Today, in amateurism = socialism

Here’s what should be a clarifying pair of tweets for some of you to ponder.

Or, to translate into the original Marx, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”.

Can you imagine anywhere else in the private sector where an employer making hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars a year could get away with telling staff in one money-making department it wasn’t going to get paid so that another money-losing department could be propped up?  And before you go down the “but, Title IX” road here, remember where that mandate originates.

Yet somehow I’m the Alinsky lefty in this debate.  Okay, fine.

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67 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

67 responses to “Today, in amateurism = socialism

  1. dawgtired

    “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”.”

    That doesn’t include the guys making the rules. Just like today’s politicians that want to ‘help the poor’…they want to use YOUR money…not theirs. And in this case, they want ALL the money…except the cost included in scholarships of course. We may have a revolution before its all said and done.

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  2. Robert E Lee

    Apparently you’re unaware, but UNC, UGA, etc. and even most private colleges, receive both state and federal dollars. There’s nothing private sector about that.

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  3. dawgxian

    The problem with the corporate analogy is that you’re not dealing with for profit institutions. This is more akin to churches or charities that exist to help the less fortunate paying their staff huge salaries instead of helping people

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    • Whatever strained analogy helps you get through the night, brother.

      How many of those churches or charities are in the entertainment business, being watched on ESPN regularly? And how many of them refuse to allow their employees to find other sources of revenue while being employed by them?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. 92 grad

    There is a system on campus that already exists that could be helpful, maybe. I was a graduate TA and my compensation was tuition waiver plus $880/month and it was called a stipend I think. I don’t remember the language in the contract, but all they would need to do is create undergraduate TA positions and set up the stipend rates.

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  5. kevin fogarty

    I would be for paying Players, but then dropping scholarships and charging them room, board, tuition, etc. Even if they only plan on being there 1 year, they get paid but they also have to pay for all of their expenses.

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    • Are there not students who earn money on the side and still receive scholarships? If so, why treat student-athletes differently?

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      • dawgtired

        OK, THIS is exactly what I’ve thought. I know students that have jobs off campus, some in the field of their degree, that earn $ while on scholarship. Aren’t they reaping the benefit of both?

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      • kevin fogarty

        I would allow them to apply for scholarships that may pay partial or full…..They can have the opportunity to research and apply for scholarships their JR/SR year of HS and see if they qualify for any.

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    • CB

      Any added payment would just be theirs to keep after tuition and fees etc are taken out. That’s exactly how it is now with Pell money, it goes straight into the kid’s pocket. Why not administer any additional payments the same way, and just give the remainder to the kid after everything else is paid for. What is the point in going through the process of taking them off scholarship, giving them a salary, and then having them turn around and pay the school back? You’d just be going around your ass to get to your elbow.

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      • hailtogeorgia

        Agreed. The last thing we want is to police 85 guys to make sure they actually paid their rent, tuition, etc…much easier to have that covered and then just give them a check.

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  6. THE ChilliDawg

    Quick back of the envelope suggests that if you throw in a scholarship, room & board, and medical versus hours worked (play & practice), they’re making north of $15 per hour. So, what’s your beef? Lot’s of businesses built that way. OK, not so much for the non-scholarship players, so I get your point.

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    • I appreciate the honesty of your last sentence.

      We could always call the non-scholarship athletes unpaid interns. That seems to work well in the private sector. 😉

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    • JCDAWG83

      The non scholarship players aren’t really contributing much to the bottom line. I would compare them to the unpaid intern or the person who does volunteer work at a hospital. They are the players who are truly playing for the love of the game.

      As to the value of the scholarship, don’t you know the scholarship has no value at all and is an entitlement for the player?

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      • hailtogeorgia

        The better the non-scholarship players, the better the scout team, the better the depth, the better the overall team. That contributes to Ws, which contributes to the bottom line. You go ask Kirby how much the non-scholarship players contribute. I don’t really see how you can say they’re the only ones truly playing for the love of the game…as if being a scholarship player and playing for the love of the game are mutually exclusive, or as if the non-scholarship guys don’t enjoy countless other benefits like being on the team, connections to all the football players and that extended social circle, tons of free gear (shoes, shorts, etc.)…

        To the last sentence, no one is saying the scholarship has no value, it’s more that there are plenty of other students with scholarships who are also able to work 20 hours a week at any job of their choosing and make money on top of their scholarship. The football players work 20 hours a week at football for nothing more than the scholarship.

