If they ever do name a college football commissioner…

… they could do a lot worse than Bill Snyder.

“I can’t tell you I have the answers. We all have opinions but it’s my feeling that we have exploited college football, college athletics in general. We speak all the time about the welfare of the student-athlete and indeed that has not evolved as the most important thing. It’s been strictly about winning and dollars, maybe dollars first and winning second, or vice versa. I think we’ve sold out to the dollars and cents and we sold out to TV. You think about games being played for money – that’s the intent of it. You play for money so we’re playing games on – you pick the night of the week. I think there’s one or two nights we don’t have college football. When you think about a team traveling halfway across the country and playing on Thursday night, you miss Wednesday classes and you miss Thursday classes and it’s a night game so you’re going to miss all or a vast majority of Friday classes. We don’t think anything about that because it brings in bucks. We spend millions and millions and millions of dollars on so many things. We all have nice facilities and we’re all grateful for the people that invest the money to do that but to me it kind of sends a little different message that says the dollars and cents are more important than anything else … more important than the value system that you try to impart on the young people in your program.

“I understand the exposure element of it. I love our fans and I imagine all coaches feel the same way, and that’s what they want to see and that’s what they are invested in. I identify with my age being 100 years old that you used to play 1:10 games on Saturday afternoon and all the fans went to their favorite college game. I’m not saying it has to be that way or should be that way, but you see how it’s evolved away from that to create greater exposure through television. The resources out of television are so phenomenal. As coaches, and I can’t speak for others, I make far more than I’m worth, I can assure you of that ($3.05 million this season). It’s ballooned and now they’re talking about somewhere near $10 million contracts. Where does it stop?

“We talk about education – you got me started on this – you talk about the welfare of the student-athlete and trying to get the best possible education we can and when all that kind of money is involved you look at the faculty members who are the ones that impart the education to these young people and they get a distaste in their mouth because they are grossly underpaid. They are in closets for offices and they see all the grandeur the college athletics and football programs have and, justifiably so, they have an ill feeling about college athletics. Sometimes that can impact their feelings toward young student-athletes.”

That is what you call speaking truth to power.  Not that anyone in power is listening…

21 Comments

Filed under College Football

21 responses to “If they ever do name a college football commissioner…

  1. Spike

    I’m available for Commish! Spike, The People’s Choice!

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  2. Bill Snyder is freaking awesome. Damn good coach too.

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  3. Russ

    Bravo, Bill Snyder!

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  4. It’s hard to argue against what Snyder is talking about. I think one of our problems is that we fought against the machine by not joining the arms race (remember everyone in Athens telling CMR to shut up about the IPF or the fact our facilities were falling behind our peers while the reserve fund grew) when we were at/close to the top. Now we are paying the piper for that refusal to invest in our athletic programs while the SEC West poured money into their football program.

    To get to his point, winning and money are the only things that matter in today’s college sports. We make fun of Booch’s “championship of life” comment or CMR’s “rings collect dust” comment as losers, but college sports is at a crossroads at this point (maybe it’s beyond the crossroads). Are college sports (for purposes of this comment, limit that to football, men’s basketball, and baseball) semi-professional or amateur? If they are semi-pro, pay the players their market value and stop the charade they are playing for the love of the game. If they are amateur, end the sham degrees and curriculum and expect student-athletes to graduate with a piece of paper that means something.

    Of course, I could also say to Snyder, “Why don’t you refuse that $3,050,000 salary and build those faculty members some offices?”

    Just my $.02.

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  5. Chopdawg

    Suppose all the major colleges could set their gametimes at the beginning of each season, so fans would know well in advance what time games begin. Given that college football is spread across four time zones, and that some schools would choose in advance to play night games, wouldn’t there still be plenty of good college football games for TV to choose from, every Saturday, beginning at 1PM ET and ending after midnight?

    I realize this won’t happen, just dreaming…but it does seem like the actual fans–who’d like to attend games, even if it means traveling for hours through snarled metro traffic on gamedays–need to be thrown a bone from time to time.

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  6. 92 grad

    I truly hope that everything Snyder says gets picked up by all the news and sports networks and plastered on every print media medium possible. I was on track to be on faculty in higher ed. Years ago and the faculty vibe towards football and basketball is pretty strong so I assume it’s pretty strong at most campuses.

