“You’re here to win games. And in the meantime, if you want to go to class, you can.”

Nigel Hayes, Wisconsin basketball player, finds one ray of sunshine in student-athlete amateurism.

Pay the players, Hayes says. Lots of coaches agree. They just don’t say so out loud, for the same reason many professional athletes don’t sound off about social issues. Dollars and sponsorships. Too much to lose.

Fortunately for Hayes, he doesn’t have that problem. “In my case, as an NCAA athlete, you can’t fine me,” he says, flashing another small smile. “You can’t take my money.”

Freedom!

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26 Comments

Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

26 responses to ““You’re here to win games. And in the meantime, if you want to go to class, you can.”

  1. My best mate,, he went to La Tech. He loves to tell a story about Karl Malone. When Malone was asked, “What was your major?” His reply, “Sportz.”

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  2. Bright Idea

    It is hard to believe that the roster had become so deficient that we just had to have Smith to help win some games. Fighting Saban, waivers, promising to graduate, etc. etc. All of that for one season sounds like Kirby didn’t see it as a throwaway.

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    • Brandon

      And help win games he did. Goodness, imagine UNC, Auburn without him. There are others, but those quickly come to mind.

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  3. Freedom’s just another name for nothing left to lose …so sayeth Janis Joplin/or Kris Kristofferson or some famous person.

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  4. 69Dawg

    Why don’t they just go to the D League? I’ll tell you why, it’s all about branding. The players know the fast way to get recognition and therefore reward is to go to a big name school and play in the NCAA Tournament. NBA players are all about self and one and done is just an extension of that.

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    • You’re spot on, man. Why bother to go work for Coca-Cola and have that brand recognition on your resume when you can just run down the street to Joe’s Cola and make your own way? These damned millenials and only caring about themselves. I tell ya, nobody else does that.

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    • Maybe you know something I don’t, but if the D-League is owned by the NBA, I assume it’s also governed by the one-year rule. So when you say just go to the D League, what exactly are these kids supposed to do for a year?

      What they can do if they don’t want to go to college is play overseas.

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    • You must long for the days of day baseball, train rides and pre-free agency professional sports. That was when athletes truly knew loyalty.

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  5. tbonedawg

    I’ve got a totally different take on this “pay for play” issue. Number one, I do think that the status, stature, and compensation of major league athletes is ridiculously high. I realize that isn’t going to change any time soon, but it’s the way I feel. And it influences the way I choose to spend my money, which goes almost exclusively to high school and college athletics. And the day that college sports turns into a minor league team of paid employees rather than students, I will probably turn my attention and dollars elsewhere.

    I was a standout musician in high school. Not great, but pretty good for the rural area where I grew up. I was recruited to a small but pricey private college here in Georgia. I earned a music scholarship which cut my tuition in half. I was expected to play in several ensembles and orchestras. I represented the school. I played on television. Wore their uniform. Used their practice facilities. Took private and group instruction from their teachers and professors. Sound familiar/parallel? But to say that I wasn’t compensated for my time and talent is idiotic. And I was able to develop a talent. I could have done that on my own or playing in a pickup bar band where I got cash or free beer. But instead, I got a degree (not in music). I’m now a marketing executive. And I’ve been a semi-professional musician for 25 years. I don’t feel used. I feel like earning a scholarship and trading that for a very expensive college degree and the talent development that came with it is one of the best things that ever happened to me.

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    • What kind of revenues did your talent help generate for the school you attended? If it wasn’t in the multi-millions per year, then you’re comparing apples and oranges.

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      • tbonedawg

        I disagree. There were no programs/sports at that school (and most others, now or then) that generated that amount of revenue. But there were kids that earned and received scholarships and were damn proud to have them. And there are MANY more kids on golf, lacrosse, tennis, or football scholarships that will never see a pro payday who are in that position than the tiny minority who actually make it in pro sports. If this minority of athletes are such victims, then skip college and start training for the NFL in their basement/backyard. Buy your own weight room. Hire your own dietician. Hire your own personal trainers. Or start a minor league football program. Those have done VERY well. But for the rest of us, college worked out very well. And frankly, folks will still buy tickets to see college games without them.

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        • Napoleon BonerFart

          So, because most college athletes, or scholarship students, don’t earn money for their college, it’s only fair to treat the kids who earn millions for their colleges the same way? I think not.

