“It’s a troubling issue because cost of attendance was never intended to create a competitive advantage.”

It’s clear the locals aren’t happy about being ninth in the conference in the size of cost of attendance.

Back in early February, Georgia football coach Mark Richt said he wouldn’t know exactly “how big of a deal,” the coming cost of attendance payment to athletes might be in recruiting until more information was known.

It’s become big enough of a deal to certainly get the attention of  UGA coaches and administrators, who have huddled to try to gauge what impact differing numbers at each school might have.

Richt and Bulldogs men’s basketball coach Mark Fox have talked “at length,” about the NCAA’s new benefit for student-athletes, Fox said.

They’ve met with athletic director Greg McGarity about it, as well as UGA president Jere Morehead.

“That’s a major issue,” Fox said. “I don’t know the solution to it, but it’s probably issue No. 1 because it creates a bit of inequity.”

The obvious solution:  level the playing field.

“I know it will come up,” he said. “No matter what happens this year in my opinion, I don’t think it will be long before it becomes equitable. If it doesn’t happen this year, I think relatively soon it will. I don’t think it’s going to be a four or five-year thing. I think it’s going to be at most a one-year thing. That’s just my opinion. And it may be that everything gets squared away before August because there’s still a lot of things happening between now and then that could change everybody’s numbers.”

Sounds nice, but, as usual, the devil’s in the details.  First of all, since you can’t pay student-athletes more than a school’s stated cost of attendance without running afoul of the NCAA, wouldn’t equity necessitate a race to the bottom?  It would seem so, which would probably mean fortuitous adjustments in certain schools’ COA figures are likely coming (although that’s probably going to happen regardless).

But the other problem for Georgia here is that its track record in convincing its peers to go along with things that benefit Georgia is pretty poor.  Why, for instance, would Auburn volunteer to give up something it perceives to be advantageous?  The only thing I can come up with would be to argue that no school wants an arms race.  But I’m not sure Auburn really cares about that.  At least not as much as Georgia does.

132 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, Recruiting, SEC Football

132 responses to ““It’s a troubling issue because cost of attendance was never intended to create a competitive advantage.”

  1. Monday Night Froetteur

    My goodness, what a couple of wealthy whiners. Coaches who make millions of wildly underpaid labor complaining because something makes their jobs a little harder.

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    • JCDAWG83

      Maybe that underpaid labor should quit and get a better job? Players can always give up their scholarship, be a walk on and get to enjoy all the benefits regular students have. They could even quit football altogether and not have to put up with being exploited by the coaches and the system. This makes great sense because we all know the scholarship has no real value.

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      • PansyTheDawg

        It’s the invisible hand at work! …Or not.

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        • JCDAWG83

          If being a college scholarship athlete is such a bad gig, I don’t understand the popularity of it. You’d think word would have gotten around about the terrible life and exploitation these poor kids suffer at the hands of the greedy coaches.

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          • PansyTheDawg

            I don’t think the life of a football player is terrible, but at the same time, I also don’t believe they’re being treated fairly. I think most can agree with that. I was just taking a shot at the invisible hand.

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            • JCDAWG83

              I guess we’ll have to disagree on the fair treatment issue. I think they have a great deal and the former and current players I have talked to felt/feel the same way.

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              • DawgFlan

                It’s OK to feel that way, and it’s great that a lot of players feel that way. But it is also OK for others to feel differently. Especially superstars, or those with families in difficult financial situations. Say next week you invent a new widget that makes your organization a billion dollars, and every professor/executive above you gets a million dollar bonus. But, in lieu of money, they decided to give you and your department credit towards free tuition. You may think that is a swell deal. Or you could prefer cash and individual rewards for the exceptional difference you personally made.

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                • DawgPhan

                  It’s worse than that. What they are doing is illegal. If it happened to you in your professional life it would be illegal. The company would be sued and lose. The NCAA is losing. Collective bargaining might be the only way to get a level playing field from this point forward.

                  Paying players is going to happen because it should happen.

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                • JCDAWG83

                  OK, assuming they start being paid, do they then become “employees”? If they are employees and their work is not up to expectations, it seems they can be fired and replaced. How do you prevent a fired employee from taking a job at another program? In my professional life, there is no legal rule that prevents me from taking a job in my chosen field, that is the root of the problem.

                  The problem is not the colleges and the NCAA rules, the problem is the NFL’s 21 yr old/3 yrs out of high school rule. The courts need to strike down the anti trust exemption for the NFL. If the Gurleys and other superstars can legally go pro out of high school, the colleges can get out of the trap of being an NFL farm system. No other industry is allowed to refuse employment of 18 year olds that meet all the eligibility requirements for the job.

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                • How do you prevent a fired employee from taking a job at another program?

                  I’m no anti-trust lawyer, but I suspect that’s where collective bargaining comes into play and allows teams to sign players to multi-year contracts and also allows players to not be fired without cause. In all honesty though – assuming it changes to an employer / employee situation, how is getting fired any different than what Nick Saban already does with the medical redshirts / running off players?

