“Everybody’s crying about how poor they are, but meanwhile they’re just going hog wild with stuff.”

Reason #2382 why colleges need amateurism:  Auburn – naturally – spent three-quarters of a million dollars on a 300-yard graphics display in its football practice facility.  Oh, and another $300,000 on updates.

Please, tell me again that there simply isn’t enough money in big time college athletics to compensate players.

62 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

62 responses to ““Everybody’s crying about how poor they are, but meanwhile they’re just going hog wild with stuff.”

  1. JAX

    Auburn is akin to your dumb, drunk fraternity brother whose Dad owns a ford dealership and has enough money to afford his son the opportunity to make repeated bad decisions, yet the dumb son never learns.

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  2. Dawgxian

    If the money is being spent on a practice facility, then it is being spent on the athletes

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    • Gaskilldawg

      Yeah. But when the player takes his date for pizza at Mellow Mushroom he can’take pay for it by taking the cashier to see the screen.

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  3. Rp

    Those athletes should be thankful to have such a stunning (and updated) graphics display. They wanna be paid also?

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    • At least for 3 or 4 years they get to watch themselves once in a while on those big screens when they make good plays, a few seconds longer if his potential ejection is being reviewed. It should be dream come true for the athletes, at least that’s how Auburn thinks of it.

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  4. DugLite

    Auburn is bad for college football.

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  5. They are being compensated. Just not the way you think they should. It seems you place little to no value on the facilities the get to inhabit and their free (to the athletes) education.

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    • It seems you place little to no value on the facilities the get to inhabit and their free (to the athletes) education.

      I would say that I place fair value on those types of things. Your mileage obviously varies.

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      • JCDAWG83

        I think the issue is, some (myself included), think the value of the education and the exposure and the other perks of being a scholarship athlete are adequate compensation for the players. Others, obviously you fall into this group, don’t think the players get enough.

        I see loads of complex issues with paying players. How would additional compensation be fairly determined? Would each player receive the same “pay”? Would players be able to individually negotiate their own salary? Would the Nick Chubbs be paid more than the Faton Bautas? If a player did not perform as expected, could they be “fired” or have their pay cut? Could scholarships simply be done away with and players pay their tuition, room and board, tutors, medical insurance and other expenses included in the current scholarship out of their pay?

        I don’t know the answers, but I do know paying players would create a whole new set of problems and would be pretty much the final step in turning college sports into pro sports and that would end my interest in college sports.

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        • I don’t know the answers, but I do know paying players would create a whole new set of problems and would be pretty much the final step in turning college sports into pro sports and that would end my interest in college sports.

          The players are already getting paid.

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          • JCDAWG83

            I think you know what I mean. As a little dig, if they’re already getting paid, isn’t your work here done? 🙂

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            • Not if they aren’t receiving their fair market value. Which they aren’t.

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              • Macallanlover

                And your “fair market value” crusade would tear down the house for all. You have 1-3 players out of 85 scholarship athletes who have enough market value to make more than the value of current benefits/costs provide for all the team, and school. Is that worth risking the benefits for all under your crusade to expose the Plantation mentality you proclaim exists? Seems very extreme to me, but certainly not surprising to see your position as you have consistently beat this drum for years.

                I have supported a reasonable stipend for all SAs in revenue producing sports capable of paying for them, but I feel it unnecessary to throw the baby out to push the limits. I do not favor splitting the compensation to different levels for different teammates. If it comes to that, I would certainly support a professional minor league plan to accommodate those poor, oppressed souls and let the skill level of CFB find a new.lower, yet balanced level. In fact, I hope that happens very soon before the whole house collapses and takes away one of the great pleasures of life for us CF addicts. While your intentions are (perhaps) commendable, your plan is wildly reckless, imo. So much so that I wonder why you push this agenda so when the outcome seems pretty obvious.

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                • You have 1-3 players out of 85 scholarship athletes who have enough market value to make more than the value of current benefits/costs provide for all the team, and school. Is that worth risking the benefits for all under your crusade to expose the Plantation mentality you proclaim exists?

                  First, I’ve never said anything about a plantation mentality. I’d like to think my criticisms have been less crudely put than that.

                  Second, as I asked in my post, please show me why letting a few players receive their market value would risk “the benefits for all”, as you put it… assuming you’re not including coaches and administrators there. (If you are, tough shit for them.)

                  As for agenda pushing, I wonder why you think it’s imperative to treat college athletes in revenue producing sports differently from the way you would expect to be treated.

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                • AusDawg85

                  “…differently from the way you would expect to be treated.”

