Exploitation, part two

SMQ‘s second post exploring the issue of exploitation of college football players is up and is well worth your time.

Especially interesting is a chart he posts which contains some admittedly crude data about revenue in and expenditures out as it relates to these schools and kids, which he calls his “Exploitation Index”. (Check out those SEC numbers in particular.) It’s good stuff.

I perceive three classes of college players that we’re talking about here:

  • Those that play college ball, or at least maintain a position on the team, but don’t go on to play in the NFL. This is by far the largest group of the three, as something like 98% of all college players don’t make it to the next level. We’ll call these the “Tra Battle” student athletes.
  • Those that play college ball and are just good enough to be a marginal pro prospect – a low draft round pick, or a free agent who manages to win a spot with an NFL team. Call ’em the “Verron Haynes” kids.
  • The superstars, a la Reggie Bush, or on a somewhat lesser level, David Pollack. These guys are can’t miss types who watch the schools sell jerseys and posters promoting their jersey numbers but don’t see a dime from the sale of these materials while in college.

Skip SMQ‘s math for a minute. What does your gut say about which group of these kids is being exploited in college? Certainly not the Tra Battles, and most likely not the Verron Hayneses, either. That leaves a very small group – think about how small, really – of college athletes who get screwed out of the dollars.

In light of that, again, doesn’t it make a lot more sense to give the Bushes and the Pollacks the opportunity to leave for a professional career when they want to tap into what the market says they’re worth, rather than trying to come up with some formula to pay them and their student athlete peers in college?


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