It’s not easy being decent.

Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald is one of the good guys in the game.  He’s done a helluva job at his alma mater and is in the camp of those who try to do right by their players.  Yet his testimony at yesterday’s NLRB hearing is a perfect example of the conflicted position schools take with their student-athletes.

… Fitzgerald echoed that sentiment. He said his credentials prove he puts academics first. Specifically, he cited a time last season when a player asked Fitzgerald to sit out of practice that week to catch up on school work. Fitzgerald obliged, and thus, that player was not prepared to play in the game that week against Nebraska and did not travel with the team.

That would support Northwestern’s argument that football players are students first and athletes second.

However, CAPA has said all along that it is not alleging any misconduct by Northwestern. Their point is that coaches are allowed to treat players unfairly if they want to, and the players have no representation. So even though Northwestern may not unjustly pull scholarships, other schools could, and CAPA isn’t planning to stop at Northwestern.

Essentially, they would argue, a football coach with the ability to pull compensation — the scholarship — is like a boss in an employee-employer relationship. And just because your boss is cool, that doesn’t mean he’s not your boss.

Fitzgerald told Barbour that he believes the student-athlete experience is all-encompassing — the athletic endeavors or an athlete are mixed with their academic and social endeavors. He said he believes in the ideal of the student-athlete, and that his players are not employees.

However, CAPA lawyer Gary Kohlman pointed out that in a Chicago Sun-Times article last year that Fitzgerald — who initially denied this sentiment — called being a student-athlete a “full-time job.” The question was related to increasing player stipends, which Fitzgerald supports. He clarified his stance after reading his quote.

“It’s a full-time job from a responsibility standpoint,” he said.

That’s the logic knot you tie yourself up in once you become an advocate for some form of payment to players.  But that’s not all here.  The problem for Fitzgerald is that once you get past the pay-for-play issue and focus on how much say players have over their working conditions, or, depending on your point of view, “the student-athlete experience” – regardless of the label, it’s basically none – it’s a tough sell.

Maybe that’s encompassed in preparing players for life.

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75 Comments

Filed under Look For The Union Label

75 responses to “It’s not easy being decent.

  1. Rp

    I really don’t see how a large players union could work in practice. The pro sports are much smaller and less diverse that CFB. I don’t believe that players at Southern Miss would be willing to walk out on their season because of some issue that a Michigan player has with his university or the NCAA.

    Also, does anyone really believe that the union would represent the interests of the players? Just like all large unions, they would represent the interests of the union leadership, not the members. These Northwestern guys better think about what they’re asking for.

    • Yeah, what have unions ever done for the working man? Sigh.

      Why is it that nobody ever bitches about how big business management doesn’t represent the interests of stockholders, but of management?

      • Brcdavis

        Do you mean since 1950 or prior? Gotten their jobs shipped overseas or to another region of the country?

        • Other than bitching about useless stereotypes, I don’t mean anything.

          • Brcdavis

            I enjoy your blog a great deal and I read it every day. I think this topic is relevant, no doubt. I don’t consider myself a right wing zealot and do think some regulations need to be put in place that are more favorable to players. I’m not sure how that happens, though I think the trend is in that direction. I don’t see a positive impact of a labor union in several decades, though, and I think this is a bad move on the players’ part.

            • Maybe you can answer the question I put to Scorp, then. I don’t see any way the NCAA offers to do anything about it on a voluntary basis.

              • Brcdavis

                On pay for play I don’t see the NCAA doing anything for sure. I don’t really see how they could since their constituency has such vastly different needs and perspectives. How do they make a set of rules for Georgia or Alabama than they do for Ga Southern or Ga State or for football than soccer? Maybe there is a way, I just don’t know. That seems to me to be where a super conference or division for football separate from the NCAA would have to come in. I don’t know. On issues that in my mind are more egregious, transfer rules and one year scholarships for example, I don’t see why the NCAA can’t or won’t tackle those.

