Patrick Garbin relates something that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise – players at Georgia struggling to make ends meet is nothing new. It’s just harder nowadays to keep the consequences of that inside the family.
Filed under Georgia Football
That speaks to the plantation mentality between the NCAA/Universities and the players. UGA football generated about $60 million in revenue in 2013 and players are only getting $71 to cover expenses ($2 per day).
Apparently we have had thugs throughout the years at UGA. Who knew?
It all goes back to Kid Woodruff. He put the “thug” in thUGA!
So, as a an alumni who is still paying off student loans from their education, explain to me how if these guys are so desperate for money and their families can’t help them, they don’t take out a loan? Even with a full ride, they would still qualify for some amount of money.
I am firmly in the camp of no sympathy given the free tuition, books, tutoring, and other things that the athletes (not just football players) receive in return for their play on the field. How many of them do you think would be in college and have any opportunity at the possibilities of success that offers if not for playing whatever sport they are on scholarship for?
Students who participate in research that brings millions to Universities don’t see any of the financial rewards from things that are invented or patented based off of their work so how is it different for someone playing a sport?
I think we can all agree that the amount of money generated for the University and NCAA is obscene but they are supposedly student-athletes and the student part is being funded by the University. I’m not athletically gifted enough to do what these guys do but if I were, I would gladly exchange the loans and working three jobs to get through school for not having tons of spending money handed to me.
I have to admit I am on both sides of the fence on this one: One on hand I worked several jobs and used student loans to pay for my school, not a dime came from my parents. After graduation I enlisted in the Army and through the loan repayment program I had my loans paid off in return for 5 years of service. Not a bad trade at all in my opinion. That being said I would have given anything to have been able to play sports in college and not had to worry about choosing which textbook to buy since I couldn’t afford all of them or having someone to help with that calculus II class that was kicking my ass. I was a pretty good baseball player back in the day and had a chance to walk on but I couldn’t afford not to work.
I do think that these kids should get more each month to have some pocket money to eat. I do remember giving athletes free food when I waited tables because I knew that they couldn’t afford it otherwise. It’s a slippery slope because for all of the people who would play by the rules and only give the players $300-400 a month to get by, there are the Bobby Lowders of the world who would add a zero to that and not think twice about it. You would legitimize Auburn cheating (although it doesn’t seem that anything will happen to them anyway so there isn’t much of a difference).
I am an academic, not an athlete, and I would like to agree with your analogy comparing student-researchers to student-athletes. There is one problem with it, however: students involved in research aren’t sacrificing their bodies and brains in the same manner as students involved in D1 level sports (or at least I hope they aren’t). The idea that an athlete could play ball here only to lose the chance for a promising pro career because his or her knees are completely blown out or his or her brain was repeatedly concussed to a dangerous point makes the difference in my mind.
But what does sacrificing one’s body have to do with the fact that the comparison is between time, money and opportunities. You are just adding conditions onto the equation to create an inequality between the analogies.
I’m not trying to add conditions, honestly. I just don’t think the wear-and-tear athletes put on their bodies can be dismissed. Think about how the students benefit in both scenarios after their school years are over. Student-researchers may benefit from networking, experience, and what have you, but the research they were involved in does not (in most cases, I assume) put them in any kind of danger that could end a potential career in their field before it starts, or destroy their quality of life after their careers are over. Both of those are very real possibilities for student-athletes.
This is true and the analogy I used isn’t perfect. However, I would throw this out for thought based on the very valid point that you raise. Couldn’t a career ending injury happen to any athlete in High School or at any point going back to a Pee-wee league? I did play at the high school level and it isn’t something you necessarily think about at that time but nearly everyone knows or knows of someone who ended up paralyzed from an awkward tackle or hit. With that in mind, the aspect of injury is, to me, part and parcel of choosing to play the sport. Paying the athlete isn’t going to do anything to prevent or lessen the possibility of injury and any stipend amount provided certainly isn’t going to be enough to offset a career ending injury.
On a similar note, the potential upside of risking injury on the field is the amount of money that even a league minimum player will make a s a professional athlete after their time in college is done. Very few occupations outside of professional sports will command the salaries involved. Even if the player doesn’t make it to the pros if they did what they were supposed to while in college, they should have at least a bachelor’s degree to fall back on with minimal, if any, student loans to repay.
Good points. I guess my reluctance stems from the massive amounts of money the universities make versus the relative pittance of lower-level athletics. It just rubs me the wrong way for a reason I can’t put my finger on.
I’m pretty sure college kids spend every penny they have. Whether it’s $100 a month or $1000 a month. Some kids call home and Mom and Dad deposit a little extra that month to help them get by, some kids eat rice and beans, and some kids cash checks twice.