                  If I were back in college and offered an internship at Coke, Apple, Spaulding Law, etc. that paid little but offered free rent, most meals, plush office, assistants, etc. vs. a higher paying job at a start-up company, I’m not sure which way I’d go, but the internship sure would be an appealing choice and I don’t know that I’d feel exploited by the opportunity.

                  This analogy is not the same, and I’m deeply offended by the profiteering by CFB off the marketing value of individual star players, but I think I naively prefer stopping the latter more than moving forward into a free-market compensation structure.

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                • I get the personal preference side of this. I’m not sure the kid who misses out on the money sees it the same way, though.

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                • “As for agenda pushing, I wonder why you think it’s imperative to treat college athletes in revenue producing sports differently from the way you would expect to be treated.”

                  I would wonder why some feel some athletes in some revenue producing sports should be treated differently than others on scholarship?

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                • I would wonder why some feel some athletes in some revenue producing sports should be treated differently than others on scholarship?

                  Gosh, maybe you should ask professional athletes if they should all be paid the same for their efforts. Or, for that matter, maybe we all should.

                  A kid can sign a professional baseball contract, receive a million dollar bonus, walk away from the sport a few years later and sign a college football scholarship right now. Last time I checked, the world hadn’t ended because of that.

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                • I’m not following your logic because that player could not sign a baseball scholarship.

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                • He got paid for athletics. He now has a football scholarship.

                  Evidently, you’re okay with hairsplitting over the kind of sport he was paid for.

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                • He chose to become a professional in baseball. He chose to remain an amateur in football. Professionals get paid for what they do. Once you become a professional in anything you can not go back to being an amateur in that thing.

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                • He wasn’t given a choice about football.

                  Again, you’re fine with hairsplitting. I can’t rationalize it the way you can.

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                • Atticus

                  I wouldn’t expect to be treated any differently. I would either agree to the offer of what is available or I wouldn’t. In a free market I can always leave and go to another field or company. But agreeing to it and then complaining when the numbers for each individual athlete can’t be extrapolated and expecting more are just irrelevant. I have asked several times, how much was Tim Tebow or Leonard Fournette or Todd Gurley worth? Or the OG for Clemson? Or their backup?

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                • In a free market I can always leave and go to another field or company.

                  College sports are a cartel, not a free market.

                  Tell me something: what do you think will happen if Jeffrey Kessler wins his suit and conferences are no longer restricted as to what sort of financial benefits can be offered to student-athletes? Do you really believe nothing will change?

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                • Scott

                  They already are treated differently…free room and board, free meals, free education, a stipend, and more. I wasn’t given that nor was anyone else unless they were on a full scholarship. This is what they gladly signed on for as did all those before them.

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              • Atticus

                That argument is flawed. Tell me what the DE for TN’s market value is? What is Trent Thompson’s market value? What is the market value for Jacob Eason? Even Lenonard Fournette or Tim Tebow? And those are the rarest of rare athletes.

                Schools make money because they have 100,000+ alumni that pour money and eyeballs into the programs and television. That’s it. Bama makes a ton of money because of their alumni and history and its increased because of Nick Saban. Not because of AJ McCarron or Reggie Ragland or Derrek Henry. The money was there before and after. Donations and tickets and licensewear increase when teams win more but how can you measure one athlete into a team sport and how much they individually increased the revenue?

                UGA had profit before Champ Bailey, before David Greene and before and after Todd Gurley, AJ Green and Matthew Stafford. What are their market values? And what is the value of a scholarship, housing and food? And then bowl gifts and now the COA?

                And what is the market value for a OT for Duke or the punter for Arkansas or a ILB from Baylor? Or their backups? The COA is the best middle ground but paying them hundreds of thousands of dollars is never going to work.

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                • So schools all all of the money because of coaches, boosters and TV, not because of star players? Why not both? And just because its difficult to determine market value, I guess we shouldn’t try right? I mean why spend money and effort on research when there is a new billboard and facilities to invest in? Like you, I don’t know what the answer is, but it still looks a little lopsided in favor of the Sports Entertainment educational institutions.

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                • Atticus

                  Look up LSU’s revenue before and after Leonard Fournette and tell me how much he’s worth? Same with Todd Gurley or Nick Chubb or Derrick Henry. Can you make a case for the rarest of rare selling jersey’s? Yes, for less than 1%, so either tell the university’s they can’t sell and individuals jersey or sell it and put a % of he profit into a fund for the athlete to receive upon leaving. But you will never see them split the pie successfully without the whole collegiate athletics system collapsing.

                  They have a free education, housing, food, tutors and all the perks that come with it including the gifts at bowls, travel etc..

                  A billboard is a fraction of the cost……and was stupid on Auburn’s part. The schools make the money, not individuals like an NFL owner, and for the most part put it back into non-revenue sports, women’s sports, better facilities (you think 4 years in better facilities is not a benefit to these athletes?), better coaches and support staff and better housing and food.

