Hey, if I were a college football head coach and realized that the market for my services was inflated because of artificially cheap labor costs, I wouldn’t want to pay the players, either.
Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA
So, have you determined that they are underpaid? Have you added up all that college athletes receive and calculated an hourly wage? The opportunity is there to come to UGA without a dime and leave with a degree and the experience of a lifetime: playing college football. That’s a pretty good payoff. A potentially life-changing payoff, in fact. Again, I don’t see athletes as victims, and that’s important, because perceived victimhood destroys gratitude. And gratitude, IMO, is essential for a healthy life.
Here’s a thought experiment for you: let’s say that tomorrow the US Supreme Court ruled the NCAA’s amateurism protocol violated antitrust law and gave Kessler the exact relief he sought. What would happen to player compensation in the aftermath?
Alabama and Auburn would have more than 85 players on the payr….er roster.
Hypotheticals are difficult. Here’s one. How about all athletes are required to actually be students. Education is emphasized, not physical giftedness or salaries. Like other students, they actually earn a meaningful degree and develop necessary life skills while in college. Wouldn’t that profoundly alter how we do college football? Wouldn’t that help these young men in the long run more than throwing money at them?
Hypotheticals are difficult.
Only if you want them to be.
Implicit in your refusal to address mine is the consideration that it’s likely at least some student-athletes would earn significantly more than they are prevented from doing under the current arrangement. Which is pretty much the point.
I guess you didn’t answer my hypothetical, either. As I have said before, this issue always polarizes ideologically. There won’t be resolution, as conservatives and liberals have different ways of looking at things; you won’t see my point on this any more than I will see yours.
Oy. “I won’t answer your hypothetical until you answer mine! So there!”
I don’t have a problem in the world with holding student-athletes to general academic standards. I bet coaches do, though.
And, again, I love how some of you insist this is politically motivated. I’m simply pro-free market.
There is some really good discussion going on from multiple points of view. I keep asking myself what the definition of a free market is in this context.
Free market principles have been tried and have not proven out to be financially viable with regard to football. For instance, leagues who sought to create competition were unable due to government protection (USFL, XFL, etc.) The final nail in the coffin was not enough fans, advertisers, and money because the product was not very good.
A different subset would be taking the current NCAA construct and adding more free market ideas and concepts (NLI/Endoresements, transfer rules, increased compensation compared to what the NCAA/Schools/Coaches receive) and refer to it as a more pro free market than currently exists.
Definitions are important. I think people confuse free market and better free market concepts in the current construct. I would appreciate your thoughts between the two for my own understanding.
To start with, unlike pro leagues, there is some inherent competition built into the collegiate model. Conferences compete with each other; that’s why there’s no commissioner of college football. Kessler’s point with his lawsuit is that if the NCAA is forced to discard its amateurism model, the conferences will be free to set individual approaches to player compensation. That sounds pretty fair market-ish to me.
My guess, though, were that to happen, is that the schools would move to have the players unionize so as to be able to control compensation through contractual labor agreements. And seek some sort of antitrust exemption. That’s the NFL’s business model.
Thanks for clarifying.
I see. So you’re unilaterally determining not only what equates to a ‘pretty good payoff,’ but on top of that you’ve decided on the measure of gratitude one should harbor as well as a result. With all due respect, can you not see the sheer narcissism with your mindset?
Here’s a rather simple question for you: what exactly are you afraid of? As SB perfectly stated below, let’s simply open things up to competition like we do in all other facets of society, and see what happens.
Honestly, I believe prejudice and agism is in play here and always has been. The thought of a 19 year old black athlete potentially earning considerable money just can’t be stomached by some.
+1 – Amateurism has always been rooted in prejudice and class-ism. Generational differences play a part of it too.
Narcissism. Wow, I think I’ll just leave that one alone. Is it prejudiced to give young, predominantly black men a free education? How much is that worth to them? To you? Throwing money at people, all the while devaluing and neglecting education, is not being progressive or compassionate. It’s instead just leaving them without the tools necessary to succeed in life.
Throwing money at people…
Is that a euphemism for earning a living?
It’s not like student-athletes are on welfare.
Go back, read your original post, my response, and think just a bit more critically about it. If you cant see the narcissism present, then I frankly can’t help you. Remember, you’re the one omnipotently determining what is fair, just, and what should garner appreciation. Imagine, for example, if your employer did that to you.
You mentioned throwing money around won’t help them succeed in life. Funny — you think all these pointless Housing, Child and Family dev., etc. majors are doing them any good? I can assure you they aren’t worth much and are pretty much a joke, hence the reason why so many athletes are pushed into such areas.
If anyone has devalued and neglected education, its the NCAA by allowing schools to continue to offer such pathetic areas of study (sic) while also allowing so many athletes to fall through the cracks and not graduate.