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  7. Yurdle

    I wish I could make the affirmative case for paying players, but I can’t. Instead, athletic departments (and the NCAA) have made all my arguments for not paying players untenable. If we are going to print money off these players and make millionaires of coaches and ADs and broadcasters and merchandisers, then I just don’t buy the notion that we are doing it for the archery team.

    And you’re always the Alinsky lefty.

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  8. The nature of the hypocrisy is in who the socialism benefits. Socialism is only bad if it benefits people without money or power. It’s a perfectly fine system if the benefits go to the rich and powerful.

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    • Pretty much. Everyone hates big government, except when it helps them personally.

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      • dawgtired

        It seems many want to mooch off of the people above them but then doesn’t think it’s fair to have to help the people below them. I wonder where is the cut-off point.

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        • It would seem that if you drive on publicly paved roads, send your kids to public school, rely on social security and Medicare for retirement and health care and a publicly paid for military and police force for your security, eat food regulated by local and federal governments, take medicines regulated by the federal government and you’re white, there’s a better than even chance you call yourself a “small government conservative.”

          However, if you need your fellow citizens assistance to eat then you’re a moocher. That’s the cut off. If you’re rich enough to feed yourself or your kids, and you’re white then you think of yourself as a “rugged individualist.”

          If you don’t believe me, tell a 73 yo sitting around watching foxnews that since he’s on Social Security and Medicare that he’s sucking on the teet of the welfare state. He’ll tell you right away just how wrong you are.

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          • JCDAWG83

            I generally don’t agree or buy into any of your socialist, radical left drivel but I’m right there with you on the old people bitching about govt spending. My father and his old man buddies sit around every morning and rail about the deficit and national debt and then go to their Medicare paid doctors appointments and collect their Social Security checks later in the day. If you ask them about the hypocrisy, they all claim “I paid for those benefits when I was working!”. Pointing out that they probably collected every penny they paid in within about 5 years of collecting Social Security and their medical bills have long ago outstripped what they paid in is a useless exercise.

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            • doiknowu

              Your estimate’s not that far off, depending on their Medicare use. I just turned 66 and started drawing SS. For most of my full-time career I paid the maximum SS contribution, and I’ve calculated that if I never use any Medicare benefits and only pay the Medicare Part B premiums, then I will get back every penny in about 5.5 years. Of course, since my employers matched that, you can make the argument that 11 years is the cutoff point. (Then again, math is sometimes hard for me, so I could be wrong.)

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              • The truth is and has always been that current workers pay for current retirees and current retirees paid for people who are now dead. It’s straight redistribution and yet it’s very popular. For some reason this socialism is ignored for what it is OR is lied about. But don’t ever forget that the right wants it ALL dead and they want to shrug and say it died on its own merits when the truth is that they’ve been trying to kill it for decades.

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            • Which just underscores my biggest complaint. The disconnect between politics as it is and truth. I don’t care if you want to run on the small government theory that social security and Medicare should be abolished. Please. Do that. Get 4% of the vote and we can move on. What pisses me off are the hypocrites and worst yet, the trumpian bs that you can have even more government and cheaper! The truth is that this country has been a mix of few market and socialism since the new deal. The right wants to remove the safety net without knowing consent by pitting people against each other knowing that one group of people will vote against their own interests if it punishes the “other.” It’s a lie and that’s what I hate.

              And I’m far from a left winger. Just because I hate the modern GOP doesn’t mean I’m a leftist anymore than complaining about today’s Nashville means that I hate Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson. Not true. Today’s Nashville sucks! So does today’s GOP. I’m a pragmatist. I want government where the market doesn’t work. I want the market where the market works. If we elected Bernie and his merry band of commies and pacifists from Berkeley I’d likely be on a similar rant in a different direction, but we don’t elect those people. We do elect lying hypocritical fascists.

              Now if the right keeps pushing a “populism” that doesn’t deliver while they continue to move more wealth into the hands of the few, don’t be surprised when the country picks a guy like Bernie.