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Sooooo…let me get this straight. A NW player had an academic issue. He went to Pat Fitzgerald, his HC about it. Fitzgerald said, “Alright, I’ll give you time away from practice so you can study” and he did so. Then he wouldn’t allow the kid to go on the Nebraska game trip. And Fitzgerald says this is proof that he puts academics first and doesn’t treat players unfairly? So the next time a player has an academic problem we are supposed to believe that he will go to the coach asking for study time, knowing he will effectively be suspended for the next game? Riiiiight. This sure sounds like being punished for being more interested in academics than football to me.

      • RP

        Because this isn’t a discussion about big business. It’s a discussion about unions :)

  2. Scorpio Jones, III

    If, and it appears to be a very big “if”…the kids get their players’ union, which would make the players employees, does this then mean their scholarships would be taxed as income? Would the schools have to do the withholding tax dance for the players?

    Having been on both sides of the union-anti-union argument in the work place, I wonder if the Northwestern kids really understand anything about unions beyond the concept of having one.

    Can any one of us imagine a college AD or head football coach sitting down with a collective bargaining committee, or dealing with a grievance filed against an assistant coach?

    These examples are just the very tiny tip of a can of worms the size of Texas.

    One thing these kids need to clearly understand, there is no such thing as a text book union.

    • One thing these kids need to clearly understand, there is no such thing as a text book union.

      Agreed. But how would you propose giving student-athletes some say so in their fate? Because the NCAA sure ain’t gonna offer anything voluntarily.

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        That’s the obvious question, I guess. It seems to me there are at least two sets of issues here.

        If the idea in the minds of the organizers is to have some voice in the football side of things…playing time, starting positions, etc, then I would suspect the movement is doomed.

        I think 99 percent of college football coaches are happy to talk to any player about any issue he is having on the football field. Coaches want players to succeed.

        But the idea a uniion rep is gonna come to Nick Saban to plead the case of one of his members about a football decision…well that ain’t likely to happen, is it?

        If the idea is to divide the business of football from the actual playing of football for say….Northwestern, then I can see a sort of players’ council having some sort of impact, as does the student government association or whatever it is called at Northwestern.

        But that’s a simplistic view. There is nothing simple about the relationship between a company and its employees, not these days.

        The NCAA purports to represent the interest of the players, that’s the touchstone of its core values. We all know how that has worked out for the players…not very damn well sometimes.

        Change is coming for the NCAA, and for college football. The organization effort at Northwestern and the suit against the NCAA are precursors, I suspect.

        • I think 99 percent of college football coaches are happy to talk to any player about any issue he is having on the football field. Coaches want players to succeed.

          That explains the transfer rules, I guess.

          • Scorpio Jones, III

            Are you saying a player can not talk to his coach about a problem, real or perceived, including playing time or his girl-friend hurting his feelings?

            That transfer is the only option?

            • Gaskilldawg

              Of course the coach will be paternalistic and help the players with girlfriend issues. However, the CAPA is not addressing such. It wishes to give players a voice in setting NCAA policy that effects them such as the transfer rule or providing medical care or number of hours devoted to sports versus study time or the academic progress rules. The idea it wishes to tell coaches which player should be the backup left tackle is such a silly comment that it must be sarcastic.
              The players’ interests in these policies and rules can be adverse to the interests of the rulemakers. The thought that the coaches and ADs are going to vote against their self interests because they love their players misguided.

              The NCAA members should settle it and give the CABA a seat at the NCAA table. It doesn’t mean that UGA has to get into a bidding war with Texas for players and it doesn’t mean coaches have to meet with as shop steward before setting a depth chart.

      • South FL Dawg

        This might be too simplistic but why not start with giving players freedom to transfer without losing anything? As was said somewhere above the schoools “can” give more but choose not to. But schools are ultra competitive when it comes to recruiting so it wont be long before they start bidding for talent. I know but bear with me.

        Also, allow the schools to give a stipend of up to a certain dollar amount that equates to the full cost of attendance. Just allow it but don’t mandate it. Suddenly all the lolligagging around it will end and it will be done. And four-year scholarships…..done Transfers can be limited to December and May breaks., and being in good standing and on track to graduate can be prerequisites. Depth charts and playing time will be bigger than getting an extra dollar for all but a few blue chips who probably will just stay put anyway where they have a good thing going. And if they make “being on track to graduate” mean by the time your eligibility is up, it might make players more willing to redshirt because it will be easier to be on a 5-year track.