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                • The problem is not the colleges and the NCAA rules, the problem is the NFL’s 21 yr old/3 yrs out of high school rule. The courts need to strike down the anti trust exemption for the NFL. If the Gurleys and other superstars can legally go pro out of high school, the colleges can get out of the trap of being an NFL farm system. No other industry is allowed to refuse employment of 18 year olds that meet all the eligibility requirements for the job.

                  You keep repeating this point on every comment thread discussing this topic. With all due respect, I’d also like a pony. Why in the world would the NFL unilaterally decide to get rid of its currently free farm system and take any of the risk for developing kids straight out of high school?

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                • Monday Night Froetteur

                  The problem is not the colleges and the NCAA rules, the problem is the NFL’s 21 yr old/3 yrs out of high school rule

                  No, the problem is the college sports cartel’s compensation cap. Changing the NFL and NBA’s age limits could ameliorate some of the negative effects of the cap, but the fundamental problem would still exist and still harm some participants.

                  the colleges can get out of the trap of being an NFL farm system.

                  That “trap” creates a large amount of the value in college sports. If the elite FB/MBB players did not play in college, TV viewership would drop, probably substantially.

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                • doofusdawg

                  most of the kids on scholarship still get their pell grants… so they are getting paid. I’m glad I gave up my tickets so I will never drive six hours and spend thousands of dollars to get to the game only to be told by brook whitmire that the game is canceled due to a strike… but i’m sure many would be all for it.

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                • There’s already been a football players’ strike. Amazingly, the republic survived.

                  If you really gave up your tickets in fear that you’d waste a drive some day to watch a game in Athens… well, you’ve certainly given yourself an appropriate moniker.

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                • JCDAWG83

                  That’s a great example and it happens every day in business. Employees get paid to develop products and their employment contracts state they have no claim to any of the profits those products generate, they are paid a salary to develop products. In this case, the players are given tuition and room and board and other expenses in return for playing football. Their scholarship or “contract” prevents them from making money off of the playing of football while they are doing so for the college. Both parties know going in how this works and accept the terms.

                  Until there is another opportunity for football players to make money playing, the current system will be in place.

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                • Bulldawg165

                  This would only be an applicable comparison if all companies in an industry gathered together and made a pact to only pay employees a certain, capped amount like they do in college football 😉

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                • PTC DAWG

                  Degrees from different schools have different values for sure.

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                • Bulldawg165

                  PTC, they certainly do, but the value of the degree isn’t necessarily positively correlated with the cost of tuition.

                  Yes, Patin, and they’re facing legal action because it was illegal 😉

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                • Dog in Fla

                  @PatinDC at 12:29 PM

                  “Hmmm. I wonder if other industry’s do that?”

                  I don’t always talk about Steve Jobs but when I do…

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      • The issue isn’t whether a scholarship has real value. It’s whether it represents fair value.

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        • JCDAWG83

          I’d say that’s up to the individual player. I imagine if you ask Blake Sailor if his scholarship was adequate compensation, he would say absolutely. If you asked Gurley, he might not think so. Neither one of them was forced to take the scholarship and both could have quit and gone on their own at any time. For 90+% of college football players, the value of the scholarship is more than adequate fair value.

          The root of the issue, in my opinion, is the NFL’s refusal to allow 18 year olds to sign contracts and play. Out of 85 scholarship players on a college football team, I’d guess about 5-10 would have a legit argument that their play, and the fan interest it generated, was worth more than the value of their scholarship. The other 75-80 players are getting a great deal. This is simply my opinion, but I really don’t think the vast majority of college football players could make near the money the scholarship is worth doing anything they are qualified to do, education wise, and especially in any sports related job.

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          • Bulldawg165

            What about those players who have at least a 3.0 GPA and therefore already get free tuition? Does their scholarship really help that much in this case?

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            • JCDAWG83

              As someone who had a daughter graduate from Georgia within the last year, I can say the room, board, books, etc are definitely a big expense. The reality was that the tuition was probably the least expensive part of the total expense, not that it was inconsequential. In my experience, the tuition accounted for about one third of the total expense.

              If the player feels so exploited and taken advantage of and they are also an academic all American in the classroom, they can probably get some academic scholarship money and give up their football scholarship and walk on if they want to play football.

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              • PTC DAWG

                This..

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              • Bulldawg165

                “the tuition accounted for about one third of the total expense.”

                https://www.admissions.uga.edu/prospective-students/tuition-fees

                There’s no way that $11K was 1/3 of the college expense for your daughter. You didn’t spend $22K on room, board and books.

                So let me ask the question again: If a student-athlete already qualifies for the HOPE scholarship, is the football scholarship really that valuable? They’re already entitled to about $8,600 for the nine month academic year.

                Or, put another way, why is a student with good grades worth less to the football team (considering that the value of their football scholarship is obviously less)?

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                • JCDAWG83

                  Try setting up another household in another city and see how much it costs. Rent, utilities, food, gas, books, fees, misc supplies, etc all add up to well over $1500 a month not counting the unexpected costs. Last year, I know I paid about $9000 in tuition and university fees. I paid about $15-18,000 in other expenses, that’s how I came up with the 1/3 figure. I guess if she lived in a dorm for four years, ate on the meal plan and came home every Summer, it would have been less. The reality is; most students stay in Athens year round after their freshman year and live off campus.

