For some, you can never get enough “for love of the game” romance

Funny how student-athletes don’t always share that perspective.

Amateurism, in short, is whatever the NCAA says it is. More often than not, what the NCAA says has less to do with bedrock principle than whoever is currently shaming the association and its member schools on national television, or suing them in federal antitrust court.

While athletes wonder if it’s OK to eat a plate of gratis pasta, we watch our coaches, administrators, schools and conferences grow rich. Hell, even the football strength coach at the University of Iowa makes close to $600,000 per year. And since no one is allowed to simply pay us, we watch tens of millions of dollars flow into lavish athletic facilities that stand as pharaoh-shaming monuments of excess, complete with bowling alleys, barber shops, and arcades. Anything to lure the next class of coveted high school recruits, all of us who make the money spigot possible.

Oh, but the second we talk about trust fund payouts or maybe purchasing long-term health insurance for the injuries we suffer on the job, NCAA purists bleat about the slippery slope to corruption. We can’t be paid, because that would violate the academic mission of our schools.

About that mission: Two of my college coaches left my school for new gigs that paid multimillion dollar salaries annually. Until a couple of weeks ago, my final college coach was making nearly a million dollars per year, with a variety of salary escalators built-in—including a reported annual $80,000 bonus if the players hit their APR target.

In other words: he was paid for the work we did in the the classroom. Tell me again about corrupting the academy?

Ingrate.

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7 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

7 responses to “For some, you can never get enough “for love of the game” romance

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    Wow. He hits the nail on the head.

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  2. sniffer

    So, what’s the solution? It’s not equitable, we get that. Players aren’t paid, coaches are (well) paid. Administrators aren’t going to change the structure until legislated to do so. And I don’t see that happening until higher learning is crippled by outside forces.

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    • DaddyRichATL

      I’m guessing you missed this part “…Oh, but the second we talk about trust fund payouts or maybe purchasing long-term health insurance for the injuries we suffer on the job, NCAA purists bleat about the slippery slope to corruption.”
      This is not about players getting “paid.”

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      • sniffer

        I wasn’t clear. I’m not advocating players should be paid to play, but I do believe that extended insurance coverage, annuity contracts and such should be considering. If the NCAA, and schools by extension, are requiring certain time related obligations and/or prohibitions, the player should be compensated for those restrictions, imo.

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  3. Jeffrey Kessler would probably love to have a student-athlete with Bonner’s perspective on the witness stand.

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  4. Uglydawg

    I’ve got a suggestion to where a little of that Reserve Fund $$$ could go.
    https://www.dawgnation.com/football/dawgnation-daily/tragedy-continues-deny-triumph-paralyzed-devon-gales
    Struggling charities have worked to pick up the slack in funding, the NCAA and UGA could really do a hell of a lot better.

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  5. steve

    How do you define irony? A picture of the ‘Godfather of Soul’ with an open shirt used as a splash screen of a sports blog story with the title including the words “love” and “romance”. Love and romance in the evolutionary sense, I guess.
    James, by ‘rep a tā shun’, was the most kindest, lovin’est, big daddy coach to have moon-walked a stage. Based on urban legends he made sure everyone had a chance ‘to hit the ball’ and everyone who played received folding green pocket love. He was so interested in equitable payments, in fact, that his estate is still apparently paying the offspring of his ‘team’ of ‘tight ends, wideouts and backers’. You know JB’s estate legal team just hates any correspondence that starts with ‘DNA shows…’. Even though condoms were 25¢ back in 1966 apparently JB was an early green zealot and didn’t want to spoil the environment….so ….he has become legendary… the boogaloo Genghis Khan of the American South.
    Anyway, a righteous, pre-rap, domestic-challenged, entertainment machine who not only paid his team of playas but also continues to pay the tadpoles. Too bad it is an irony and not a metaphor for what is being offered by the ATM athletic departments to their student-athletes.
    BTW, JB performed at half time at Sanford stadium on Nov. 5, 1977, I believe. The one vivid memory I have of that performance is that a large part of the audience seemed distracted and disinterested. Maybe because the bathrooms were bad then, too, and it was toward the end of half time.

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