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                • Not saying they don’t benefit. Also not buying that the whole system will crash if they consider a more equitable money distribution model.

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                • Look up LSU’s revenue before and after Leonard Fournette and tell me how much he’s worth? Same with Todd Gurley or Nick Chubb or Derrick Henry.

                  This is such a silly argument. Let’s take your argument, but replace LSU, Georgia, and Alabama with the Dallas Cowboys, NY Giants, and Atlanta Falcons. Revenues are continuing to increase for all those teams as well before and after their current star players, but for some reason they assign a $100M+ value to Romo, Manning, and Ryan. Why is that? Maybe the market said that those individuals were worth that amount?. It might also shock you that they get paid significantly more than scout team members because that’s also what the market has determined them to be worth. Here’s a perfect example of the problem so many of y’all consider impossible to solve. Who knew that determining how to properly compensate athletes of differing talents had already been solved for us?

                  How about you just save yourself a lot of time if you just said “I prefer that college players don’t get paid.” I may disagree with you, but at least you have a stance that I can respect rather than wrapping yourself up in anti-free market arguments.

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                • The market value of a student-athlete in a competitive environment is the same as it is for you and me: whatever an employer and employee agree it is.

                  This isn’t rocket science. Unless you have an agenda, that is.

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                • Atticus

                  You forget one thing: It’s called skilled labor and supply and demand, not a % of profit. Last I checked not ONE athlete has turned down the benefits of a scholarship. So to me the market HAS dictated its value.

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                • I have to tell you that you’ve got legal precedent out there that disagrees with you on that.

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                • So to me the market HAS dictated its value.

                  You can’t determine true value when the market is artificially capped at the value of a scholarship. We don’t know what the market would bear because the athletes aren’t allowed to engage in a true labor market.

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    • Go Dawgs!

      An opulent football facility is of zero value to a college athlete the second his eligibility expires and they turn off his key fob. A college education is incredibly valuable if one is allowed to pursue it, but I think we all know that there are campuses out there were players are steered in directions of study they may not even care about in order to remain eligible (perhaps even on our own campus). And the monetary value of tuition simply is not in balance with the value they are providing the universities and conferences, and that’s before you even begin to take into account the fact that they’re not allowed to benefit from their own likenesses or have outside jobs … and they’re also placing their health and futures in peril. Sorry. Scrap the whirlpool shaped like the “AU” logo and give a player a grand a month or something. It’s not unreasonable.

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  6. Scott

    The players know that they are invited to represent the college in exchange for a free education, free meals, free boarding, free medical care, and a stipend. All the while they will be treated like Gods. Most of the time their money is no good in restaurants and bars. Later, if not elite, they will be offered a job by an alumnus. They knew this coming in. If they want more money why not give up football and get a job?

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    • If they want more money and they’re worth it, why should colleges refuse to pay it to them?

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      • Atticus

        Read my posts above…….. What is “worth it”? How much did LSU’s revenue increase after Leonard Fournette or Bama’s after Derrick Henry? Read my posts, it will never work paying them outright.

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        • You guys make me chuckle. Have you not followed what’s going on with the COA stipends? Obviously there’s a gap between what these kids are getting paid and what they’re worth.

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          • Atticus

            Chuckle…….Did you read my posts above? You didn’t answer one of my questions. Their argument is flawed and irrelevant. Show me what they are worth, show me each individuals DIRECT impact to revenue and profit before and after they were there?

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            • How can I show what a player is worth when he isn’t allowed to negotiate for that?

              You honestly think the Tebows and Manziels of the CFB world couldn’t have signed major contracts with Nike if they’d been allowed to do so and keep their eligibility?

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              • This is exactly the point I’m trying to make.

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              • Atticus

                Nike or Adidas are NOT the universities. That is a TOTALLY different argument and has validity. But those companies can DIRECTLY track the specific product sales to the athlete. A college cannot. You CANNOT tell me how much Todd Gurley is worth to the UGA except possibly for jerseys. And there are a handfull of players that could do so they are the exception. You don’t change an entire system for the exceptions—unless you are the Federal government. …..How many schools have marketable players? Ok, so let’s say for your argument you open it up. Anyone and everyone can get paid. Now how are you going to police the corruption and payoffs of kids and all the illegal recruiting?? You have NO idea what this would do, its just a flawed argument based on reality.

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                • Players don’t get paid by teams for their sales abilities. They get paid on the basis of their perceived production to help a team win.

                  You CANNOT tell me that in an open market, Todd Gurley wouldn’t be paid by a school to wear its uniform and play.