        Shoot holes – there are always some – but I’m not sure what more a union could do, and this preserves the tax-free nature of scholarships. So go easy on me.

    • Brcdavis

      Well put.

    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Here’s the real problem: The school-individual player relationship is too one-sided and the player has little to no power against an institution as powerful as a university. Somebody is supposed to speak for the players. That “somebody” is supposed to be the NCAA. But the NCAA has effectively been co-opted by the universities and has morphed into a money-driven greedfest that has shown time and again that it doesn’t care one whit about the players individually or collectively. So what are the players to do?

      • Exactly my point.

        Does anyone really think that if the NLRB denies certification, the NCAA will cede anything to student-athletes on its own?

      • Scorpio Jones, III

        You write faster than I do, Mayor…see above…

      • BCD

        Nobody is in favor of it but at some point, if it’s as bad an environment for players as many say, then the government should step in. In my mind the department of labor does plenty to protect employees without unions entering the picture. Why could the same not be done for student athletes, particularly within public universities?

        • Mayor of Dawgtown

          One of the 3 greatest lies: “I’m from the Federal Government and I’m here to help you.”

          • Brcdavis

            I couldn’t agree more in a general sense. I do think the government has done some things through history, though, to stop grossly unfair labor practices (early 1900’s). Some of the policies, like the transfer policy and limitations on part time work, seem to me like they are grossly unfair so I just don’t see why they couldn’t step into college athletics in the same way.

        • Gaskilldawg

          Because, say it with me, “They are not employees, they are student~athletes.”

  3. Ant123

    College football players are no different than most other colllege students on scholarship, except if they perform reasonably well they pretty much ensrue themselves some door will be opened to support themselves after they leave. If not their sport at a professional level there will be a fan with a business that will hire them.
    My son has a good friend that is on a music scholarship to Vanderbilt. In addition to keeping her grades up (much higher than what a football player would have to) she practices her piano (and another instrument that I’ve forgotten which it is) 6 to 9 hours a day. why? Because she wants to keep her spot and someone else would like to take it. Like the football athletes she spends most of her time working to hone her abilities.
    The players pushing this absurd union idea ultimatly want nothing more than money. The other people pushing this ultimatly want nothing more than money.
    All of this talk of players being exploited and schools making money off a players jersey is crap. First without the school there is no jersey. If any one player wasn’t wearing a giving jersey some other player would and will.
    There are a lot of things the NCAA can improve. The scholarships for athletes that because of NCAA rules can’t work should receive enough to sustain them while they are in school. Conference have been been moving that way for a few years now and they will get there in the next five years.
    College football is the best it has ever been. If some moronic union doesn;t mess it up.

  4. Cosmic Dawg

    I’m a big fan of free markets, and this is a great example of having to come up with patch after patch once the govt steps in and distorts a market.

    Players, like any free people in a free country, sure as hell have the right to form an association of any kind they choose, including a “union”, a word that can describe anything they want to put in their charter. That an imperious “NLRB” has to “approve” this collection of free souls from getting together to further their common interests is frustrating to me.
    The fact that the NFL is given special exemption from collusion and monopoly law by the govt (not to mention local govts building stadiums = crony capitalism) has given it an unfair advantage over the talent pool (read: cfb players) – and its customers, for that matter. Monopoly practices help to discourage entrants into the industry from other groups looking to start football leagues – even by simply creating larger profits because of price fixing and information sharing for the existing league, making the NFL a 1000lb gorilla. That is NOT the market at work.

    So this collusion between the govt, NFL, universities and/or the NCAA, another monopoly of sorts has conspired against an environment where these players could get a fair market price for their skills right now if they chose to do so. That should end the argument about stipends right there.