                  Point is; the tuition is not the majority of the expense and HOPE doesn’t pay all the tuition and fees.

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                • PTC DAWG

                  Your figures are very close to what I have paid for my Son in Statesboro. He graduates May 9…..

                  A full ride scholly would have been a thing of beauty…they are very valuable.

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                • Bulldawg165

                  “Rent, utilities, food, gas, books, fees, misc supplies, etc all add up to well over $1500”

                  I’m sorry but I just don’t see it. When I was a graduate assistant I got a monthly stipend of $1K/month and it was wayyyyy more than enough for rent, groceries, utilities, downtown activities, etc.. Hell, I was able to save enough so that by the end of the school year I could spend the summer studying for my CPA exams without having to work. This was only a few years ago, too.

                  $1,500/month just seems absolutely ludicrous. It doesn’t cost that much to live in Athens.

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                • JCDAWG83

                  Well, that’s what it was for a May 2014 graduate. Apparently, it’s about the same in Statesboro according to PTC so there at least two of us who are getting taken to the cleaners by someone.

                  I might need to consider relocating to Athens if I can live there in reasonable comfort for less than $1500 a month. I know it can’t be done in Augusta.

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                • PTC DAWG

                  I went back and checked, my figures are closer to $1100 per month, exclusive of tuition and books. Rent alone is 425 exclusive of utilities, he is not living in a hovel. Hope lately has been paying around 65% of his tuition, and ZERO toward books etc…these have been running 500-600 per semester…most are not books, but simply access to online material/tests etc.

                  He knows a few guys on the football team, they live HIGH on the hog.

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                • Bulldawg165

                  So, if rent is $425/month and what is the other $675 spent on? I own my own house and eat like a horse but I don’t think I spend that much per month on utilities and groceries…

                  I guess we’re splitting hairs at this point anyway, though.

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            • PTC DAWG

              HOPE doesn’t pay full tuition anymore for 3.0 GPA.

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              • Debby Balcer

                Tuition yes fees no. My daughter went to grad school and graduated two years ago. Her living cost were no where near that. She lived in a couple of different apts in Athens. She paid her own living expenses so she budgeted but lived in nice apts. Books can be bought through places like half.com for much less than full cost at the bookstore. I am in favor of players having their total costs covered. They can not earn extra money and a lot of them come from families who can not subsidize their luv ok by expenses.

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                • JCDAWG83

                  Looking back, I guess I was counting all expenses, not only tuition, room and board. I included cell phone, car expenses, spending money, etc. The number was probably closer to $1100 per month above tuition and fees.

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                • PTC DAWG

                  Sorry, no on all tuition, unless you are on Zell Miller portion of HOPE.

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                • Debby Balcer

                  Glad my kids finished their undergrad degrees in 2006 and 2010. The fest hope covered everything. The youngest we had to pay some fees but if I found the correct sites UGA cost 1300 out of pocket now for tuition and that does not cover health and athletic fees.

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                • Debby Balcer

                  I hare auto correct oldest not fest.

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          • PatinDC

            “I’d guess about 5-10 would have a legit argument that their play, and the fan interest it generated, was worth more than the value of their scholarship.”

            This is an interesting statement in light of recruiting.
            How does this work, for instance, if players are redshirted? (Knowshon comes to mind here)
            What about a scenario where a top recruit is signed along with his friend. The top guy gets injured and the friend that “came along for the ride” turns into a legit top draft pick.
            Does the first kid have a negotiated contract and the 2nd kid have nothing? (Marshall and Gurley)
            What about late bloomers? Do they renegotiate each year? (Thinking Pollack here)

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      • Monday Night Froetteur

        “If you don’t like our monopsonistic cartel agreement, do something else” is not an effective antitrust defense.

        A scholarship has value, but that undercuts your position because it means the players on GIA scholarship are paid (and thus are not amateurs by any meaningful definition of the word). That pay is capped at an artificially low level, and the goal is to eliminate that cap and generally de-regulate college sports.

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        • JCDAWG83

          Is it really an artificially low level? How much would Brendan Douglas be able to expect to make as a football player in a free market system? Brendan is a great kid and a damn good Dawg, but he would not be paid much to be a college running back. How about our current, struggling, punter? Would any college football program pay either of these kids $40,000 a year to play football? I doubt it.

          If college football is deregulated like you seem to want it to be, will the Gurleys be paid several hundred thousand and the Douglas’s be paid a few thousand dollars? That is the way the free market works. What happens when a kid doesn’t pan out as expected? Are players going to be “released” at season’s end? Will scholarships still exist, or will players be expected to pay tuition and expenses out of their “earnings” from playing football? Once the players start being paid, they are effectively “employees” and will be treated like employees. I’m not sure that would be a better system than what we have now.

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          • Monday Night Froetteur

            Is it really an artificially low level?