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      • Scott

        Because once you let the genie out of the bottle the labor costs will spiral out of control. Look at what is happening with coaches’ salaries. Multiply that by 50 four and five star recruits on the teams that can afford them. What about those schools which can’t. Then you break the bank, or, alternatively, will have to implement salary caps. I don’t mind that some spending money was thrown in, but it should stop there. Otherwise, many college football programs will simply dissolve and there will be far fewer teams, or salary caps will ruin the game. An analogy would be a labor union negotiating so well the plant closed down….ruined a good thing for all.

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        • How many professional sports in this country have shut down over labor costs?

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          • Scott

            how many professional basketball teams and NFL teams are there compared to how many college teams currently existing in the same two sports? If pro sports were easily affordable wouldn’t there be many more of them.

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            • mp

              Why do I care if Western Michigan or Georgia State shuts down its football program if they try and fail to compete for top talent and find they can’t afford it? Go after the cheap players, and they will survive.

              Alternativerly, all the schools need to do is remove the prohibition on marketing one’s likeness, and the schools won’t pay a dime more than the COA. Let Nike, Gatorade, and Joe Alumni’s Chevy dealership figure out what the players should be paid.

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            • Are you familiar with the concept of “barriers to entry”?

              You make it sound so easy to start up a new professional league.

              The ones that exist are cartels, too.

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              • Scott

                Yes, I’m familiar with that term. If profitable, however, any barriers to entry have always been overcome utilizing a multitude of methods. I’ll quit responding now as the point/counter-point is getting a little boring. Nice to read all of the varying opinions on this subject.

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          • Atticus

            You cannot compare professional franchises and the system of labor to college athletes. Its 100% different model. Colleges replace it’s talent base 25% every year, its not even close in the pros.

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  7. Flukebucket

    Players represent labor. They are supposed to get fucked. The hind teat is forever where they are to suckle. Otherwise you are advocating CommunismMarxismLeninismSocialist stuff.

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  8. Atticus

    Senator you can’t compare professional athletes with the collegiate system. There is a lack of talent to fill major league rosters. Therefore the market value dictates a players salary, and the television (especially for the NFL) dictates a lot of the national revenue. But Mike Trout playing for the Angels can affect the revenue by a much larger % than Todd Gurley for UGA. UGA fills the stadium regardless of an individual athlete. Plus the NFL owner keeps all the revenue in colleges it goes back into non revenue sports and improved opportunities for student athletes. Its not even close to a valid comparison.

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  9. Atticus

    Audit Dawg, you call someone else out saying its silly but you guilty of the same. Its all opinion dude. But let’s see you back it up with FACTS. And don;t give me this horse s— phrase like you know me and know what my stance is and as I need your respect. I worked in sports marketing for 20 years, I know the system. I am only voicing an opinion just like you.

    I could say the same about you (like some BS that you are just taking the stance of “free labor” and everyone deserves to get paid…) but I won’t because I don’t know you. But to say its just easy to open it up to free market is a joke, it’s totally different system and not based on measurables and in my opinion would severely harm other sports that depend upon the revenue to fund these sports. A pro franchise is run by an owner and all revenue (profit) goes into their pocket. Skilled labor is a scarcity, especially at QB. It is NOT at college football programs. Universities (as flawed as they are) are tremendous benefits to the states they reside in and the select few that generate profits reinvest them back into the schools.

    I at least try to support with facts, of which I have seen 0% from you. Fact: Pro franchises are nowhere near the same as collegiate. The pro franchises don’t turn over 25% of their roster every year. Fact: The market has dictated it because kids either accept and sign the scholarship and receive up to a few hundred thousand dollars in benefits all before ever walking on the field….or they don’t. Go play in Canada. Wat 3 years and declare for the draft. Is it an inequitable system in many ways, of course. But the answer isn’t just open it up and let everyone get paid what they are worth in my opinion.

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    • Fact: The market has dictated it because kids either accept and sign the scholarship and receive up to a few hundred thousand dollars in benefits all before ever walking on the field….or they don’t.

      It’s not the market dictating. It’s the schools.

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      • mp

        I’m amazed someone wouldn’t understand this. Why would the NCAA even need to institute a cap on compensation if the compensation was set by the market? The whole point of instituting the cap is because the market would pay more.

        (Another hint might be the fact that teams and their boosters have defied this cap for decades by paying student athletes against NCAA rules.)

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  10. 69Dawg

    All of this ultimately depends upon the good old congress. At some point they will intervene and totally mess everything up. After all they gave us certificates of need to get medical facilities, they can do the same for athletic facilities. Title IX will be the ultimate deciding factor.

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  11. Pingback: If you hated what I wrote about player compensation yesterday, part one. | Get The Picture