    It’s also baloney that the NW coach or any coach can say “this is not a job” but can then turn around and limit this so-called non-employee from working somewhere else or making money signing autographs, playing in a summer league, etc. That’s the biggest hypocrisy to me, and the easiest way to make a fair distinction between different kinds of student athletes getting paid is to let the market sort ‘em out. Todd Gurley can make his own money signing autographs or as a celebrity at a car dealership in the summertime, he doesn’t need UGA’s charity. In exchange for an education and room and board he may very well be willing to play for free on Saturdays and help UGA move a lot of #3 jerseys. But I think it’s a lousy thing that outside of Sanford the guy can’t capitalize on his own hard work, or that another relatively unknown kid can’t work a few weeks in January just to make some pocket money, an option open to everyone who reads this blog.
    The notion of the amateur student athlete is very quaint and romantic and collegial and all that, and something I personally like the idea of. But it’s not fair if it’s being perpetuated in an environment where govt intervention has made playing college ball the only reasonable choice for people whose skills are – obviously – in at least as high demand as the players on the Savannah Sand Gnats.

    I’m glad nobody’s trying to protect the sanctity of amateurs in my profession – I’d be a little angry, wouldn’t you?

    • Ant123

      They are getting “a fair market price for their skills”. They are getting a free education at the institution of their choosing in exchange for those skills.The same education that most every other student their parents or Guardians have to pay for.That is capitalizing on his own hard work. That is the free market at work.

      • Actually, no. It’s a monopsony at work.

      • Gaskilldawg

        “Free market at work?” You understand the buyers (the universities) of a factor of production (the players ‘ services) formed a trade association (the NCAA) that unilaterally limits the sellers ‘ entry into the market (rules about eligibility for playing), and sets a fixed price the buyers pay for the sellers ‘ services (limiting players to the value of a scholarship.)
        if this occurred in any other industry we would be outraged at that restraint of trade.

        Whet is the “fair market price ” that the players are getting? Hell if I know because the market has not had an opportunity to set the price.

        • Ant123

          This is a school providing an opportunity for athletes to showcase their skills and for most it will be their last opportunity for doing so. It is no different than it was in high school just a much larger stage for some (though some schools aren’t much different at all) one to display their skills. It is not an industry. I think its time for some people on here to think about where the majority of these kids would be if it were not for college athletics. Because they sure are pushing for its destruction.

          • It is no different than it was in high school…

            Dude.

          • Cosmic Dawg

            Listen – I like college athletics and the fact that these are student-athletes, I really, really do. I’m sympathetic to a lot of the sensibilities behind your argument.

            But I disagree that football scholarships should be seen as a social safety net – that’s simply a nice side effect for a handful of kids out of tens of thousands. You’re not really making a dent in poverty with that, and with the attrition rate, etc, that’s not really an argument, IMHO.

            So if you really want to help the most number of people, you would destroy the system of collusion that is keeping many people from following their dreams in a way that makes them happy, not that fulfills our notion of How It Should Be.

            The way the math generally works out, when you limit opportunities by putting artificial restraints on people’s desires – in this case, to play for low money right out of high school, to fund a start-up summer football exhibition league, to play college ball in the fall and work at a bookstore in the summer, or to work concessions, referee, coach, play in, or attend a minor league football game, etc, then society is poorer.

            If the trust was broken up, UGA would still be free to give kids (poor and otherwise) scholarships, and they would. But we (and our competition) would probably have a team more representative of the student body at large and we’d be even closer to the ideal of student-athlete, I believe.

            Additionally, kids out of high school AND college kids – probably some graduates, too – who made a name for themselves in school but not quite enough of a name to go to the NFL could earn a few bucks in the football minors. Baseball is not as popular as football, but there are both college baseball teams and a slew of minor league teams, and both enrich people’s lives in a number of ways.

            In a nutshell, it’s an argument that maximum freedom for the individual, that doesn’t hurt others, is almost always preferable to a system of rules that benefits special interests.

            ps – I may be wrong, but for just one example of the difference – are there typically rules against high school football players having a job on the weekends?

