Bill Snyder wakes up, discovers filthy lucre is a problem.

This whole article may be the biggest “duh” of 2014.

Note that he doesn’t propose a solution, either.

He needs to embrace the… whatever it is that his conference commissioner is embracing here:

“The rules and the changes that might be made are an attempt to be permissive, but they’re also intended to take into account the fact that those 65 [power-conference] schools are largely the face of what most people know as college athletics,” Bowlsby said. “… I think we got to a place where we just believe that there was a need for us to perhaps be a little less egalitarian, a little less magnanimous of the 350 schools and spend a little time worrying about the most severe issues that are troubling our schools among the 65.”

Of course, Bob Bowlsby doesn’t think everything is lost yet, because the players don’t get paid.  And he’s on a mission to keep it that way.

“I think if we ever go down the path of creating an employee-employer relationship, we will have forever lost our way,” Bowlsby said. “… If you apply any form of the labor theory of value, that is to say the work that goes into something is determinant of the cost, football and basketball players don’t work any harder than any other athletes. They don’t work harder than swimmers. They don’t work harder than field hockey players. They don’t work harder than wrestlers. They just happen to have the blessing of an adoring public.

“If you’re going to compensate for expenses for football and basketball players, it isn’t even arguable that we wouldn’t do it for every other student-athlete on our campus.”

Of course, no piece about keeping the players from their market worth would be complete without a Steve Patterson observation.

Patterson, however, spoke out against the idea, contending that the name on the front of the jersey enhances the name on the back of the jersey, and that student-athletes are receiving tangible benefits right now. “I don’t think you should create a marketplace for the one half of one percent that might have a certain market value and then distort all the competitive issues around that and all the revenue issues around that,” he told a group of reporters after Wednesday’s event. “I think we have done a poor job of talking about that.”

You’ve done a poor job of communicating about a lot of things, Steve.



Filed under Big 12 Football, It's Just Bidness

20 responses to “Bill Snyder wakes up, discovers filthy lucre is a problem.

  1. Joe Schmoe

    What is Bowlsby talking about? The value of something is not determined by the effort or labor that goes into creating but rather by what the market will bear for it. Just look at the ticket prices for college football games compared to NFL games. Colleges currently don’t have to pay millions to their players like the NFL does, but in many cases charge more for the tickets because there is high demand. These arguments continue to shift from the ridiculous to the sublime.


    • Cojones

      Last time I checked, college teams have their U’s name on them. When students were first charged money for tickets at a price that the market will bear, the beginning of raising prices was here. Now that they are alums, the price has gone up. Yep. What else is new in this open economy?

      Please move over and let someone else move to the ticket window. If you are refusing to pay for season’s tickets, you picked a bad year at UGA. Too many want those tickets that you don’t want and are willing to pay. The fault, dear Brutus, lies among’us.


      • Joe Schmoe

        I’m not suggesting that the prices the universities are charging for tickets are unreasonable – they are charging what the market will bear. Which is exactly the opposite of what Bowlsby is saying about player compensation – it shouldn’t be based on what the market will bear but rather on some weak notion of fairness to other non-revenue generating sports based on the fact that those participants are putting in equal effort.

        The schools and conferences want to have their cake (on ticket prices) while eating it too (on player compensation).


      • Joe Schmoe

        And, P.S., the fault doesn’t lie with the fans. We are paying full fare for our tickets. In fact, it’s such a free market that the schools max out ticket revenue through the donation system.

        The fault lies with the schools who don’t want to pay full freight for the resources that make their ultimate product available (the players). If they were offering tickets below market value in the name of amateurism, then it would be a different story. As it is, it is just hypocrisy.

        Also, they want to act lack any given player is completely replaceable and therefore doesn’t have scarce skills that have value. If that is the case, then why do they spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to recruit specific athletes?


    • Hackerdog

      The labor theory of value is a pillar of Marxism. It theorizes that it’s the workers (alone) who create value through their labor. It’s obviously false, but it’s not surprising that a man insulated in academia would subscribe to the theory.

      What is surprising is to see a millionaire arguing that we should engage in exactly the type of wage suppression that Marx warned against, because if we can’t treat all athletes fairly, then we should treat no athletes fairly. And he did it without any apparent sense of irony. Of course, it goes without saying that we should treat conference commissioners fairly.


      • gastr1

        You’re suggesting athletic directors and conference commissioners are in academia somehow, as in, they have subject matter expertise, research credentials, and doctorates? Coaches, too, then?

        Sometimes the quacks are just coming from the ducks.


        • Hackerdog

          They work on college campuses and report to college presidents and trustees. Whether one navel gazes with, or without, a PhD doesn’t matter much to me.


  2. Cojones

    Color me in the “Duh” crowd. Communications are a two-way street.

    We may not respect these individuals nor their opinions, but their concerns are the same as mine.


  3. Krautdawg

    The enjoyable thing about the paying-players debate is that it’s basically corporate America writ small. Skim, control the capital, and convince the capital that [it’s in their best interest]/[there’s no other possible way it could be done]/[it would be unfair to others]/[what about the children?].

