“Every time I call it a game, you call it a business. And every time I call it a business, you call it a game.”

Let me see if I’ve got this straight. College football has survived, even flourished, in an era when sheer greed has driven it to blow up longstanding rivalries, remake conference alignments at a dizzying rate, explode the amounts paid to head coaches (the average salary for head coaches in the SEC West next season will be $4 million), create conference networks that require us to pay extra money for games we were already getting, enlarge the postseason to squeeze even more money out of fans…

But it’s player compensation that’s gonna drive a stake in our hearts.  Right.  Got it.

The idea that college athletes “play for the love of the game” is the core notion of college sports, Pilson said. “To the extent that the viewing public believes in this ideal, paying student-athletes would undermine the cornerstone of the viewing public’s belief that student-athletes play for the love of the game,” Pilson wrote.

It’s sure killed the Olympics.

Oh, but this wouldn’t be complete without a disclaimer.

In a deposition, Pilson said he has not run an economic model on model [sic] on his prediction of a 15- to 20-percent ratings decline.

And one of the greatest example of logic chopping you’ll ever see.

What the O’Bannon plaintiffs “call the ‘commercialization’ of college sports is nothing more than schools’ decisions not to refuse revenues available to them,” Pilson wrote.

Yeah, not refusing money must be exactly how it works when Mike Slive sits down with ESPN.  Too bad the players don’t get the same opportunity.  But at least they’ve got the love of the game to keep them going when they don’t have enough money at the end of the month to do anything.  It’s a win-win:  the players stay pure of heart and the schools don’t get their revenue streams cut.

All of this puts me in mind of a (definitely NSFW) clip from North Dallas Forty:

You can’t put a price tag on love of the game.  Well, at least the players can’t.


UPDATE:  Can’t believe I missed this.

In court papers filed last Thursday, the NCAA argued that college athletes are not entitled to revenue from live broadcasts of their games. The NCAA’s theory rests on the First Amendment, which generally allows broadcast companies to televise live news events (such as political events or press conferences) without compensating persons shown in those events. The underlying logic is that the public has a stake in knowing about live events and broadcast companies should not be deterred from covering news out of concern they may be sued if they don’t pay. The NCAA contends this same principle applies to live broadcasts of college games.

That begs for a rebuttal so obvious, even a caveman could do it.

O’Bannon will likely ask why does the NCAA and its members demand payment from broadcast companies to televise games if those games are free news?

Love of the game, beyotch.



Filed under Blowing Smoke, The NCAA

38 responses to ““Every time I call it a game, you call it a business. And every time I call it a business, you call it a game.”

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    Ahh, the Tooz.


  2. AusDawg85

    $825/hr! Hell, for a $50,000 flat fee I’ll provide a model that shows paying college athletes causes global warming!

    (We already know bovine flatulence is a primary contributor to greenhouse gases, imagine what extra beer & pizza money would cause among college kids. Stop the madness!)


  3. Hogbody Spradlin

    I hope that argument about the broadcasts being news was only sixth or seventh in the NCAA’s brief. If not, somebody is letting their teenage niece or nephew write their legal papers.


  4. Let’s just be done with the NCAA already.


  5. uglydawg

    Aside from the well publicized allegations against the FSU QB, and lost in the grimness of that event…was a sad picture into the life of some of these kids who have little to nothing for spending. That “sad picture” is the story of how he was caught stealing soda in a fast food joint. He was allegedly using the little ketchup cups to steal soda..and then asked for a complimentary water cup and was accused of filling it with soda. This is NOT to defend or take sides in the serious allegations against him…I don’t have a dog in that fight…but the sidebar of a kid who can’t even afford to buy a drink when he hangs out with his friends at McDonalds is telling..(granted…you may argue that these kids afford what they want to afford..and some do, but there is a poverty problem at some level for some kids that are playing for institutions (conferences, schools, tv networks, coaches) that are raking in literal millions off of their backs). A stipend is a simple and fair answer. Maybe UGA and UF would not have had to dismiss certain players in the past for stealing relatively inexpensive things had a stipend been in place.


  6. Athens Dog

    You just can’t make up this shit……………….and one of the great sports movies (and novels) of all time


  7. sniffer

    I imagined the NCAA attorneys pleading their case before the court in the style and voice of Foghorn Leghorn…

    Seriously, anecdotal evidence that a college student needs pizza and beer money is rediculous. Soon enough, they will need car insurance premiums, a cell phone and a new set of “beatsbydre”. You know, stuff a kid needs(deserves).

    Need money, sell your plasma like we did…


  8. Scorpio Jones, III

    The whole Pilson argument is bogus…I don’t know what to say…If the NCAA head shed approved the arguments from their “lawyers” the end is nigh. T’would behoove the NCAA leadership to read the transcript of the Jan Kemp trial…Georgia’s lawyers were at least as effective as theirs.

    I would bet decent money Pilson is NOT a college football fan…not that we are by any stretch a fair sample, but does anybody here actually object to giving these kids a stipend…object to the point it would stop us watching or going to say….the Clemson game next year?

    And maybe that’s the essence of the whole problem…the NCAA lacks fan representation. The SEC certainly could benefit from it.


  9. Mayor of Dawgtown

    In a nutshell, the soliloquy by John Matuszak in the linked video is essentially how I feel about UGA football and that whole crowd at B-M. Well said, Tooz!


  10. Speaking of ORANGE….Saw a lady yesterday at The Fresh Market with a blue Santa sweatshirt, The hat on the Santa was Orange and “War Eagle” was at the center. Enough….these people in Columbus have lost their minds over this Awbun miracle stuff. Oh, and give the players “Coca Cola Money”. Boys gotta eat and it is expensive these days.


  11. 69Dawg

    I hate to be critical of my brothers in the legal profession but grasping at straw is the only way to view this brief. In effect they are saying that the NCAA, ESPN and all the cable and satellite providers can screw the fans for millions of dollars but if the players get a piece of this screw job the fans will suddenly get pissed off. What a bunch of maroons, I won’t insult morons with this one.


  12. fatman48

    How much do you think the SEC channel will set you back on your cable or satellite bill ? because Mike ( Damn I’m Short) Slive only cares about making money for the SEC, not about the Players (The true money makers in the game) same as that ass-clown over at the NCAA….


  13. Trbodawg

    I’m not so sure the Olympics is a case where paying players hasn’t made a difference. I haven’t cared about the Olympics in 20+ years. The “Dream Team” killed it for me.


  14. www

    hey look, it’s BUBBA* from “in the heat of the night”!

    *not a uga-fans-are-dumb joke


    • Mayor of Dawgtown

      Yep. Bubba (Alan Autry) played in the NFL for a couple of seasons with the Packers. That cast is made up of a lot former NFL players.