Stacey Osburn’s talking points are cheap.

If you’ve been disappointed by the NCAA’s consistent unwillingness to recognize the reality behind the recent NLRB ruling and the many antitrust complaints it’s in the process of defending, this isn’t likely to improve your spirits.

NCAA spokeswoman Stacey Osburn said it’s the association’s responsibility to “provide accurate and timely information on matters impacting college sports. Our members requested facts and data on pay-for-play because there was so much misinformation in the media, based in part on public statements from those who are advancing the union movement and those who have brought suit against the NCAA.”

So what kind of spin… oops, “facts and data” does Stacey have for us?

Well, there’s repetition of the irrelevant:

“We know we have work to do. But do we really want to signal to society and high school students that making money is the reason to come play a sport in college, as opposed to getting an education, which will benefit you for a lifetime? That’s not the message I want to send.”

“Do we really want to signal to society and high school students that making money is the reason to come play a sport in college, as opposed to getting an education, which will benefit you for a lifetime? That’s not the message I want to send.”

I thought one of the main reasons you went to college was to enhance your earnings ability.  I wasn’t aware there was supposed to be a restriction on when you were allowed to start reaping the rewards of that enhancing – at least there isn’t for anyone in college who isn’t subject to the NCAA.

There’s love or money and nothing in between.

“The overwhelming majority of student-athletes play college sports as part of their educational experience and because they love their sport, not to be paid a salary.”

If only Stacey’s bosses, conference commissioners and coaches felt the same way.

A little mea culpa

“Student-athletes should not have to worry about their scholarships being pulled if they are injured or ill.”

I’m sure you’ll get right on that.

And of course, a supporting cast providing a steady dose of denial of reality.  Dabo Swinney says, “We’ve got enough entitlement in this country as it is”, but proceeds to advocate giving kids a stipend.  (And since when is doing more to prevent concussion problems an entitlement?)  Mike Slive doesn’t appreciate anyone threatening to screw with the revenue stream he’s spent so much effort on generating.  Baylor’s athletic director – his school is private, by the way – commands the tide to roll back:  “In my view, student-athletes are not employees. They attend a university to earn a degree and participate in the sport they love.”  Larry Scott and Jim Delany believe in ongoing dialogue with student-athletes, not unionization, because meaningful dialogue with parties who have less power has always been a hallmark of Jim Delany’s management style.

I could go on, but, jeez, this is depressing.  There’s a historical precedent to what college athletics is facing in what MLB went through when Marvin Miller engineered the rise of the players’ union, and, along with a little help from Andy Messersmith’s agent, the end of the reserve clause, and it seems like the NCAA and the commissioners couldn’t care less about learning any lessons from that.  I can’t help but continue to feel that Emmert, Slive, Delany and all their cohorts think they’re a lot shrewder business people than they are.  And certainly the presidents and chancellors they work for aren’t nearly as shrewd as the lawyers who are fighting over the right to pick their bones.

This isn’t going to end well for some folks.  But, talking points!  Hey, that worked well for Baghdad Bob, right?


Filed under Blowing Smoke, It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

24 responses to “Stacey Osburn’s talking points are cheap.

  1. AthensHomerDawg

    He pointed out that he “was a professional, doing his job”.
    Baghdad Bob


  2. Timphd

    Given all those quotes, I may have to rethink my position on Emmert being the dumbass. Maybe he is just doing the bidding of his troops after all. I do have to wonder if anyone in a leadership position within college sports can put their egos aside and recognize the train that is headed their way, or if they will just suffer the collision and be shocked at the carnage.


  3. OrlandoDawg

    I’d be willing to bet if Dabo’s salary got slashed to “just” a million a year, he’d join the ranks of the entitled pretty quickly himself. Most of these guys should just shut up and coach.


  4. Scorpio Jones, III

    There was a time when you went to college to get an education. Then you got to the work place and you were more successful in the field that interested you, and you made more money.

    Then college administrators realized they could capture a whole new market for their wares if they told parents over and over and over that the key to making more money was a diploma.

    And most colleges became very expensive, dressed up trade schools, especially some in Atlanta.

    It should hardly be a surprise that the NCAA reflects the dim bulbs of its leadership.

    If you meet most college presidents at a recruiting tea and tell the president your son or daughter is considering his school because the degree is going to increase the child’s earning power, the president is likely to babble about the college experience and the value of learning, all the while thinking to himself “Yessir, that marketing bunch is doing a great job, and I will get a big fat raise next year.”

    It has become mostly about the money, stupids, how can anybody expect athletes to be any different.

    But the TheEmmert seems to cling to that nonsense.