            The cap would not exist if it did not reduce compensation to revenue athletes. Also, the cartel’s experts argued vociferously in O’Bannon that the cap reduces the level of compensation going to revenue athletes.

            Would any college football program pay either of these kids $40,000 a year to play football? ….What happens when a kid doesn’t pan out as expected?

            I don’t know. Maybe? That is something the market would figure out, but generally the market in athletic talent pays for potential, not as a reward for past performance. It is future-oriented. What happens when a given player’s potential is miscalculated or not realized? The same thing that happens when a program invests in a coach who does not realize his potential or whose potential was miscalculated.

            Will scholarships still exist?

            Yes. The GIA scholarship is the Reservation Wage, for most revenue athletes it is a floor beneath the market/competitive wage.

            I’m not sure that would be a better system than what we have now.

            In our economic system, we do not usually substitute our judgment for the market; we defer to the market (independent entities bidding against each other) to decide what the “best”/proper value of labor is. Some beneficial by-products for fans in a deregulated system are that elite talent does not sit out for salary cap violations, and coaches/administrators are more directly accountable.

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            • JCDAWG83

              Seems to me, you can already get what you’re looking for in the NFL. You can say it’s future oriented all you want, but that future is generally very short before the plug is pulled.

              You might like a free market college sports world, I’m not sure I would. I also don’t think the university admin is going to want to be a part of a free market, professional sports world. In my opinion, paying players will be the beginning of the end of scholarship football in colleges and the end will come pretty quickly. In the end, it might be a good thing.

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              • Monday Night Froetteur

                You might like a free market college sports world, I’m not sure I would.

                We already have a “free market college sports world” for everybody except the players. Coaches, administrators, TV networks, etc. If you want a quasi-amateur college sports world, watch the Ivy League or D-III. Very few people watch those leagues, which is arguably a revealed preference against that model.

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                • JCDAWG83

                  Or maybe it’s not watched as much because D-III schools have graduating classes in the low hundreds, not thousands so the alumni base is much smaller and Ivy league schools don’t have much of a connection to the state their in? I think if the paying the players thing goes through, you’ll see many colleges drop scholarship football altogether. Georgia has approx 280,000 living alumni, I think there are enough people who would come to the games to cheer on the Dawgs whether they were on scholarship or were all walk ons. Add the number of people who would simply be “fans” because it is the state university and I think the stadium would be full on Saturdays in the Fall. I think that would be the case for almost all large colleges. Schools where football is not that big would like it better too.

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                • I think there are enough people who would come to the games to cheer on the Dawgs whether they were on scholarship or were all walk ons.

                  But not if they were getting paid, eh?

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                • JCDAWG83

                  I really don’t know. I do know NFL games generally draw smaller crowds than top college games but I don’t know if that matters or not. My point was; paying the players isn’t necessary to keep fan interest.

                  I know I don’t like the atmosphere or the game experience of NFL games nearly as much as I do college games.

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              • doofusdawg

                exactly… if i want to watch pro football i will become a falcon’s fan again. And college football will wither on the vine… but at least we will have social justice and there will be no more victims like Todd Gurley. What time do the riots start.

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            • ASEF

              Supply and demand. Once you move past players with pro potential, the market is producing way more bodies than opportunities. Spend a little time watching youth sports today. 12 year olds with personal trainers, $80 an hour position coaching, and year-round specialization in their sport. It’s insane. All to get a “worthless” scholarship.

              The scholarship is way above fair value for a vast majority of athletes, even in the revenue sports.

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              • JCDAWG83

                That’s what the “pay the players” crowd either doesn’t see or doesn’t like to admit. I’d guess 90% of college players would not be able to “demand” pay that was equal to the value of their scholarship based on their ability and performance on the field. If the majority of players had to rely on what they were “worth” as a football player, they might get a couple thousand dollar stipend if they were lucky.

                How many players are drafted out of Georgia every year, maybe 5 in a good year? That’s not a lot of stars out of 40-50 juniors and seniors and some years there may not be but a couple.

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                • PTC DAWG

                  Even if you lower your figure to 80%….it makes for a crazy scenario. The scholarship is FAR and above what that 80% is worth.

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                • What is the formula or analysis that the fair market value of the average Power 5 player is less than the value of a scholarship? You are pulling the 90% figure out of your ass.

                  I an not an economist and I have no statistical model either. I suggest that the professional leagues through collective bargaining found that the market dictates that the value of the players as a whole is roughly half of revenues. If the market value of Power 5 guys likewise is a substantial share of revenues then the UGA football players would share millions.

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      • PTC DAWG

        You and I have agreed on this before..well said JC.

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  2. JCDAWG83

    COA is going to be the biggest opening for cheating in the history of college football. Auburn has to be giddy over this. There is no way you can convince me it costs more to attend Auburn, in that craphole little town, than it costs to attend Georgia in Athens. I guess Auburn is including the cost of tatoos, spinners, gold grills, Daddy’s church, etc.

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    • Actually, the big driver, according to the school, is transportation costs.

      Yeah, I know.

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      • Russ

        Well then, that makes more sense. If I’m stuck in the shittiest village on the plain, I’m going to be driving. A lot. Just to get out of town any opportunity I can.