            • Ant123

              Cosmic Dawg, I agree with your sentiment ” that maximum freedom for the individual, that doesn’t hurt others, is almost always preferable to a system of rules that benefits special interests.” But it is my belief that the players (football players is what we are really talking about here) have freedom. If they choose they could skip college and spend every minute training for the Pros until they’re third year out of high school. They could work a part time job or full time if they wanted. This would offer protection from injury that they risk in college. However, it would deny them the opportunity of a college education that for most would benefit them more later in life. Most of the the guys leaving high school will never play in college and most college players (92%-94%) will never play in the NFL. Do we really want to flip all (and it would effect every college athlete not just the football players) of college athletics on its head because 6%-8% might (there are no certainties) could get a better deal in another system. I would say there would be an even greater number of players that would lose there opportunity were this to happen.

  5. 69Dawg

    Lets face it the labor side of this case has a lot more clout than they think. What would a college do if all of it’s players refused to play. Well look no further than this past year. Grambling’s players went on what the NLRB would call a wildcat strike They refused to play. What happened? Well the ship hit the sand. As far as I know no players were kicked off the team but Grambling got sued by Southern and paid the price of the forfeiture. Now imaging what would happen, union or not if a FBS school’s players walked. The coach would be fired, the AD would be fired, the Athletic Board would be run out of town on a rail. I say when push comes to shove the players have all the power. Just piss them off and see. Right now the adults need to solve this problem before an outside third party whispers in the kids’ ears and the kids walk.

    • Scorpio Jones, III

      That’s pretty well said, 69…and basically what most of us have been dancing around.

      After reading your thoughts, I have the thought that now I understand why the college football business fears the players organizing (in the larger sense, not the union sense.) An organized players’ group should scare the living beJesus out of the NCAA et al.

  6. E dawg

    The girl in music is not risking her health as well as making school lots of money. Pay them.

    • DawgPhan

      The girl with a piano scholarship can go play piano at tootsies for tip money. She could get another scholarship offer in the middle of a semester and transfer to another school. An alum of the school could buy her dinner. She isn’t going to limit her life expectancy playing piano.

      It really is a very bad comparison. I feel bad that you made it in such a long winded and public manner.

      • Ant123

        While its true she could go play at Tootsies if she had the time. However it is also true that no one would pay her to not show up or to simply stay in the music room and practice the way football players often were before the no work rule was in force. As I said earlier they (athlete’s) should receive the full cost of their scholarship plus a little extra.
        Many people have taken risk for the opportunity of future reward. Student athlete’s are not the first just some of the more public.

        • As I said earlier they (athlete’s) should receive the full cost of their scholarship plus a little extra.

          So players should be paid something, just not as much as you think they want. That sounds just like the fair market at work.

          • Ant123

            Senator, If you want to call ensuring all of their costs to attend the school of their choice, plus a small allowance for only the sports that by rule are not allowed to work “payment” then yes. I don’t consider that payment just like I don’t consider it payment when they receive bowl perks or free medical care. To me those are not the same thing as a salary or some type of commission on gate receipts or other revenue stream.

            • Call it whatever you like; it still spends the same.

              Maybe you’ve stumbled on a solution to the problem – the players receive compensation, but agree with the NCAA not to call it “payment”. Amateurism is saved!

              • Ant123

                It’s not what you call it. It is the purpose. Is it simply to provide a little money they could earned in a few hours a week job (if the rules allowed) or is it to as I have heard some say give them there “share” of somebody else’s pie.
                That is the difference to me.

                • So they “earn” it if the schools give it to them, but they “share” it if it’s paid to them by a third party for their name or likeness. Got it.

                  • Ant123

                    I did not say they earned it. It would simply part of their scholarship to put them on an equal footing with the other athletes in college that can have a part time job. Nothing more or nothing less than that.

                    • Spin the explanation as you like. It’s just semantics on your part. They’re getting paid something beyond the cost of a scholarship because they’re student-athletes. Nothing more or nothing less than that.

                    • Ant123

                      No, they would be more because there is a rule preventing them from working. If that rule did not exist the extra money would not exist, even though they would still be student athletes.