Are those options all equal to you? It seems so the way you wrote that. These athletes are given rooms to stay in, and food to eat. When they run out of money they have a choice of maintaining their character or stealing money to satisfy their “wants”, it has nothing to do with their needs. I am someone who believes we should pay full scholarship athletes, in sports which generate profits, about $500 a month for spending money. I understand some cannot buy a tank of gas, or take a date out for pizza a time or two each week and they don’t have time for a PT job to earn spending cash, but I am against giving them a pass to steal if you need more. There is no end to that rationalization.
No, they are not equal. I was only pointing out that no matter how much the kids have coming in each month, they will often spend all of it before the end of the month.
You bring up a great point that the athletes needs are being taken care of, and the problem is their wants. Is it fair to assume their wants will increase with the stipend?
You are right about that, people do accelerate their spending as their income increases, and it isn’t just young athletes. But it does not follow that theft is the option when you run dry before the end of the week/month, especially if your primary needs are all met. I don’t honestly know what I would do if my family were hungry, or needed shelter, I might resort to breaking laws. But I do know I can exercise some restraint when it is just discretionary wants and I would not take from others.
Because the HOPE Scholarship paid for a lot more than my tuition, fees, books and materials actually cost, every semester I’d get a surplus check in the mail, usually more than $700. It came with a note that said these funds were ONLY to be used for educational expenses. Where they usually ended up: bar tabs and CDs.
I never got in trouble for any of that, probably because I wasn’t a football player and didn’t have the athletic department, the media and Jimmy Williamson watching my every move. But it says something about how out-of-whack the system is that an upper-middle-class white kid from the suburbs can blow hundreds in extra scholarship cash on luxuries and never hear the first word about it, while these football players from poor areas bust their asses on the field every day and get pilloried for trying to double up on a $71.50 stipend.
Keep in mind, I’m not saying that what they did was right, and I certainly don’t think it was smart. But there’s got to be a better way to treat these guys, and it’d help if we stopped acting like athletic scholarships magically put food in their bellies.
Hope has apparently changed significantly since then.
Agreed both my kids had hope all four years and now you get a $150.00 to cover books. My youngest also had fees that HOPE did not cover. She got her bachelor’s in 2010.
How do you get that $150? I have a kid, going to a state school on hope and still has big loans just to cover tuition and books, not to mention housing (mandatory for freshman) and meals.
That’s probably true — I think I was in the first graduating high school class for whom HOPE was available across the board, regardless of need, for a 3.0 GPA. I know a lot more kids are qualifying for it now than did back then, which is probably why the state government has had to dial up the eligibility standards and dial back the amount awarded. Lord knows the influx of HOPE kids has made UGA a lot harder to get into now than it was when I applied.
Great post Doug. I think the poor have it a lot tougher now than at any time in the past 50 years. And the righteous indignation from people who’ve never experienced poverty is sickening.
I’d rather see our players getting paid big bucks than an asshat like Herbstreit.
Pretty presumptuous of you, why does one need to have been impoverished to understand poverty? That is an absurd assumption, and so are the other examples that could flow from that train of thought. Also, “the poor have it tougher now than any time in the past 50 years” is an easy topic to dispute, but this isn’t the forum to do so. I would contend that both the rich and the poor have it better than did people did at any time in the past in the past, and I don’t think it is close.
stopped acting like athletic scholarships magically put food in their bellies.
Do they not get three squares a day at BM?!?
Also, I thought you were indeed allowed to use Hope surplus for rent, utilities, etc. So while you may have been spending those particular dollar bills on CD’s, it was effectively reimbursing you or your parents for legit living expenses. Either way, there are certain “institutional norms” that are acceptable behavior – and students spending the HOPE surplus in whatever way they choose is certainly one of them. I’m not saying it’s fair or not fair compared to what the athletes get, but much like driving 65 in a 55, letting HOPE students spend that money is tacitly sanctioned by society, whereas cashing a HOPE scholarship check twice would not be. If HOPE was not intended to defray some of your expenses, they would have given everyone a lot less money – they aren’t stupid, they know books don’t cost $700, and a lot of poor HOPE students actually were using that money for Ramen noodles, so your story is hardly the whole story, and pulling the plug on that system would likely impact the poorest students most of all.
But from what you’re suggesting, it would be better for scholarship athletes who can meet the HOPE requirements – say, a good student and successful athlete like Marshall or Gurley – to cancel his athletic scholarship, get on a HOPE scholarship and be a walk-on. Do you believe that?
“But it says something about how out-of-whack the system is that an upper-middle-class white kid from the suburbs”
Actually, given that you and your parents likely paid much more into the educational system than they will ever get in return via property taxes and state taxes and all the other taxes they pay, the $1400 a year “rebate” they receive is hardly charity. In fact, they/you probably spend a lot of money every year to subsidize your competition and kids’ competition in the workforce. Crazy system, eh?