          A hundred thousand people a week will pay to watch Nick Chubb play football in person (and several times that will watch on TV). How many people will pay to watch some kid play a mean clarinet? Beside his parents, I mean. If the number were significant, ESPN would have a music channel.

          And you’re correct that people will buy tickets to watch kids who just play for the love of the game, with zero pro prospects. That’s what DivIII is for. Hundreds of people watch those kids every week. Big whoop.

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        • If this minority of athletes are such victims, then skip college and start training for the NFL in their basement/backyard. Buy your own weight room. Hire your own dietician. Hire your own personal trainers. Or start a minor league football program.

          Gosh, I wonder why some impoverished seventeen-year old kid hasn’t already though of that!

          What is it about paying people market compensation that bothers you so much?

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    • jtp03

      How did you feel when that college used your likeness on the season ticket advertisements that year, sold your jersey/band uniform in the bookstore, and featured you in the NCAA College Marching Band Playstation game as well. And that one halftime where you blistered that trombone solo? Yeah I watch that every time it comes on ESPNClassic.

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      • tbonedawg

        I’m going to ignore your douchey snark and try to answer your question in the spirit of the conversation. I was damn thrilled to get experience and exposure. I was pumped up to see my name in print. I was thrilled to have my expenses paid while I toured a foreign country, performing every day and partying every night. I’ll never forget what it felt like to play on international television in front of 8 million households. And yeah, I do remember the time I “blistered that trombone solo” and got a standing ovation from the visitor’s stands. Have you ever had thousands of people cheering because of something you did? And finally, PlayStation hadn’t been invented when I was in college.

        My point is that I was no victim and neither were the other kids on scholarship. I was given an opportunity. They don’t air my highlights on SportCenter, but I did turn what college did for my talents into six figure returns. So I’m humbly pleased with the outcome. And I bet millions of other students on scholarship, athletes or otherwise, had similar experiences.

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        • Napoleon BonerFart

          Again, if you’re so sure these kids are being compensated fairly, why not allow the free market to verify your claims? Surely it would, right? Or is your argument that you just disagree with the free market and you would like to force these kids to be compensated in line with what you were when you were in a completely different situation?

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          • Got Cowdog

            Isn’t the band funded by the Athletic Association? So is cheerleading. And golf. A lot of smaller programs benefit from the big money programs.

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        • Macallanlover

          You are making excellent points but you are going against an agenda to take down what has successful and spread the proceeds to the masses with no regard of what to do when that action ultimately kills the Golden Goose. Your traditional view is out of step with those who fail to recognize the value, and appreciation, we had. And how you, I, and many others felt enriched and accomplished by our experiences, not cheated. Personally, it took me a while to realize they were serious when this whole “plantation” theory was first espoused, I never knew anyone who would characterize being a scholarship athlete as a person to be pitied. I realize there is questionable usage of the mega bucks flowing in, but there are many worthwhile ways to use those dollars instead of paying ADs and coaches extreme salaries.

          May be the lawyer in some to be dazzled due to the pure number of greenbacks involved, but I think it is the “tear it down” initiative that pervades our society as a whole. We once respected and admired things, and those, who did well and grew to “provide shade” to others, now they are scorned and challenged for whom they “probably” exploited. Successful athletic programs help impact many students and athletes in a positive way, allowing a few to be paid marketing dollars, or to take money out of the pot will hurt smaller programs, and students who may come later and find the train has left the station. But all the lawyers and big name athletes that would get paid are not about the future harm they may/will cause to the groups who come after.

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  6. Got Cowdog

    Mr. Hayes is an impressive young man. I was on the fence about paying players for a long time. They aren’t really uncompensated. The issue is; are they compensated fairly? After a little WIkilooking at the NCAA, I don’t think they are. The rules for player compensation have changed little since the NCAA was formed, but the business of college athletics certainly has. When AA income was driven by attendance, I would say a scholarship and the opportunity to play at the next level was fair enough.
    Add TV money and merchandising to the attendance and it becomes unfair. The disparity of income opposed to CoDB forces bloated coaches salaries and expenditure on facilities to remain “Non-Profit”. Why not compensate the players?

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    • They aren’t really uncompensated. The issue is; are they compensated fairly?