                    • What’s the rule that prevents student-athletes from working? The only NCAA limitation I’m aware of is this:

                      NCAA rules do not prevent student-athletes from working during any point during the year. However, NCAA rules do require that student-athletes be paid only for work actually performed and that student-athletes be paid at a rate commensurate with the work being performed, their level of experience and amount of time committed to the work. Employers of student-athletes cannot provide transportation for student-athletes to and from work unless the employer provides transportation to all employees doing the same type of work as the student-athlete being transported. Also, employers of student-athletes may not utilize the student-athlete’s name, picture or likeness in promoting their business or product. Any student-athlete that accepts pay for work not performed, excessive pay, impermissible transportation or permits his or her name, picture or likeness to be used to promote a business or product has put his or her eligibility at risk.

                      The part about “name, picture or likeness” isn’t very fair market, by the way.

    • Ant123

      No one is forcing them to take that risk. Besides most of them started taking that risk in elementary school. Do you want to pay them then also?

      • Gaskilldawg

        If the elementary school cashes million dollar checks from televion to see elementary students play, if you mail the elementary school a check of over $1,000 every February just to be in line to buy tickets to see the elementary school kids play, and if the money elementary school sports generates is great enough to make elementary school coaches the highest paid public employees in the state, then yeah, maybe we should.

        • Ant123

          So since the high schools bring in more money than the junior high schools and the junior high schools bring in more than the elementary schools. Just pay them all correct. I mean if were going to make the assertion that because there is more money at level than another that higher level should pay. At most colleges and high schools, the football or basketball programs pay for most all if not all of the other sports. This model has worked for decades. The model is not broken but some in it have become envious of what others have.

          • The model is not broken…

            Depends on your perspective, doesn’t it?

          • Gaskilldawg

            Mr. Emmert
            , elementary sports, middle school sports and high school sports are not run as as business. Sure, the schools sell tickets and moms have bake sales to raise money. If you don’t think that FBS programs don’t run businesses then you are so intent on defending your earlier point you are willing to stick your head in the sand. High school football teams don’t pursue million dollar reserve funds.

            • Ant123

              Gaskilldawg you proved my point. Just because we are dealing with higher numbers is no reason to claim the system is broken. Just because some schools have more money doesn’t make it unfair. The high school attended was/is in the bottom third of revenue for high school sports. We didn’t/don’t complain because the next county over was/is in the top 10%.

              • GaskillDawg

                I “proved” your point that, to paraphrase, “Big time college sports generating multi-millions in revenues are not business enterprises but are, instead, really elementary school sports just with bigger boys and girls”? Not at all.

                You are better off responding to the argument that the universities selling viewing of sporting events are entering into a combination (the NCAA) that restrains the sellers of the services (the players) from selling their services on the open market by abandoning the argument that big time college sports aren’t a business enterprise and instead saying that you really are happy with the restraints on the players’ ability to market their services to the colleges.

                • Anthony

                  GasskillDawg. Only the NFL and the pays for that service. They (colleges) can’t restrain someone (player) from selling something they (colleges) are not in the market to buy. If that is your argument then colleges have been paying players ever since there have been scholarships. For that matter people on academic scholarship are paid to attend school also. Rewarding someones perceived/apparent ability and achievement. Is not the same as being paid. This is why we have had scholarships for around a century without a real problem. If there was not the vast amounts of TV money and TV coverage that there is
                  today we would not be discussing it today as we did not in the eighties or earlier.

                  • GaskillDawg

                    The NCAA member institutions compensate athletes for athletes’ services. The schools give athletes tuition, books, room, meals, free training, free public relations services, some fee clothing, and free health care. These are not Oxford and Cambridge sons of the elite rowing and running races just for recreation.

                    Academic scholarships are, in fact, consideration flowing to the student in exchange for the student doing something; playing music, acting in plays; attending UGA instead of Princeton. It is not a no strings attached gratuity.

                    If you do not want to use the word “paid” when refering to “rewarding someone’s … achievement” it does not matter. When UGA AA direct deposits Mark Richt’s “reward” check into his personal joint account you can call it a “reward,” a “benefit,” a “stipend,” an “expression of appreciation,” whatever. I’ll bet Richt and I would both call it “getting paid.”