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      • Hogbody Spradlin

        Transportation costs? How much does it cost to ride the dog from Fort Deposit to Auburn?

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        • Don’t take my word for it.

          Officials at Auburn University, whose cost-of-attendance estimates had remained relatively flat during six of those recent seven years — from $2,304 and $2,678 — experienced a big spike in 2014-15. That year its numbers jumped to $5,586, where they will remain for 2015-16, says Mike Reynolds, executive director of student financial services.

          He says Auburn had mistakenly not been including transportation costs in the estimates, which it added in 2014. Institutions must account for cost-of-attendance estimates different ways for different reports, he says, and it was a simple oversight that had nothing to do with sports.

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      • JCDAWG83

        I guess that drive from the shittiest village on the plains to Atlanta is further than it looks?

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      • 3rdandGrantham

        So AU/UT factored in the cost of a Netjets private aircraft membership into its figures?

        On the flip side, knowing UGA, they most likely calculated the cost of a Southwest flight (w/carry on bag only) to Atlanta, followed by a Greyhound bus to Athens.

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        • Bulldog Joe

          UGA goes to post-season games its players can (and do) drive to, so all this chintz eventually had to backfire.

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      • PTC DAWG

        Transportation, to and from where? Every school has kids who need transportation.

        This is nothing but what it appears to be, out and out BS.

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      • JD

        It’s 101 miles from Hartsfield Airport to Auburn. 81 to Athens. Not that hard unless there’s a toll collector at the state line…
        But yeah, I agree with you…

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        • BMan

          Paying off all the cops that might bust an Aubie for marijuana possession on the way to the shittiest village is probably factored into transportation costs. Or rolled into the costs, as it were.

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      • Bulldog Joe

        Damn right.

        We know a LOT of fuel and maintenance goes into those planes Tennessee and Auburn use to interview coaching replacements.

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  3. 3rdandGrantham

    I simply would love the opportunity to look into the details of AU’s and UT’s COA calculations, which are roughly 150-200% higher than UGA’s. They also are higher than schools located in far, far more expensive areas of the country, like Northwestern, Maryland, UCLA, etc. Yet AU and UT want us to believe that the cost of living/education in Auburn/Knoxville is higher, if not much higher, than Chicago, D.C., and L.A.

    If by some small chance AU is being completely truthful and forthcoming, I’m going to invest in real estate there asap, as typical 200-250k homes are about to skyrocket well into the 700’s or more.

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  4. Bright Idea

    It’s hard to believe the judges and lawyers and college administrators didn’t see this coming and stay away from the local COA numbers and go with a flat rate. Then again they don’t want to call it pay for play.

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  5. Doggoned

    Auburn fearing an arms race? We’re not talking about a rational regime here.

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  6. Skeptic Dawg

    So the ESPN/TV money is about the run out, schools are now paying players, coaches are scratching their heads trying to understand just how in the world they can compete with the deep pocket schools, and fans are curious as why Auburn and Tennessee have such a high COA? Sure, let’s pay these kids! Players have been so mistreated and they deserve this cash on top of what they already receive. Really, what can go wrong?

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  7. sniffer

    If a kid goes to Auburn for an extra 200-300 bucks a month, well, that’s exactly where he needs to be. Somebody ask Jacob Eason if all this changes his mind.

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  8. Cojones

    This was the issue long before the box was opened. You didn’t have to open the box until agreeing on the solution. I blame all of you short-sighted aholes for wanting it this way before opening the box, but certainly those of you who are bent more on sensitivity self-recognition concerning student-athletes than what the end result now attests; that you didn’t have the brains or forethought to see what you had created – more school recruiting anarchy.

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  9. Mickey’s money sure has turned everything topsy turvsy. Everyone wants a piece of the pie. Paying coaches that don’t perform and then giving them raises on top of it. I’m afraid the football days we are all so fond of are gonna disappear. 8 team play off in the next 5 years. They’ll need it to keep the money coming in. Man what would Grizzard and Munson say?
    http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=3186232

    “Money Becomes King”

    If you reach back in your memory
    A little bell might ring
    About a time that once existed
    When money wasn’t king
    If you stretch your imagination
    I’ll tell you all a tale
    About a time when everything
    Wasn’t up for sale

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  10. Chickamona

    Is there a viable case for a legal challenge to a rule like this, since it perhaps inhibits a school from compensating at the same level as their competitors, even if they can/want to pay more? So, UGA is at a competitive disadvantage versus Auburn/Tenn even thought UGA could (presumably) afford to pay their athletes at the same level but are prohibited by this COA rule.

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    • If Jeffrey Kessler wins his suit, it’ll be a moot point.

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      • JCDAWG83

        If Kessler wins, what is the chance that colleges adopt more of a high school model? What if colleges say a kid has to be admitted before he can try out for football? If paying players comes about, I can see many colleges either dropping football as a sport or going to a system where they don’t give scholarships for football or basketball at schools where those sports don’t make money.

