It’s the exploitation, stupid.

Of all the takes you may have already seen about the NCAA’s punishment of Alabama in the wake of its textbook scandal (my favorite is Will Collier’s note about the ’07 FSU-‘Bama game), I bet you weren’t expecting this one:

… This kind of “cheating” is exactly what we should expect to see when we try to hold prices below their market-clearing levels. Anyone who has been to a big-time college football game knows full well that the marginal revenue product of a superstar college football player is a lot more than the cost of tuition, room, and board at a state university. Even when you add on all of the perks (facilities, for example), you’re probably still a long way from the market-clearing wage of a top-tier player.

So how come athletes in sixteen UA sports programs, including softball, baseball, gymnastics, women’s basketball, soccer, volleyball and both the men’s and women’s teams in golf, swimming, tennis and track and field, got pinched?

On the other hand, his extra credit question is spot on.  I’ll leave you to ponder it.

If college sports exploit athletes, why doesn’t competition arise?


Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

4 responses to “It’s the exploitation, stupid.

  1. dawgfish

    Competition DOES arise, it’s called the NFL, NBA etc. However, they have rules in place that prevent the kids from playing there until they have given some time to college. That’s why it is unfair. In basketball, a couple of kids have gone to play for pay in Europe rather than play a year in college, but a similar option doesn’t exist in football.


    • The Realist

      College is not a prerequisite to any major professional league. There is a minimum age which is one year and three years removed from high school graduation for the NBA and NFL, respectively.

      There are other leagues that would gladly take on those “underage” as it were. As you mentioned, the European leagues do it for basketball, and, likewise, the CFL and a myriad of arena leagues do it for football. The players have options that pay them money, but generally, college is the better option… because it pays more.

      Would you come out better to get $25,000 and have to pay for all of your food, housing, clothing, etc. for three years or get a full ride to a college that pays for your housing and food, provides access to top-notch strength and conditioning programs as well as coaching and academic resources, gives tons of free athletic gear and apparel, gets you exposure on television a few times per year (weekly if your team doesn’t suck), and also gives you a small stipend for things like bowl trips, at which you get a little cache of booty?

      Not to mention the level of competition at many major schools is greater than what can be found in these lower professional leagues.


  2. stick jackson

    Because the NCAA cartel, of which all major colleges are a member, outlaws nonexploitive behavior. Next question, please.


  3. NM

    The pay-the-players bandwagon always forgets that not every school is like Georgia, Alabama, Michigan, etc. Just how much does that guy think a player at Utah State or Fla Atlantic should be paid? Does this guy not realize that most athletic depts operate very much in the red?

    And that’s to say nothing of the many non-revenue generating sports that, as you point out, are just as susceptible to gaming the system as football players.