    I believe that the majority of the tv money should go into the operations budget of the entire university which would allow all the departments and colleges within the university to have access to it. Many fields of study have facility problems but the biggest issue is compensation. There are many inspiring faculty members but I can say with confidence that there would be far more inspiring, motivated, professional educators in our world if they were compensated closer to that of physicians or lawyers. From pre school all the way up to tenured graduate faculty, the system is starving for gifted educators. Practicing education is no different than practicing law or medicine and requires much the same commitment to do well. Gifted people who wish to study education and practice it leave the profession every day simply because they wish to have the finances to buy a home for their family (exactly my situation). Sorry about the rant, I could go on all day.

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  7. Macallanlover

    I think Snyder is a terrific football coach, and admire him as a man, but feel he is wrong about much of this. In my opinion, recognizing mine is a minority position here, the “welfare of the student athlete” gets too much sympathy, to the point of being silly. Some justified concerns, but now where near the plantation/exploitation positions. And playing football on Wednesday or Thursday nights is no more taxing on SAs than playing basketball , baseball, volleyball, etc. during the week, which has been done for decades.

    Have stated this opinion before so will not drag this out by arguing it again but you can be concerned about people getting fair treatment without all the drama about how tough this SA life is if they don’t get everything they demand. They are neither slaves nor prisoners, but they are not equal partners with the school either. Seems a pretty attractive role they play from where I sit.

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  8. BrightOwl

    I have huge respect and admiration for Snyder as both a man and a coach and I still feel that he deserved to be coach of the year in 2012.

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    • Macallanlover

      True. What he did to turn that program around the first time was near the top of examples of what coaching can mean, but to come out of retirement and do it again puts him in the top group of coaches all time. Of course some will say not because he never got a MNC. Snyder puts that requirement in the laughable column.

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  9. Cosmic Dawg

    When you restrict people’s freedom, you skew the market. Many of these young men ought to be playing in a professional league of some kind, somewhere. They ought to be signing autographs and making tv commercials. This is the reason they are on TV – there’s demand for their services – well beyond their affiliation with a college..

    Without the restrictions on football and basketball players, these coaches would in fact be getting paid what they are worth – either their salaries would drop and they’d still be university coaches or they’d be coaching in the pro leagues.

    What would NOT happen is that wealthy boosters who like sports would suddenly choose to donate to expanding professors’ offices. It’s the dumbest argument in the world that “XYZ profession is overpaid”. As if we only shuttered all the movie theaters with those overpaid actors, charities would gross $500 million over labor day weekend…or that people would work as hard if they couldn’t enjoy the spoils of their labor.

    I think on the whole professors have a pretty good deal, otherwise there would not be such fierce competition for their positions.

    If we want to cry over educators, let’s cry for the public school teachers, who deal with much more for much less, with almost as much schooling behind them.

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    • 69Dawg

      Your right. In a capitalist society the consumer votes with his/her money. Unfortunately we all know that the people will vote for entertainment over anything else. That’s why the government has to take the people’s money involuntarily to fund things like education. It’s really simple most people DGAS about anything but their own self interest.

      As the great Alexander Fraser Tytler said “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to selfishness; From selfishness to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage.” This our Founding Father’s knew and deliberately created a Republic, which unfortunately over the years it has been changed to a quasi-democracy by the career politicians and their never ending quest to be reelected.

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  10. 69Dawg

    If ever there was a sport that will end up killing the goose that laid the golden egg it will be Intercollegiate sports. If the powers that be ever get college education free for all then any Intercollegiate sport will be a mere memory. Look what the original Hope Grant did for Georgia schools. Why would I risk my kids health for something he/she is going to get free anyway. At that point all the hypocrisy of the system would be removed. We say we give these guys/girls a free education now because they are good to great at an event that has absolutely nothing to do with education. The reason sports were introduced to colleges in the first place was that it fostered good health and a well rounded person. Schools still do that with intramural sports so why the need for intercollegiate sports. Plain and simple it was to keep the alum’s connected to the school after they graduated hoping that the school could get some money. This whole intercollegiate thing had nothing to do with education and all to do with alumni relations. It was a nice fall activity for the whole family that got out of hand. Intercollegiate sports is a Frankenstein’s monster that has in many aspects destroyed it’s creator. Universities that can not afford Intercollegiate sports keep them because of the need to keep the alumni happy. Charging the students “Activity Fees” when only a percentage of the students will be allowed to get a ticket to the activity for which they are paying.

    I’m too old to be around for the end but if Intercollegiate sports keep it up they will become a mere studio event for the WWL and a four hour commercial for the school.

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  11. Cousin Eddie

    The powers in charge would never let someone that feels that way be in charge of the money machine.

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  12. Wonder how many other coaches feel the same way. I did enjoy reading his comments Hit the nail on the head on a lot of points. 10 years ago, I would never have agreed to what he stated, pretty much I have done a complete change in ideas about Div. 1 football and basketball.

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