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              • DoubleDawg1318

                ” I’m a pragmatist. I want government where the market doesn’t work. I want the market where the market works.”

                Spot on.

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  9. Skeeter

    Nothing like a political post to bring us all together.

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  10. Snoop Dawgy Dawg

    Listen Trotsky, make it quick when you finally decapitate the Romanovs.

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  11. John Denver is full of shit...

    Liked by 1 person

  12. dawgfan

    The excess money should go back to benefit the University, not just the reserve fund, coaches, and athletic administrators. Why not use the money to pay bonuses to some of those outstanding professors recognized at games or to lower student fees for ALL students. Sorry, I just can’t rationalize paying student athletes on full scholarship a salary. I believe the student athletes are already receiving a cost of attendance stipend in addition to their other perks. Money and power lead to corruption and I’m afraid we are well on our way.

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  13. PTC DAWG

    If scholarships don’t count, why give them out? Let JJ put his money where his mouth is. I assume he has totally repaid the costs he incurred while in College.

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    • JCDAWG83

      I don’t know anything about JJ personally but I’m a little dubious as to whether he could have been admitted to UNC without his basketball abilities. He knew what he was signing up for before he arrived on campus. Why did he stay if he was being treated so unfairly?

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      • DoubleDawg1318

        Why did he stay?
        Because that’s the most viable path to a professional career.

        Same reasoning students use when they accept an unpaid internship. If students acted collectively and refused to work for free, then they might get a better deal but since it’s hard to band together, they’re stuck trying to make the best of things for their individual selves. Same deal with student-athletes.

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        • JCDAWG83

          He said “scholarships don’t count”; if he truly feels that way, he should have taken a year off, worked out and worked on his game with a private coach and tried to get a tryout with some NBA team or other pro basketball team. If the scholarship doesn’t count, don’t take it. His message is; he has been slaving for nothing as a poor basketball player. The truth is; without the scholarship, he is likely working at a car wash or going to some local junior college. This idea that full ride scholarships are somehow worth nothing or are somehow owed to top athletes is absurd.

          Have the NCAA raise the entrance requirements for football and basketball and this conversation goes away.

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          • You ever try to pay for a hamburger at Five Guys with a scholarship? The cashier would tell you the same thing if you did.

            But keep inflating his comment into something he didn’t mean.

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            • I can’t remember who said it, but paraphrasing one of my favorite comments on the subject from a former athlete – “I can’t use that scholarship to pay for groceries at the Kroger down the street.”

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      • hailtogeorgia

        ‘I don’t know anything about JJ personally’…fairly obvious since he went to Duke 🙂

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  14. Frank Kaminsky (former Wisconsin player and current Hornets player) was responding to it on Twitter last night about how he never wanted direct payment from the school, but just wanted to be able to profit on his name and likeness, same as anybody else. He probably could have made a killing when Wisconsin was a Final Four team a few years ago and even acknowledged that he lost that opportunity to cash in while his name was hot. I honestly don’t have a problem with that perspective and it’s one of those easy things the schools and the NCAA could allow to happen that would relieve a lot of the anti-trust stress.

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    • JCDAWG83

      I guess the challenge would be how the players would be paid for tv ads for upcoming games or highlights shown on the pre game video or post game highlight shows. If you somehow end up in a tv commercial for a local business, the producers will make you sign a release for your image or they will cut you out of the commercial.

      I understand the argument but I think the implementation would be a nightmare.

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  15. CB

    “before you go down the “but, Title IX” road here, remember where that mandate originates.”

    Um, I forget. Can we get a link?

    Next question, Senator. Would you be for equitable payments across the board for athletes in revenue sports, or would they be able to negotiate salaries independently? If I were AJ Greene or Todd Gurley, I’m not sure I’d feel to great about making the same amount of money as the long snapper.

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    • Remember that there are all kinds of revenue sources the NCAA currently bans. For example, I would expect that players receiving payment for their NLIs from outside third parties would see varying amounts based on their commercial worth on the open market.

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      • CB

        “outside third parties” = the people currently utilizing bagman delivery methods?

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        • Nike — you know, the same folks who on one day couldn’t sign a deal with Todd Gurley, but on the next, could shower him with money for his endorsement.