        I know it probably won’t happen, at least for a little while, but I don’t see colleges wanting to be the home of de facto pro sports franchises. I’d think the college admin would want no part of it.

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        • If Kessler wins, it’ll be the Wild West. Some schools will opt in to the new system; some will drop to D-III.

          My prediction is that you’ll see CFB embrace a players’ union pronto, so that it will be able to enter into a collective bargaining agreement that would allow it to exercise some control over costs.

          And student-athletes will have control over their likenesses, as everyone else in this country does.

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          • Monday Night Froetteur

            My prediction is that you’ll see CFB embrace a players’ union pronto

            I think that the administrators would like to do that, but creating a legally viable bargaining unit on the employment side would be exceptionally difficult.

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            • Really? There’s already an organization out there.

              Actually, I think the biggest problem will be how the schools organize. Does each conference enter into an agreement, or is something organized that encompasses all the schools who wish to participate in the new order? Talk about your major change to college sports…

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              • Monday Night Froetteur

                That organization has several members who could not legally participate in collective bargaining, plus the terms and conditions of bargaining could be substantially different for public and private universities.

                My guess is that if Kessler wins Jenkins, the parties settle post-appeal for a “de-facto Wild West” where schools maintain their cap in principle, but allow anybody other than the schools themselves (boosters, corporate endorsements, etc.) to pay recruits+players whatever.

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                • JCDAWG83

                  Then, you’ll see the football version of UNLV in the 80s. Some no name college out of the middle of nowhere with a few rich alumni will become a super power. Or, USC or Oregon or Ohio State will become untouchable in recruiting because they will have so many wealthy alumni paying players.

                  If that happens, I’ll probably have to start watching high school football. One NFL experience is too many, I don’t want to have to suffer through another one in Athens. I’m already approaching my limit on being marketed to in Sanford.

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                • Monday Night Froetteur

                  Then, you’ll see the football version of UNLV in the 80s.

                  That would be great; UNLV in the mid 0s-early 1990s was a ton of fun. Oregon football is somewhat similar to that, and that’s been a heck of a lot of fun too.

                  UGA has plenty of resources and deeply committed boosters to compete at the top of an open system.

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                • ASEF

                  For all of the talk about a pro model for college sports, the pro model has a singular set of 30 +/- owners negotiating with a union membership of 500 to 2,000 individuals, depending on the sport. And each sport has its own dynamic. Imagine what a cluster it would be if you had football, baseball, and basketball owners on one side and 3 sports of players on the other.

                  We have over 300 universities and colleges supporting NCAA sports. You have an ever-shifting set of conferences. You have the NCAA. You have tens of thousands of athletes in numerous sports. It’s either complete chaos or “solutions” that always have their toes over some sort of legal line.

                  And THEN we have the boosters, free agents who will game the system at every turn: And with all that money flowing into the system, good luck monitoring corruption and gambling.

                  And THEN we have regional loyalties and politics. I have to admit that I would love to see Coker explaining to his constituents why Tennessee has to play DIII football because unions are THAT evil.

                  The NCAA stinks, and I am not suggesting that we have only two solutions here. But the idea that a lawsuit is going to cede enough leverage to 1 lawyer so that lawyer can create some sort of idealistic model for the players moving forward seems a tremendous stretch.

                  None of these problems make 2015 NCAA any better or makes any of their problems go away. I am not creating a scales here and calling the NCAA the lesser of two evils. I am happy to see the start of a real and honest conversation of what a post-Kessler college sports world could look like.

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                • Dog in Fla

                  @ASEF at 1:46 PM

                  “But the idea that a lawsuit is going to cede enough leverage to 1 lawyer so that lawyer can create some sort of idealistic model for the players moving forward seems a tremendous stretch.”

                  He’s no dilettante, just ask the NBA, the NFL and/or Steve Patterson

                  http://articles.latimes.com/2011/nov/18/sports/la-sp-nba-jeffrey-kessler-20111119

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                • JCDAWG83

                  Well, I guess we have a fundamental disagreement on what makes college sports enjoyable to watch. I like college sports because it is not pro sports with pro athletes. I don’t doubt Georgia has the resources, I do know I don’t really want to see college sports become some sort of pro sports light.

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          • JCDAWG83

            Maybe so, but I still think the wild card is the universities themselves. I really don’t see the actual universities having any desire to be the enabler of a pro sports franchise with their name on them. I would expect a large majority of schools to go the D-3 route fairly quickly.

            I have no problem with the likeness issue, heck, when I was a student, I could have sold my likeness to anyone who wanted it (no one did). The union thing would ruin college football. Paying the players would ruin it for me.

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            • Monday Night Froetteur

              I like college sports because it is not pro sports with pro athletes. I don’t doubt Georgia has the resources, I do know I don’t really want to see college sports become some sort of pro sports light.

              College revenue sports already have pro athletes, and has turned into “pro sports light” right down to ads in the arena/stadia, copious TV timeouts, extreme pressure to win, etc.

              This is kind of a patronizing thing to say so I apologize in advance, but I do not think you really feel that way unless your primary college sports of interest are non-revenue or club sports. Those sports have non-pro players in spades, many of whom have the same high academic qualifications that the general student body has. The atmosphere around most of those sports is decidedly less “professional” too.

