Remember, it’s not what’s on the back of the jersey that matters.

Behold, the next big thing in collegiate money raising.

Temple University has a new spin on fundraising that is something right out of NASCAR: A $50,000 donation will allow donors to sponsor one of nine Owls football player numbers this season.

The program, called “The 9,” is “considered to be the highest honor an Owl can earn,” according to a news release issued this week by the school. The other “exclusive benefits” include travel on the team plane to one away game, a custom jersey and “interaction with your assigned student-athlete throughout the year.”

I mean, there’s a quick half million.  (For those of you wondering how to put a price tag on a player’s likeness, it seems you now have your answer.  From a school!)  How awesome is that?  Well, if you’re a player, maybe not so much.

Granted, the player who wears the sponsored number is barred under the NCAA’s amateurism rules from receiving any of the $50,000 directly, although the school points out the tax-deductible donations will benefit academic and career resources, nutrition programs for student-athletes and facility upgrades, among other things.

“What exactly is the individual student athlete getting for the extra time he must interact with this donor and the “sponsorship” of the jersey he’s wearing? The answer is nothing, beyond the exact same  athletic scholarship that is also rewarded to athletes who generate no money for Temple and are not asked to deal with individual sponsors,” said Edward Kian, Oklahoma State professor. “This is all seemingly permissible under NCAA rules and is sound business strategy, but it is clear that Temple is exploiting these numbers and specifically the student athletes assigned to wear them.”

Lighten up, Frances.  It’s all part of the educational process, amirite?  Just something else those kids signed up for, even if they didn’t know they signed up for it.  Hey, if a student-athlete refused to interact with his number’s sponsor, would that be considered a violation of team rules?

The hypocrisy is so thick, you could cut it with a knife.

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43 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness

43 responses to “Remember, it’s not what’s on the back of the jersey that matters.

  1. dawgfan

    I bet these clowns would have players sign autographs at the stadium gates for cash before and after games if they thought it would make money.

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    • Cousin Eddie

      But think how much more fans would pay during the game from the sidelines. After a big play or a quick score the RB, WR or QB can trot to the sideline to cash in, for the school.

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  2. TnDawg

    Jerseys are gonna look like pro golf bags soon.
    I have been a proponent of not paying the players. But, now the schools have changed my position. This is just getting ridiculous. I know of no other endeavor where the person doing the advertising does not get paid. Time too pony up.

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    • Welcome to the dark side – going from romantic to realist on this issue. 🙂

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    • I have been a proponent of not paying the players. But, now the schools have changed my position.

      This is exactly why my position on amateurism has evolved. I was a romantic on the subject once. I wanted to be a romantic. But the schools’ relentless dollar chase and the hypocrisy they’ve had no choice but to embrace to defend their position made that completely untenable.

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      • CVegas Dawg

        Unfortunately I am to this point as well.

        However, once players are paid I have a feeling the pendulum will swing the other way and we will see how money hungry/nasty players can be. Hopefully I am wrong but if professional sports is our guide then I am probably right.

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        • If I’m putting my long-term health at risk, I would want all the market can bear now. If it goes that way, the players will turn off the fans, and the money spigot will dry up as the fans say no to the product.

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    • Mark the Former Fan

      I think we all can relate. Most of us have walked the same path.

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  3. Is the highest honor an Owl can earn or an Owl can pay?

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  4. Macallanlover

    Betting this will not stand, we will see.

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    • Why wouldn’t it stand?

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      • JCDAWG83

        Serious question to you as an attorney; wouldn’t making the player “interact” with a donor constitute employment? How can the school mandate a student spend time with an individual if the student is not an employee and/or the student is not being compensated for the time? The player is already being compensated with the scholarship but that is for practicing and playing the sport. Being required to spend time with a donor outside of practice or playing time would seem to be beyond the boundaries of the scholarship’s requirements. If this is legal, can the program require the players to do the coach’s yard work or work for free at a donor’s business?

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        • Student-athletes have ceded much of their spare time to coaches already (summertime employment is impractical, for example), but this is a bridge too far for you? LOL.

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          • JCDAWG83

            I think any outside employment is prohibited for football and basketball athletes, not simply impractical. My understanding is the NCAA does not allow revenue sports athletes to have any sort of paying job.

            I guess you’re not going to answer my question.

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            • Got Cowdog

              Where in the article did they mention the athlete being paid? Wouldn’t there need to be an exchange of value for service to constitute employment?

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              • JCDAWG83

                They aren’t going to be paid but since the donor is giving money in return for the athlete’s time and the program is acting as agent/employer/facilitator by providing the “labor” for the donor, shouldn’t the player be considered some sort of “employee” even if the player isn’t being paid? How would this be viewed if the Redcoat Band was arranging for people who donated to the band to spend an evening in the company of one of the dancing girls and the band director was forcing the girl to spend an evening with a donor?

                What happens if a player says “I don’t want to hang around with that guy”?