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          • CB

            So you’re thinking entities such as Nike would be involved in the NLI negotiations? If so do you have an NFL or perhaps NBA style cap to save the money men/companies from themselves in a sense?

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            • …along with a CBA and a union. When you’ve got shit that valuable you don’t subject it to the whims of irresponsible members of the market you know. That would be reckless.

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            • Not sure I understand your question. If the courts dump amateurism and the NCAA doesn’t get itself an antitrust exemption, what “NLI negotiations” are you referring to? A student-athlete will hire an agent/attorney who will negotiate a deal with Nike and that will be that.

              On the bright side, if star college athletes are making bank, they might have less incentive to play in the NFL/NBA before their eligibility runs out.

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              • CB

                Okay, I think what I’m not understanding is what Nike (or any endorsement) has to do with a National Letter of Intent to a specific school (other than Nike’s obvious connection to Oregon that is). If we’re talking about an open market and schools sharing tv money with players wouldn’t the base salary payment come directly from the university with endorsements being an external revenue stream for an individual athlete?

                When I refer to NLI negotiations, what I mean is players (with agents) shopping for the schools that offering them the best payment/benefits packages. I would think that the money for the base salaries would come mostly from the tv money that the universities already receive. Or would the endorsements negotiated directly into the contracts? I apologize if that is too convoluted.

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  16. Bulldog Joe

    Redick is correct. Scholarships don’t count.

    The UNC players are not even students. The NCAA and the ACC are OK with this as long as the money keeps rolling in.

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  17. Bob

    Maybe they should be paid. But then, if paid, shouldn’t they at least have to go to classes? Oh wait, we are talking about UNC aren’t we? The University of No Classes. A twenty year tradition and still going strong.

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    • ASEF

      Stop it. The players attended classes. The problem independent studies – maybe 2 or 3 courses out of the minimum 60 required to graduate – all required a 20+ page research paper.

      UNC’s academic scandal was real and horrible. But somehow it morphed into “players never attending class.” Which is straight fake news bullshit.

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    • ASEF

      Marcus Paige was a 3 time Academic All American last year. The scandal was shut down in 2010 – most of UNC’s current players were still in middle school or high school freshmen then. SACS, the accrediting agency, has literally had an office on campus monitoring the people who monitor the departments and course offerings.

      The scandal was awful – no need to smear innocent people to make your point.

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  18. 69Dawg

    UNC’s moto “If you are earning money for the NCAA it’s all OK”. The NCAA makes it’s money from basketball and will continue to screw those football schools that had the balls to sue them. The real wonder is how Oklahoma and Georgia have not been on constant probation since they were the schools that sued.

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  19. Normaltown Mike

    Alls I know is whatever we’re paying our players, it’s too much!

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  20. South FL Dawg

    In socialism the profit is taken by the government. I agree the kids should be paid. However, it’s tempting fate to laugh when we don’t live under socialism.

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  21. My name is Apathy

    When are you going to stop complaining and do something about it? We get it. The poor athletes need a break. So give them one?!? Start your own league and see if the market reacts. Or, keep beating a tired drum everyday.

    This is a free market brother. You just don’t see it.

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    • This is a free market brother. You just don’t see it.

      I hate to break it to you, but if repeating this is supposed to make me respect your grasp of economic theory more, it ain’t working.

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  22. pumblechook

    Sorry to be that guy, but college athletics is NOT socialism, nor is it anything close to communism. The Marx quote is referring to his vision of the end state of a classless communist utopia, not some overriding governance principle. College athletics is anything but a communist utopia – it can most charitably be called authoritarian capitalist akin to the Chinese politburo where a small group of undemocratically chosen officials completely controls the means of production AND the profits for their own benefit, while distributing just enough to labor to prevent outright revolt. Ironically, if college athletics were socialist, athletes would have democratic control of the fruits of their labor, and we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    In reality, the economics and structure of college athletics is eerily similar to historical dictatorships: athletes have no say in how the profits they generate are used, there is no free market so athletes have no viable choice, and they have no options for enacting basic worker protections, relying solely on athletic departments, conferences, and the NCAA (the ruling class, who all have powerful incentives to continue oppressing athletes).

    The terminology matters a great deal, because maybe if we start calling the system what it is (authoritarian), more people will wake up and start to realize how unfair it is and demand reform.

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