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        • If power 5 athletic directors and coaches want to trade in their huge salaries for D-3 pay structure then there will be some really pissed off wives .

          Sure, the “we will de-emphasize to the D-3” rhetoric may look good in print but no one is walking away from the bucks.

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      • Dog in Fla

        It’s the end of Steve Patterson’s thrift shop as he knows it and why does Jeffrey Kessler hate the troops?

        “Guys like Jeff Kessler are trying to destroy the college system to get a percentage or a fee,” Patterson said. “If they do that, they’ll be destroying the greatest thing to happen to the college system aside from the G.I. Bill.”

        https://blutarsky.wordpress.com/2014/04/18/steve-patterson-still-rolling/

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      • Skeptic Dawg

        AHD, thanks for providing the link to above. This is my first big takeaway from the article…”the people who are providing the essential services work for free.” This premise is flawed and completely untrue. College student-athletes are compensated via scholarship. However, this really gets to the heart of the issue…”Do fans care that these programs [collectively] are generating billions of dollars in revenue?”. There is a ton of money being made, so why not stick you hand out in hopes of landing a few bucks. What is truly sad is that this may be the straw that breaks the camels back.

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  11. Go Dawgs!

    How about letting the NCAA or an independent auditor study the cost of attendance for each school and set the level? I can absolutely say that it does NOT cost that much more to live in Auburn, Alabama than it does in Athens, Georgia. In fact, I suspect that it’s quite the opposite. Auburn wants the arms race. They’re dying to have it.

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  12. I Wanna Red Cup

    I think it is funny that the NCAA, Presidents, and AD all are so worried about how to pay for all of the changes ( while paying coaches millions, spending millions on upgrading facilities, etc) and yet the ones complaining about the cost of living payments are the ones who have to pay the least! And no complaints from AU and the like about having to pay more. Sounds like there is plenty of cash to go around.

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    • Dog in Fla

      “the NCAA, Presidents, and AD all are so worried about how to pay for all of the changes ( while paying coaches millions, spending millions on upgrading facilities, etc)”

      That’s why they call them Bad Company

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  13. Walter Sobchak

    Why cant UGA say that it costs 5k more to live in McWhorter Hall than in other dorms? Or add cost of the “playbook” into Text book costs? Or add in other “creative” costs only associated to players? Seems like that’s what other universities are or will be looking to do…and since this is a new rule there have got to be some unexploited loopholes in it… Lord knows the NCAA has not fully thought through any proposal they’ve ever launched.

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    • Those men are nihilists

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    • reipar

      The way the COA is figured has nothing to do with the NCAA. It is figured by the school and represents an average cost per student. For example if your family lived in Valdosta and mine lived in Athens one of us is going to do better under the COA. If the university decides your travel expense is the correct figured then I will be pocketing more money as I do not have that travel expense. If they decide mine is the correct travel expense then you are going to be coming out of pocket.

      In the case of Auburn they decided to add either one or two flights home a semester plus the cost of the shuttle from Auburn-Atl-Auburn into their “new” COA. Obviously this greatly increased their number and if you happen to be someone who lives in Alabama and takes out the full loan you can then you will have a lot of extra money/debt in your pocket.

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    • “Is [this man] the only one around here that gives a shit about the rules!?!?”

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  14. Bulldog Joe

    Why is Georgia always the only SEC institution who has a problem with spending a little money in exchange for the windfall it receives through its SEC arrangement?

    The other SEC institutions never have a problem with it.

    If I was the SEC, I would finally tell Georgia to shut up or get out.

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    • Because redistribution of wealth is not The Georgia Way?

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    • reipar

      In large part because there is a popular theory that says if you raise your COA you turn potential students away as they look for a cheaper alternative. While it is great that the sports programs bring in money the school also needs to bring in money and that is only happening through donations, the state, and the students. Based on what is going on in LA counting on the state may not be a good idea.

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  15. For those who want to complain about the NFL, there’s this little agreement called the CBA which governs the eligibility for employment as a player in the NFL, which effectively makes professional football a closed shop. You have to be a member of the union (NFLPA) to participate as a member of labor. Until the CBA changes (and neither side has a motivation to change it) or the union gets disbanded, the work eligibility rules continue to be in place and enforceable under federal labor laws.

    For the colleges, this number called COA was derived to provide guidance to the US Department of Education to evaluate eligibility for federal financial aid and federally subsidized student loans. It was never intended to be an estimate for the payment of student-athletes, but Judge Wilken decided to use that figure in O’Bannon. On a broader scale, Auburn’s decision to raise its COA hurts the normal full-time student as that student is likely to incur more student loan debt over the period of their enrollment while benefiting the small number of scholarship student-athletes.

    Now that O’Bannon has rubbed the lamp and let the genie out of the bottle, the best solution is probably going to be pure pay-for-play between the scholarship and additional compensation. The whole system probably is going to come down with the revocation of 501c3 status for athletic associations, all value associated with the relationship (scholarship and additional compensation) is taxable to the student-athlete, agents begin to represent college athletes, and S-As gain the right to trade on name & likeness. Of course, the law of unintended consequences will result in issues we won’t be able to anticipate.

