Making do with less

Something crossed my mind as I read this Jeremy Fowler piece on how the mid-majors will cope with the looming issue of more autonomy for the power conferences.  How much of a game changer could Jeffery Kessler’s antitrust suit be if he won, not for student-athletes, but for mid-major schools?

No, if the Wild West comes to college athletics, Boise State isn’t suddenly going to have as much money to spend as Ohio State.  But it doesn’t have the enormously expensive infrastructure Ohio State maintains, either.  So what if the more nimble Broncos did a little outside-the-box thinking and decided to put most of their resources into player payment?  Might that not serve to level the playing field somewhat?

I get that there are some places, like Alabama and Texas, that simply wouldn’t allow themselves to be outspent, and that there are schools at the other end of the spectrum that simply don’t have enough coming in to make a meaningful effort in that way.  But that still leaves a lot of programs in the middle.  You’d have to think there are enough talented kids out there who would prefer the cash being paid directly to them than being put into facilities or administrative salaries whom a smartly run program could sign in an open market that it could make some mid-major schools, or even bottom feeders in the bigger conferences, more competitive.  (Especially since you’d have to figure there would be a bunch of ADs out there ill-equipped to operate in such a world.)

Anybody think that might work?

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5 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, It's Just Bidness

5 responses to “Making do with less

  1. Bulldawg165

    Are you asking if I think it would be a good thing that we didn’t blow all that money on an indoor practice facility? Why, yes I do.

  2. Alkaline

    In theory that would work. A school like SDSU (to pick a random/decent mid-major) could take their smaller cut of the playoff dollars and budget it exclusively to pay out the maximum player stipend allowed. That way they’d be a good bet to pool the 3- and 4- star talent in the region that didn’t get picked up by a Pac-12 school. With the right coach they could consistently have a shot at the “access” bowls in the playoff rotation.

    That assumes that the AD is fine with a smaller salary despite increased income and that the school’s President is fine continuing to subsidize athletics. That’s the part that’s always puzzled me about athletic budgets. Even a majority of the schools that are raking in cash give very little back to their universities. I guess the exposure of competing makes it worthwhile indirectly?

  3. South FL Dawg

    Absolutely. It would be like me taking a job at a company in a strip shopping plaza and leaving a downtown tower. I would have to have the equipment to do my job, but beyond that my pay matters more than fancy digs.

  4. JasonC

    Greed certainly is an initiator of innovation but at also can be a great enemy of logic. I’ll bet in the latter in this case.

  5. AusDawg85

    Full “free agency” for players…??? Call that whatever you want, but it won’t be college football. I’ll book a noon tee time on Saturdays for anyone who wants to join me.