  5. Know how the snarky definition of “cult” is “whichever church is down the street from yours”? Looks like the definition of “entitlement” has become “any money someone else is making that I don’t approve of.” My eight-figure bonus even while thousands of employees are getting laid off is an incentive; the pay increase my employees’ union has asked for is an entitlement. Dabo Swinney’s $3.15 million salary is earned; anything for his players beyond the value of their scholarships is an entitlement. Etc. Etc. Etc.


    • Monday Night Frotteur

      Sound strategy by the NCAA to basically use Dabo Swinney as a spokesperson, though. I can’t see how anything could go wrong with that, especially when Clemson has a reputation for having relatively “generous” bagmen.


      • It does seem strange that the coaches — the ones willing to be quoted on the subject, anyway — seem to be unanimously against the idea of a players’ union. Almost as if the NCAA had been coaching them. You’d think one of them would eventually try to reap some sort of recruiting advantage by being “that guy who came out in favor of paying players.”


  6. Dawgoholic

    Those guys are so disconnected from reality it’s crazy. I played golf at a mid-major and 90% of the male athletes’ goal was to play pro ball – even though only a very small handful from there made it when compared to and SEC or ACC school. Of the female athletes, most of them played because of the free education. There were probably more of them in it for the “love of the game” or because they’d rather be on the soccer team than in a sorority. There were less professional aspirations among the girls mainly because of the lack of professional opportunities.

    The “love of the game” isn’t the driving force for many athletes at all.


  7. Always Someone Else's Fault

    Stuff on both sides is nonsense. UConn-Napier’s complaints about going to bed hungry literally made me laugh out loud.

    But, I have decided that the end game here is the top 65 +/- revenue producing schools letting the plane go down in flames and walking away from the wreckage. Remember all those snarky arguments between conference commissioners about the future of the NCAA? Well, there’s no more effective closing argument than, “Hey, your dumb-ass level playing field model just got obliterated in court. See you later.”

    And if that is where we’re headed, that’s fine by me. At this point, giving schools like Creighton a seat at the table brings way more negatives to the table than positives. See you later, dudes. Have fun showing your games on Youtube.


    • Stuff on both sides is nonsense. UConn-Napier’s complaints about going to bed hungry literally made me laugh out loud.

      I always love the “both sides do it” canard. One kid’s comments = a host of conference commissioners’, NCAA leadership’s statements? Yeah, sure.


      • Always Someone Else's Fault

        I understand your commitment to one side of this debate, and I have no problem with it, but you’re overreacting to my observation. I never even came close to N = D(A + G) + E(S + B).

        I said that there was stupid on both sides of this. Do the scales tip in the direction of the status quo defenders? Yes, and I have said so in numerous posts.


    • Dog in Fla

      Shabazz overstates the Devastating Effects of Concentrated Poverty because Tupperware® Brand products exist so he can store what he kills and eat it later. That way he would have earned his entitlement the old-fashioned way like Dabo who has shown that your first name simply doesn’t matter but coaching under a Bowden does


  8. DawgPhan

    I think that it is brilliant by the NCAA to argue this case in the public as a pay for play situation and brush aside the health care and full cost of attendance scholarship.


  9. I think Slive and Delaney may be smarter than Emmert and friends. I’m sure the PR needs and legal needs to allow them to separate from the rest of the NCAA so they can start controlling this multi-billion dollar ESPN and friends pie without having to share with the little guys made it so only a big, massive disaster of these proportions would allow them to accomplish their goal. As they’ve kept saying, they are willing to meet a lot of the kids demands. And I’m sure getting complete control of this business makes them that willing to agree with them. So who was balking at it and keeping the big boys from dividing up the money?


  10. 69Dawg

    The NCAA is beginning to use the “That’s my answer and I’m sticking to it” defense. This is not going to end well for them. I think the congress will get involved but I think the NCAA is going to be shocked when they find out the congress will be on the player’s side.


  11. Dog in Fla

    Where is Baghdad Bob?

    “Although questioned by American authorities, al-Sahhaf was released, and there has been no suggestion of charging or detaining him for his role in the Saddam Hussein government. He is now living in the United Arab Emirates with his family.” (wiki amirite0

    Baghdad Bob patiently waits for the Steve Patterson and Texas mission to Dubai

    “God willing, we will throw them into the sea.”


  12. dawgtor

    I think the NCAA is just dragging its feet while they still can. Change is inevitable and part of that change will likely come in the form of restructuring (reducing) pay for a lot of these top dogs. It directly benefits them (and all lawyers involved) to fight their losing battle for as long as possible.


    • paul

      Now there’s a line of thought that had not occurred to me: hey, we just got this spigot going full blast, let’s not let them turn it off any sooner than we have to. For this group, that sounds like a plausible explanation. Unfortunately.