“This is America,” Uncle Nate said. “What’s wrong with making money?”

Not one damned thing.

And ponder Todd Gurley’s fate at Georgia as you read this:

These aren’t the old days. The players are more famous than ever. Social media makes them easier to reach and approach outside the confines of the athletic department.

And the big, big business of celebrity makes their fame a major commodity.

To pretend otherwise, to deny them the representation they deserve, to prevent them from earning money, to put kids who are now in an overwhelming spotlight to operate under rules that are far more restrictive than the criminal code, isn’t just ridiculous. It actually forces college sports’ best players to leave sooner than necessary to cash in and thus, Fitch argues, hurts both the NCAA business and its stated mission of educating athletes.

“[If] you can make money and you can stay here for four years and get your education and you can have a much smoother transition to the NFL or NBA, that actually fulfills the education part because it’s no longer a system that pushes them out,” Fitch argued.

“If you say [allowing this] ruins it, I say it helps fulfill the student part of student-athlete. More will graduate. More will stay.”

Manziel played just two seasons for Texas A&M. If he were banking $8 million to $10 million per year on outside income, would he have stayed for one or two more, led A&M to more glory while becoming better prepared for the NFL?

“My opinion is absolutely,” Fitch said. “I think Johnny would have stayed. And with Mike [Evans, A&M star receiver who also left early] and Johnny this year at Texas A&M? National championship.”

It wouldn’t have cost the school one dime.  As for the kids,

“Who defines big money to a college kid?” Fitch said. “Who defines that? Is $100 big money? So if a backup can go get $100 to sign 100 footballs and he comes from a disadvantaged background is that not big money? How about $25 to fill his gas tank? Who does it hurt?

“Every dollar is a big dollar to a college kid.”

18 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

18 responses to ““This is America,” Uncle Nate said. “What’s wrong with making money?”

  1. I don’t understand why the Power 5 don’t get this done now as part of autonomy. It just seems ridiculous that Manziel, Gurley, Winston, et al have to do all of this under the table with people who are sleazy and will turn on them in a minute. Neither Manziel nor Winston is a very likable face of this for obvious reasons – they weren’t good ambassadors for college athletics. Gurley is the perfect face of this effort – a good guy from a dirt poor background.

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    • Mayor

      IMHO the NCAA Rule against athletes selling property they own, selling autographs, use of likeness for money, etc. has been illegal all along. No way it survives a court challenge.

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  2. Gravidy

    I know very little about Dan Wetzel and nothing about Rand Getlin, but after reading that, I hope they claim to be opinion writers rather than journalists.

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  3. John Denver is full of shit...

    with all the handouts, is there really such thing as dirt poor?

    I would love this model…However, if college adopted this model then the NFL would have major competition for everything football…coaches, apparel sales, ticket sales, media $, etc…

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  4. Bulldawg165

    “It wouldn’t have cost the school one dime.”

    Do athletic departments generally provide a breakdown of revenue derived from ticket sales, TV contracts, donations, and memorabilia sales? I’d have to think memorabilia would be at the very bottom of the list for revenue and would be the only thing impacted by letting student-athletes profit off of their likeness., right?

    I mean, I get that their money-hungry, but from a logical standpoint it just doesn’t seem to me like they’d be missing out on a lot of money by doing this

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  5. Coach Sumlin made bank during Johnny Football’s career. I think he should send him a nice Christmas gift.
    CKS 11-2 #5, 9-4, 7-4
    CMR 8-4, 13-1 #3, 11-3 #7

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  6. Noonan

    I made about $25,000 a year when I was in college, and it seemed like I was wealthy.

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  7. Anon

    Why not make all scholarship student athletes in revenue sports “student workers” like numerous other offices across campus have, and pay them the $7.50/hr for their 20 hrs of practice time and the associated game time. They would take home about $100 per week, which could lessen the chance of them seeking cash elsewhere, and give them some “walking around” money.

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    • AlphaDawg

      I’ve always thought something similar was doable.

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    • Hackerdog

      There’s a big difference in value to the school between the kid putting books back on the library shelves and Todd Gurley. Why should they be paid the same?

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      • Anon

        Because they’re all just student workers. One job in undergrad I might have been sitting in at my cube most of the day, another job I was helping write hundred thousand dollar grant proposals. Same classification, something like Student Assistant I. Same pay.

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  8. Say what you will about the motivations of Uncle Nate, if he has a place where it only takes $25 to fill a gas tank he must have INSIDE connections.

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