    When colleges start asking for visa waivers for foreign students who’ll play for half-tuition, you’ll know we’ve come full circle.

    The ironic thing: if there’s one colleges are NOT teaching student-athletes through this debate, it’s “how to make a living.” Instead, the kids are being taught to accept top-down-determined wages. Good luck raising a generation of innovators or leaders with that.


  4. Chuck

    Well it sounded to me like Bowlsby was acknowledging that football and basketball players had value because they had an adoring public. Now if he can just move past his economic theory on labor. I bet high school work as hard as he does, but I bet he makes more money than they do.


  5. Chuck

    High school teachers


  6. Connor

    If I live as long as Snyder I look forward to telling people how much more pure college football was during the first decade of the 21st century than it will be then. Hard to imagine what the landscape will have to look like for me to make that claim… live babies in lieu of leather footballs? Zombie Joe Paterno maybe?
    It makes for a fun exercise; imagine the scandals of the future. College football’s version of “The Aristocrats”.


  7. “… If you apply any form of the labor theory of value, that is to say the work that goes into something is determinant of the cost, football and basketball players don’t work any harder than any other athletes. They don’t work harder than swimmers. They don’t work harder than field hockey players. They don’t work harder than wrestlers. They just happen to have the blessing of an adoring public.

    I would say that is the dumbest thing I’ve read in a long time, but that would be an insult to all the other dumb things these guys keep trotting out.

    I repeat my same comment from a few posts back – what kind of jacked up fantasy economic land do these folks live in that they actually believe this stupid shit? I’m sure the “insert low skilled labor job of choice” works just as hard as some Fortune 500 CEO’s, but there’s a reason he gets paid less and it doesn’t have a damned thing to do with effort.


  8. mp

    Clearly the name on the back of the jersey is worth something. If there were no market for compensating individual athletes then a) you wouldn’t need to prohibit boosters from paying them and b) you wouldn’t force them to sign away the rights to their likeness. (Alternatively, Texas must be indifferent to the caliber or potential of the athletes it recruits…once they slip on that jersey, they’re all the same.)


  9. Dog in Fla

    Bill wakes up from morning nap, remembers that Bo Pellini is still a problem


  10. Hackerdog

    Obviously Patterson is confused. There is a difference between creating a marketplace and ceasing to interfere in the marketplace.

    The marketplace exists. Business owners in Athens would be happy to pay Todd Gurley to hang out at their shops to draw in the public. The fact that Patterson refuses to allow that to happen doesn’t mean that the actors aren’t ready, willing, and able to engage in voluntary exchange.

    Of course, the competitive issues and revenue issues that Patterson worries about aren’t issues for the players or the public. They’re issues for the schools, conferences, and NCAA. And we’ve got to protect those poor, powerless institutions at all costs.


  11. Dog in Fla

    Patterson wakes up from morning nap. Remains confused but still remembers that Kessler the free market barbarian is at the gate


  12. Will Trane

    Coach Synder apparently thought the Big XII was meetin just down the street. He was caught off guard it was in Manhattan New York. Now why would the Big 12 [and I think there are only 10 schools in the conference with W. Virginia the closest to NY] hold a conference there and get into this at this time of the year? Why not go to where the NIL case is being held in 9th Circuit. Another example of academia embroiled in something they are really clueless about. This is a pandora’s box and a lot of factors will come into play. Unlikely this matter is settled anytime soon at this level and will likely go higher for resolution. Name, image, and likeness…putting a value on that will be a task. And the Big XII only has two players [historical]…Texas and Oklahoma. And do you not think old Synder has not taken notice of the revenue differences gleaned by Texas vs Kansas. Or how much Texas spends per student athlete vs Kansas…almost 3xs.
    NIL…does that value originated to a point prior to campus / LOI, ie, on some high school program. And will that be tied to academic performance and certain core classes. And at what point does it begin and end. And who are the buyers and sellers. And will it only apply to men’s programs [football and basketball re claimant]. And the judge is of the female persuasion.
    Most to lose. Could be ESPN or a SI. Or the FBS. NCAA. Why not end the sports at the collegiate level and let them matriculate into farm leagues like MLB and other sports. The athlete is under contract to play and be compensated. And can market his or her NIL [seller looking for a buyer] and the team sits outside of that transaction. May not go this far, but no one thought free agent status would come in either way back then, except Bill Synder.
    Personally, give them some money, but going into NIL…it could be nil for a lot of the players in this matter. But if you are suspended or dismissed you have to give the money back plus accruals [interest, penalty, etc].
    Any of those guys with a real NIL…they are out in 3 years…a very short time to improve that while in D1 sports. Agents and buyers are really lined up then.


  13. Will Trane

    NIL definition. Aaron Murray vs Peyton Manning. Put a value on that last 3 years.


  14. Scorpio Jones, III

    “They just happen to have the blessing of an adoring public.”

    Does this not mean that college football, for instance is the same as…well Tampons.

    College football is a big deal, making oodles on bucks, because the marketplace (them there adoring fans) decided it would.

    I am continually amazed at the dumbassery displayed by the peeps who theoretically run this show.