    When the dust settles, college sports end up with a two-tier system. The Power 5 + Notre Dame go down this path, and D1 at the highest level really does become NFL/NBA/MLB Light. Everyone else drops to a D2/D3 model.

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    • Bulldog Joe

      True.

      It will be interesting to see which path the University of Georgia chooses.

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      • JCDAWG83

        It would not surprise me at all to see Georgia choose the drop down option.

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      • Monday Night Froetteur

        C’mon. Georgia has way too many influential people who want and love top tier football to ever de-emphasize. The universities who might are few and far between and have mediocre (or worse) football histories. Think Wake Forest, Northwestern, UConn, Syracuse, etc.

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    • JCDAWG83

      Sadly, you’re probably correct. I still think a big, unanswered, question in all of this debate is; what are the schools themselves going to do? If the athletic associations become for profit businesses, will the universities still allow them to use their name and campus facilities? The academics that run most universities are not generally too enamored of the athletic side of the house. How are these academics going to feel about lowering admission standards to their universities for kids who can run fast, jump high and catch or throw a ball so a private, for profit corporation can bring in “employees” to compete in a sport on a high level?

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      • What do you think has been going on in college athletics?

        We already have lowered academic standards for student-athletes. We already have schools dependent on the athletics’ money teat. None of this is new.

        You act like this is the apocalypse. Some schools will keep on keeping on; others will drop out of big time college athletics. Life will go on.

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        • Senator, very well said regarding admission decisions and the dependence of universities at the highest level on money generated from athletics. Also, throw in the donations and the publicity, and there’s no way universities give that up.

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        • JCDAWG83

          The point about lower academics was that colleges today can hold their nose and swallow the lower admission requirements because the players are “student athletes” not paid employees of a for profit athletic corp. If the players are paid, I don’t see any difference than if the Atlanta Falcons moved to Athens and became the University of Georgia Falcons, using university facilities for practice and Sanford for games. I don’t see the colleges going for that kind of thing.

          I’m not sure there are a lot of colleges making money off of athletics to any great extent. I know the reports say that only like 20% of schools have any profit at all in their sports programs.

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    • 81Dog

      this does sound like the end game to me, too. The law of unintended consequences will probably result in things ending up in a very different place both from where they currently stand, and where the proponents of change think they should go. Yugoslavia “worked” under Marshal Tito, in a fashion. Once the artificial construct was removed, the vacuum that followed probably wasn’t what anyone anticipated, either.

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      • You mean there haven’t been any unintended consequences from conference realignment and other forms of dollar chasing college athletics has whored itself out for over the past 25 years?

        That’s a relief. I was worried I wouldn’t see Nebraska play Oklahoma this season. Oh, wait…

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        • 81Dog

          I’m not saying the current system isn’t flawed, or that the schools are noble altruists who should be protected. I’m just saying that the result of trying to go from a stable, if not totally capitalistic, system that has evolved over decades, to a supposedly free market system (I have my doubts about whether it’s free market, or just someone else’s ox’s turn to be gored, but that’s a separate issue) is a lot more likely to result in chaos than it is in anything resembling a fair and orderly system.

          You will get no argument from me if you suggest most of what has happened since the tv antitrust lawsuit 30 plus years ago has accelerated the cash grab by the colleges, and the resulting cascade of moves based on squeezing as many bucks as possible out of as many folks as possible. It certainly isn’t the 30s, when true amateurs played college ball. There may be some happy medium between that era and a complete laissez faire, get all you can while you can approach, but I don’t think that’s where all this is headed. It may be right from a pure legal standpoint, but it doesn’t seem like it is going to go smoothly.

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          • I question your assumption it’s all gone smoothly up ’til now. 😉

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            • 81Dog

              If that’s your assumption, you assumed wrongly. 😉 Smoothness is a relative term, at any rate. Yugoslavia ran smoothly, in a way, under Tito, just like the NCAA tv deal ran smoothly, in a way, under Walter Byers. It may or may not be smooth now, but it’s probably smoother than it will be when chaos takes over and it’s Lord of the Flies. Me, I enjoy chaos, and at some point the rich guys will sort it all out. There just wont be as many of them as some of them now seem to think, and the ones who are standing may not be the ones who think they’re fated to prevail.

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        • Senator, the consequences of realignment and the money chasing are absolutely sad. I’m worried that the powers that be are preparing to kill the joy of college sports over an additional 0.1 of a point in the TV ratings.

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  16. frowertr

    Do away with the verbage “COA” and just call it a “payment for play”. Slap a cap on it but make it voluntary. The schools that are serious about athletics will pay while the others could care less.

    I mean, does it really need to be more complicated than that?? The NCAA is staring down the barrel of the Kessler lawsuit that will hopefully provide some guidance to this issue of the NCAA loses. But has the NCAA actually ever won a lawsuit that was brought forth against them?? Seems like every time I hear about litigation against the NCAA it is them losing.

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