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                • Got Cowdog

                  “How would this be viewed if the Redcoat Band Director…….”
                  It would be viewed as pimping. See comment below about wide brim hats, Cadillacs, etc.

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            • My understanding is the NCAA does not allow revenue sports athletes to have any sort of paying job.

              Your understanding is incorrect.

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      • Macallanlover

        Well, first of all, it is just an opinion that it will be ended. I would say before this time next year. Willing to bet you a $100 donation to the other’s favorite charity (non political) on it.

        I feel this crosses a distinct line where the athlete is being asked to do a specific, non football, event/happening for a direct monetary payment from an individual. In my opinion, this is far, far different from Fan Day participation, staying in top physical condition with off season workouts, community service requirements, etc.

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        • Wouldn’t you want an excuse to hang out with a Booster who is willing to shill out 50k? I would think these players would gladly spend some facetime with Jimmy Bagman.

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        • Mac, I wasn’t trying to jump your case here, honestly. I just wanted to know if you were aware of some specific NCAA rule this practice violated.

          Since you brought up betting, I won’t take yours up, but I’ll bet you that Temple vetted this through counsel to make sure it passed NCAA muster before putting it out there.

          Note also that even the professor quoted in the piece says it doesn’t violate NCAA rules.

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          • Macallanlover

            I agree Temple checked it out, but I don’t believe it will last. Just feel it will make the NCAA close that loop hole, and shame on Temple for exploiting it. And Temple should look at Old Miss and AU for what can happen when you let big money boosters get close to the players. 🙂

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  5. Russ

    Just another straw on the camel’s back.

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  6. Got Cowdog

    Why does this conjure images of wide brimmed hats, high heeled patent leather shoes, bell bottom pants, cadillacs…..

    Because it’s pimping, maybe?

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  7. Dog in Fla

    The competition to sponsor Bill Cosby’s old Temple football jersey #39 is expected to be between pharmaceutical companies and bail bondsmen

    Liked by 1 person

    • so would it (Cosby’s number) be sponsored by the company that makes Soma /Rohypnol the date rape drugs or by the one that makes Viagra? Inquiring minds want to know.

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  8. Hillbilly Dawg

    That’s pretty much what us mountain people call a “good old fashioned fuc&in”

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  9. ElectroM

    If they can get $50k for a player, I wonder what a cheerleader would be worth? Just think, another new revenue stream to be, uh, tapped.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. JasonC

    Heck, I bet we could get ‘me some prostitutes from SE Asia to while we’re ho’ing people out.

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  11. Huntindawg

    The prevailing argument from the Senator seems to be that these are professionals that are entitled to earn what the market will bear. I think there is a spectrum where there is the student/athlete on one end and on the other end is the professional athlete.

    The far left side of the spectrum is the true student athlete who gains admission to his university based upon his academic credentials. He has the same general academic accomplishments and capabilities as the rest of the student body, and he participates in his sport by choice and is truly a student representing his school in that sport. I think that’s where all college sports started way back when. That’s where sports like lacrosse are today.

    The far right side of the spectrum is the non-student who could never gain admission to his university based upon his academic accomplishments or ability. He participates in his sport as a tryout for professional sports (read football) and has no interest in a college education. That’s where the P5 football player is today.*

    P5 football economics has driven the line on that spectrum to the far right side. I think it’s a fair assesment to say that the modern concept of a true student athlete in that context is dead. It’s just that no one wants to admit that because of the economics.

    The problem, or maybe the fear, is that openly admitting that fact may kill the goose. Maybe the Senator thinks that is an unfounded fear. Maybe the UGA professional football team still commands the same fan loyalty and cash flow as the presently flawed system.

    Maybe UGA should just hire football players out of high school and not even pretend to require them to attend classes and set up off campus living quarters for the players. That’s almost where we are now anyway.

    *notable exceptions of course

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  12. 69Dawg

    Well ESPN College Football Live talked about this and Trevor Matich, the BYU great and hardly a proponent of paying players said this is just stupid. Temple is making the case for the plaintiff that the player has monetary worth and the school has just established it.

    This will be in the court and it will cut the balls off the NCAA if they allow it to stand. The EA Spots law suit will pale by comparison. If the school wants to sell a shirt to a booster for 50K that’s one thing, if it get him on the team plane that’s another but to give the booster a “date” with the player is crazy.

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  13. MDDawg

    Do the players get any say in this? I’m sure I know the answer, but I figured it was worth asking. And do the hours spent interacting with the donor count towards the NCAA 20-hour per week limit?

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  14. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    Correction, Senator: The hypocrisy is so thick you can’t cut it, even with sharpest, biggest knife you can find. Funny, too, that it is Temple.

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  15. Pingback: Today, in misplaced righteous indignation | Get The Picture

  16. Squatchdawg

    What adult in his right mind would pay $50,000 to sponsor and “interact” with a student athlete – aka kid – throughout the year? This is just plain creepy.

    Sign of the top?

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