For the athletes in the system who could go semi-pro or directly into a development league, I think it’s shameful that govt has allowed cartels and special arrangements discouraging or potentially prohibiting these leagues from sprouting up. I also think they should be able to work extra jobs and even capitalize on their personal fame if they can.
Can’t wait to read a day’s worth of “Struggles of the white middle class” stroies. This should be great fun.
The underlying theme in all these posts will be that people that couldn’t play D-1 football will lament how they would have given anything to play football and how thankful they would have been.
Except for one small thing. You didn’t do everything it took to play D-1 football. These players for UGA did.They earned it. You didnt. It’s that simple.
Umm. How about “No Scott”. Most of these guys have God given talents that the average person doesn’t have. They were blessed with a 4.4 40 time and a 46″ vertical leap. Most of these guys DIDN’T work hard in high school because they didn’t have to, they were so athletically gifted they were far and away better than their peers. Hence the reason a lot struggle at the college level where everybody was the best player on their team in HS.
There were no players at the combine with a 46″ vertical and only 15 or so with 4.4 40 times. Those aren’t perquisites for playing college football. One thing that is a prerequisites is a willingness to work hard.
Do you honestly think that every guy on the team is a hard worker? Bullshit. If that were the case we would have to build a new wing on the Butts-Mehre building for all of the championship trophies. Our teams biggest problem IMO is that there are many players that try to get by on natural talent and don’t work hard.
Yes I would say that everyone on the team is a hard worker. I am not even sure why that is a discussion point except that white guys need a reason to look down on football players.
I also dont think that just working hard equal success. Plenty of broke folks out there grinding and plenty of rich people just cruising.
Phan – You just lost any and all credibility right there. You can go home now with your b.s.
Wait. I had credibility?
And if I did have credibility, what part lost it for me?
Actually, I’ve been looking forward to all the posts on how evil white middle class capitalism is failing the poor yet again. I have not been disappointed.
Interesting that we only focus on the handful of students who are adding cash value to the University and not getting paid, rather than the thousands who are getting paid but not adding cash value to the University.
Good article and nice perspective.
I promise I don’t mean this to be as snarky as it probably will sound, but why does race have to come into this discussion? The linked article didn’t mention it.
I know why it DID come into the discussion. Hell, anyone with three brain cells knew it WOULD come into this discussion. What I’m looking for is a convincing argument of why it HAD to come into the discussion.
MAybe because we all know that 95% of the team is black and probably most of the posters are white and we get too many “thug” comments when someone gets in trouble for acting the fool like most college age kids do, and many white folks I know have no appreciation for what some of the athletes have in the way of family and pocket money, which often is none. And being on scholarship they are forbidden to work per NCAA rules and cannot even earn money on their best asset. No, the NCAA and school gets all that. So no they do not have it as good as many of us and our kids who never lacked for anything in college. I do not condone stealing but don’t think they should be crucified either. Anyone who thinks things like this do not go on at other schools or in the general student population is just a fool or maybe has never been a college age student or had one. And anyone who thinks these kids are bad today ( and somehow believe players made no similar bonehead moves in the past ) because of a some moral breakdown of society, lack of prayer in schools, etc, are also fools. I have 3 great kids but they had multiple fuck ups between ages 16-22. That is life. No need to throw our 4 under the bus. I trust CMR to do whatever is right by them.
Well, that’s an impressive collection of words – some of which are even true.
I have two quarrels with it, though. First, it is chock full of assumptions which I hope you aren’t applying to me. Secondly, in my opinion, it has a lot more to do with why race WAS brought up rather than why it HAD to be brought up.
As someone who lived in the Mac, “double-cashing” $71 checks is about the tamest thing that an athlete has ever done.
All scholarship players get a variety of stipends/per diems. They get checks like these, for meals when the dining halls are closed. They get about a $90 check after each game, ostensibly for not being able to go to the dining halls for meals (although they are obviously fed the team meals, etc.). These are all ways to get the players a little cash, completely within the rules.
Also, surprised no one has mentioned the prime source of cash for most athletes is Pell grants. For the players from less well off backgrounds, they were eligible for these $2-3,000 grants from the federal government per semester, even though they might have been on full scholarship; the Pell grants are just checks that can be used for anything (although the original intent obviously to pay for educational expenses). The Athletic Department and Financial Aid are helping these guys work all these angles…
The “entitlement” mentailty many of these athletes have based on their athletic prowess, juxtaposed with the lack of “material things” many of them don’t have due they and/or their family’s financial situation, is what causes (in part) guys to try to “double-cash” $71 checks…
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