                    The NCAA member institutions have a product they sell on the open market. That product is the opportunity for consumers to view or listen to the college’s sporting events, and the sales are of tickets to fans, or broadcast rights to broadcasters who in turn deliver television or radio to consumers. The product is the actual competitions; no one is buying a view of an empty football field or basketball court. The colleges have to have athletes performing in order to sell opportunities to view those performances. The athletes are the only source of those performances. No one is paying to see Greg McGarity suit up and hit the field.

                    Everyone involved in the event receives what you would call payment. The coaches get paid. The referees get paid. The event staff checking bags gets paid. The camera crews, so0und crerws, director, and broadcast crews get paid. The schools get paid (although the money is channeled through the conferences). According to you the only essential providers of services essential to this multi-million dollar transaction are the players, who are doing it as a gratuity.

                    I don’t buy it. Elementary schools don’t require their teams to get yup at 5:00 a.m. and exercise until they puke before going to class and then having to learn. College football coaches and administrators put college athletes through that because it increases the quality of play and therefore increases the market value of the opportunity to watch them play,

                    • Anthony

                      GaskillDawg “Everyone involved in the event receives what you would call payment. The coaches get paid. The referees get paid. The event staff checking bags gets paid. The camera crews, so0und crerws, director, and broadcast crews get paid. The schools get paid (although the money is channeled through the conferences)”
                      Those same things are true at the local high school. Those things have been true for decades. So why is it now a problem? Simply because there is more money involved. The players are getting the same arrangement, actually better, (because they are getting a lot more publicity for their efforts now and the value of their scholarship has increased) that they have always have. So why is this an issue now and was not in 1985?

                    • Because in 1985, it was not About The Money!

                    • Ant123

                      My point exactly. The process was the same and no one had a problem with it. Now the process is some how wrong even though it has not changed.

                    • The process hasn’t changed? “Voluntary” offseason workouts, longer regular season and postseason, roster management, increased travel due to conference realignment… we must be watching two different sports.

                    • Anthony

                      I was referring to the scholarship for the players verses the fact that others (coach’s, broadcasters, officials, etc.) have always been paid. However, I will address your points as they are valid. It may be true that workouts are longer on balance (I would not know how to research that) and it is certainly true that the season is longer. Travel is hard to say because there are some schools traveling further but some not as far. If these things are an issue to a potential scholarship player then they should exercise their freedom to forgo playing college athletics and either train to be a professional in their sport or just be a student or seek employment. In most cases there are walk-on’s without the benefit of a scholarship that would love to have their spot.

                    • If these things are an issue to a potential scholarship player then they should exercise their freedom to forgo playing college athletics and either train to be a professional in their sport or just be a student or seek employment.

                      Or they could operate in a world where the NFL and NCAA didn’t collaborate to restrict their ability to be paid for their services, unlike everyone else in this country.

                      Hard to believe they’d prefer your version of choice.

                    • Anthony

                      I know many people believe they are colluding and they may be. The way I see it the colleges essentially doing what they were doing before there was an NFL. The NFL has the freedom to choose not to employ someone until they have been out of high school 3 years or 5, or 10 if they wanted. I don’t see anything wrong with that. I think it bothers me the most that people that had no problem with the system 25 years ago now do simply because there is more money involved. That seems fundamentally wrong to me. If it was alright then then it should be now. If it was wrong then why was no one saying it. Anyway I enjoy your blog and thanks for sticking to the issue and not getting into the name calling over disagreements that so many bloggers do.

  7. hobokendawg

    just plain comical – when a war breaks out we call on the common layman first to sacrifice all, but when the time comes to share the benefit of their sacrifice, they are told to get to the back of the line. capitalism with no moral values as a guide line is no better than any other form of govt. communism takes all and gives back what it wants the people to have, capitalism simply takes what it wants

  8. Will Trane

    brained washed thru high school by liberal, “i’m sorry”, we will make you all even teacher culture. What most of america needs is an undergradute degree in business and engineering. Clueless about the world of finance and business…all pipe dreamers.

  9. Always Someone Else's Fault

    Who knew that unions might be a wedge issue that could give the NCAA a glimmer of hope in its PR wars? We finally found something that a segment of CFB fans hate more than Mark Emmert. Maybe the Screen Actors Guild would be willing to take on the players as fellow entertainers and artists.