      Exactly. This is what I don’t get about the “scholarship is enough” crusaders out there. These guys ARE already getting paid through COA. All we’re arguing is that might not be fair value. If the scholarship and COA is fair value, then why are so many people against letting the market decide that?

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      • In the aggregate the scholarship-ed athletes are getting compensated “fairly”(whatever the hell that means) or they would not take said option. Taking or not taking the free ride is a personal choice and no one is forcing anyone to take this free board and tuition with a gun to their head …although there was a rumor about Isaiah Crowell’s momma putting a gun to his head to take the UGA scholly… We just need to quit using words with “loaded” connotations like fair, hope and change because while it is more than fair to the long snapper to get a full ride and that it was probably not fair to Todd Gurley to get that same free ride in the aggregate it works out “fairly” when you calculate the money the UGA’s are making and the money the Jacksonville State’s and UAB’s are hemorrhaging,
        In thinking of my own example didn’t Todd come to UGA a 4 star and proceed to out preform a 5 stat (Marshall) thereby increasing his value at the next level and therefore the period of being “unfairly” compensated actually allowed him to be more adequately compensated at the next level. Either take the scholarship or don’t it is the kid’s choice but don’t try and equate this current system with taking captured prisoners of tribal warfare and putting them to work growing cotton/rice/sugar cane as slaves….it is a stupid analogy.
        So why not compensate players? Because the cost of attendance stipends will absolutely put the Ga. States,Georgia Southerns,Jacksonville State’s, UAB’s….I could go on …out of D-1 football and while that might be appropriate to have happen is that “fair to the kid on scholarship at these schools . In the aggregate being “fair to the elite players at Uof F or UGA will have a multitude of unintended consequences there will be stunningly unfair to others.. known and unknown and even unknowable. Either accept the scholarship or don’t ….its a free county.
        My suggestion is if these big programs do want these kids to hang around on campus all year and work out year round to get bigger and stronger compensate them for that . Treat conditioning like its a summer job the more hours you work out, the better shape your in the more you get paid…..just an idea.

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        • Got Cowdog

          I sort of agree with you, and “fair” is not “loaded” in my personal vocabulary. “Fair” is fulfilling your obligation for the compensation you agreed on for the duration stipulated in the terms of your agreement. It is “not fair” to not be allowed to negotiate this agreement. In other words, “I will perform X (compete)for entity Y (Your favorite team) for the duration of Z (Credit hours, seasons, number of practices/ games) for K (Cost of attendance) is fairly simple. Why can’t I add the caveat of, If my likeness or facsimile thereof is tendered (?) during this period, I shall recieve an amount commiserate with such usage (Q). A “bonus clause” so to speak. If I’m on TV I get paid, y’all. You’re minimum compensation is K. However ESPN cant put you on TV and Y can’t sell a jersey with your number on it without ponying up Q. What’s wrong with that?
          I agree the “Plantation” theme that gets tossed around is race baiting bullshit. Competitors are not slaves. If anything they are indentured servants, earning their passage.

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          • I am wewoof just on a different device…….your probably right…”fair” is not “loaded” ,my bad…. but it is borderline meaningless. I figured out as a child that when I got one punishment and my sister got a different ,and in my eyes more lenient, one that my view of fair and my sister’s(and dad”s) were quite different . That’s” not fair” is just whining. The question we are both beating around is” fair to who?” Your analysis is not wrong it is just so complicated and has such huge enforcement costs that it will actually give what I consider the enemy(the NCAA) even more power and control over these kids. A result I find completely undesirable and “unfair”

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            • Your analysis is not wrong it is just so complicated and has such huge enforcement costs that it will actually give what I consider the enemy(the NCAA) even more power and control over these kids.

              If Kessler wins, the NCAA no longer would be allowed to operate as a cartel. Hard to see how that would increase its power and control.

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  7. Hogbody Spradlin

    Nigel Hayes is a delight.

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  8. For the life of me, I don’t understand why so many who don’t believe that players just get paid simply ignore the fact that those around players….literally everyone….continue seeing massive pay increases across the board on just about a yearly basis.

    Whether it is school presidents, etc….granted, I am exaggerating a bit as I don’t mean to imply every school employee….but I mean those connected to the AD offices get raises, etc….

    The ridiculous amount they bring in simply blows away the amount of their scholly.

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