises and NBA franchises are hemoraghing money too, that’s why rich guys keep paying billions for them.

                  I’m simply saying is, I don’t trust their numbers. If that many programs were operating at a deficit, you’d see people scaling back, or shutting down, their programs. But you aren’t seeing that. Because of such, their numbers are suspect at best, and as said below, they can play a shell game of costs between an Athletic department and the University on certain costs and expenses to keep the numbers confusing or make one entity look better on the books. College athletics doesn’t seem to be hurting for money when you look at how they operate, despite what they say shows up on their books. Same with NBA franchises, MLB franchises, etc when it comes time to negotiate with the unions. It’s awfully convienent for their argument of, “We’re non profit, of course we aren’t making millions of the sweat and blood of unpaid kids! Look at our books!” anytime people start saying these kids deserve more than they get.

        • One last thing, convince me of that cost of an education. How much is that “education” worth? How much expense is it to a school to simply have one more chair in a class room? It’s not like school stops without them, or they have classes exclusively for athletes. They go on about their business one way or the other, so how much of the “cost” is there for one more chair?

          • That argument is fine and well when the schools themselves are funding the athletic programs. When the two are separate, the athletic department pays the full cost of tuition to the school. So, while the school may not have an increased “cost”, the athletic department does have a discernible, monetary cost associated with that seat in the classroom.

            And what about the benefit of an education? Does that not carry any weight?

            • Have you been in a class room with these guys? So many major in eligibility, that no, the “education” carries little weight if any. And that “cost” is a shell game, see above re: accounting math making the numbers say whatever they want.

              • Of the 2550 (on an average of 85 schollies per school for 120 D1A schools, only ~250 will be drafted over this next weekend. If the other 2300 do not take their opportunity at a free education seriously, then how is it anybody’s fault but their own? Numerous studies have found the economic benefit to a college degree. That economic benefit might not have been available otherwise. If they squander that opportunity, how is that any different from someone spending their paycheck on lottery tickets, and why should I sympathize?

                • You clearly haven’t been in a classroom with several of these kids.

                • To put it more detailed, you’re taking a kid with about half the SAT score of his fellow students, and telling him to keep up with them? Yeah, that’ll work. About as well as taking normal students and asking them to keep up with these kids on a football field. We funnel them in and out, and major them in eligibility. As far behind on arrival as they are from everyone else, thinking they get the same education as the normal student population is delusional at best. Ever wonder why the vast majority of the team has a similar major at every major football and basketball program? If you think we are educating these kids, or even attempting to besides giving them passing grades, you are wrong.

                  • Cojones

                    Thought from your tone, you couldn’t back it up. You just did. Don’t like agreeing with this, but the proof is there for what you say. I think it’s overly cynical, but what the hell, I see people go over the top here all the time.

                  • The University has also spent millions on an academic center and funded tutors for these kids that are so far behind. Do I think they get the same education? No. Do I think they get access to the same education? Yes. That access would have been denied them otherwise. I can’t help that they don’t read on a 10th-grade level. They were failed by their parents and their school systems.

                    Also, the studies have found the economic benefit of having a college degree is there regardless of the major or course of study. So, a person with a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences will still make more money over the course of their lifetimes than if they had never gotten their degree.

                    And, I actually did take classes with the football players. My senior year I took physical science because I needed a throw-away class my second semester. It really should have been a football study hall. In it was David Pollack who appeared to be the attendance taker, Thomas Davis, and several other football players. They took the same tests I took, listened to the same lectures, and received the grades they earned just like I did. Was it a taxing, hard class? No, but they learned as much about physical science as I did.

                    And, once again, you are taking one idea and making a broad generalization about everybody. There are plenty of players that are not behind coming in. They have regular majors, and do well in them. I don’t think you are giving them the amount of credit they deserve with your one-size fits all idea of jocks.

      • Btw, what about Costa and Asper? What are your thoughts there?

        • How many tickets did they help sell? Jerseys, donations, etc, etc, etc. Yes, the school profits off these kids in a huge way. Otherwise, they wouldn’t invest in them as much as they do without a return on that investment.

          • Do you think Nate Costa generated enough revenue to cover the cost of his tuition, room and board, coaching and training, tutors, bus/plane rides to games, etc.? How much would that cost over a four five year period – $100,000? $150,000? Did he generate that much in ticket sales, uniform sales, donations, etc., etc., etc. to cover his cost to the UO athletic department? Just so we are clear, this is Nate Costa. My guess is that Oregon took a bath on Costa and many players like him if you want to break it down to individual contributions to the bottom line.

            If you want to make the argument that players like James make enough money to cover guys like Costa, then that is fair to a point. But, do you want to start paying everybody, or just the players like James that are the “moneymakers?” Does James not owe something to the rest of his team for helping him be as successful as he is, or does he just ooze so much success that being on the same field is reward enough? And, does Oregon itself have any intrinsic value in the marketplace (being Nike’s playground, coached by Chip Kelly), or is the value strictly generated by specific star players?

            • Where did I say we should pay the kids? I’m just aware that these colleges profit off of them, in jerseys, tv, etc, etc, etc. They make the schools money, that’s why the schools are in this business in the first place. When UNICEF gets in to the college athletics business, we can have this discussion.

  4. Cojones

    Where is “What Fresh Hell Is This?” when we need him? This is bending the willow too far, as if the player wearing the uni supercedes the fact that it belongs to the University while they are letting him wear it because it is required in the game. Some of this angst can be shortcut by not printing any player’s name on a college jersey. Then it becomes apparent that the University can use the same number over and over for generations and a player can’t “own” it. Cheez!

    I want player’s to receive a more equitable shake, but through other venues. Uniform sales is an unanswerable question. Stipends that are equitable across the board in all sports is the only starting point. I mean, when’s the last time any of you slid money into a deserving player’s handshake at a Club meeting? Or an awards banquet? Or just being happy for him enough to give money as he exits from the stadium after a game? Or….

    • This is a reasonable opinion that I agree with. I just want to make that clear. I am for some form of additional compensation for players, and not entirely a money-grubbing bastard like my prior posts may seem. I just don’t know how to do it in such a way that the whole thing does not get out of hand.

    • When you bought a #8 jersey, or #24 jersey, was it for the school on the front, or the fact that Knowshon and AJ wore them that we sold them? Want to make it apparent the player has nothing to do with the sales, remove the number too. People aren’t that dumb.

      • Cojones

        Uhh..,but it would then just be a football jersey. I see a lot of stores selling that shit.

        How would we practice or play a game witrhout a UGA number on a UGA jersey?

        Was thinking of getting a Harlow shirt for my grandson who just turned seven. Anyone know the number he wears? Nevermind, he probably will like the neon colors of Ladanian’s jersey more.

  5. Nope, it’s not about the money at all. We are profiting off of these kids so that we can provide for them. If we couldn’t sell their jerseys, we could have an extra chair for them in a 200 person class room!

  6. AusDawg85

    It’s getting increasingly hard to cheer and hold my nose at the same time for CFB.

  7. Jason

    They are getting a free education at first class institutions. Is that not enough? Dont hear the amateurs on the PGA tour complaining who by the way are usually attending some university.