By the way, you never answered my basic question: what exactly are you afraid of? If things are currently equitable as you espouse, then surely you should have no issue with the NCAA opening things up to prove your thesis correct.
Narcissism, agism, prejudice, “what are you afraid of”, etc. It is amazing how easily personal attacks are brought into this question. None of my comments were directed at you personally, but most of your comments are directed at me personally. What does that mean? Ideologies run deep, and conservatives and liberals will debate forever without resolution. But expressing differing opinions shouldn’t result in labeling and name-calling, especially when you don’t really know me at all.
Dude, this is NOT a political discussion, but rather a basic, free market, economic one, so please stop with the absurdities.
Asking what are you afraid of isn’t a personal attack in the slightest – and not surprisingly you still haven’t answered the question at hand. And if you’re offended that I accurately called out your narcissistic thoughts above, then again I can’t help you.
No, you can’t help me at all. Please don’t try to. Just acknowledging a difference of opinion without personal criticisms or attacks seems reasonable, doesn’t it? Your assessment of your own “accuracy”, by the way, about my thoughts is an amazing assumption.
It’s not free.
We have open competition. Just not in professional sports.
You’re sainted mother government discriminates against able-bodied adult football players and ruled against Clarett in his case against the NFL.
You are right on this 85. But the “give it all to the poor oppressed worker bees” it an increasingly prevalent philosophy in our society. They downplay the value of what is provided to the “interns” training for their possible profession. Some fanatics even find a way to stretch this into another racial issue, which is also another popular tactic of the extremists. Never let facts get in the way of cause people who see a boogeyman behind every bush or tree. No way to win this debate by either side because it is all just opinions. The real danger here, like it is in other libtard attacks on what has worked well in America, is the Golden Goose becoming deathly ill. But characterizing this as exploitation could be very humorous were the consequences not so severe. Remember, we just added various amounts of cash every month for spending money within the last two years. This, on top of all the free, untaxed benefits they were previously compensated. Pitiful, poor babies.
Again, I can’t tell you how amusing I find it to hear the free market described as a libtard plot.
Hey now, he’s a former c-level executive at a F500 firm, so tread lightly or he’ll quickly expose you as a mindless rube.
Anyone who ever uses terms like ‘libtard,’ ‘dipshit,’ etc, I immediately lose all intellectual respect for them and pretty much assign a <105 IQ to them, whether right or wrong.
Its amazing that some people lose all love for a free market when that free market might benefit someone that they see as less deserving.
It’s almost as if all that free market, small government talk is just bullshit rhetoric that can totally be tossed to the side when those same freedoms start benefiting things and / or people they don’t like or, to your point, find less deserving. Free market for me, but not for thee amirite?
Are you ready to do away with LOI and transfer restrictions? That is, open up the market for the free flow of labor so we can see what it’s really worth?
Why do you think football players can’t transfer freely from school to school? Why do you think they are forced to sign away their rights to their image in order to play? All of these things suppress their wages, right? So, even if we add all of that up, there’s no way to know if it’s fair because labor can’t test the market, right?
I do not call them victims. I call them the sellers of a product important to the business of selling tickets, merchandise, broadcast rights, and anything else with an NCAA school’s trademark or logo.
The antitrust laws do not permit the buyers of their product to agree to artificially reduce the price.
The Universities contend that the networks can not legally agree among themselves to not increase their bidding for rights when the existing contracts expire. I would not call the UGA AA a victim, nor do I point to the UGA AA balance sheet and say that it does not deserve for ant-trust laws to apply to it and the networks. The networks cannot conspire to limit broadcast rights fees, regardless of whether the schools are already making a fortune and I do not understand why the players are the only factors of production about whom we make exceptions.
So UGA85, the next time we offer a coach a contract let’s offer him a free place to live, all utilities paid, free food, the use of two cars and free schools for his children. We’ll even buy clothes for him and his family. Everything paid for. But no additional salary. And let’s see how much the “the experience of a lifetime” is really worth. After all once you’ve been the coach at UGA you’re much more marketable, right?
I have never tried to compare coaches to players. But is it okay to make a distinction between professional and amateur? We’ve always considered student athletes amateurs, along with Olympic athletes, etc. Is that no longer the case? If so, then do away with collegiate athletics and call it semi-pro; that seems to be the way things are moving. Then coaches, athletes, whatever, just like the NFL, etc. Drop the “student” part completely.
Where did you get the idea that Olympic athletes don’t get paid? They do.
I don’t have a problem with you stating a preference for the amateur model; you’re welcome to your opinion. It’s when you try to dress it up with invalid economic points that you lose me.
So, that is really the issue, isn’t it? By definition, amateur athletes don’t draw a salary. If, as you say, Olympic athletes draw a salary, they are professionals, not amateurs. So, your proposal really is to do away with amateur athletics, right? Basically, the amateur model of paying for an education is outdated; now, just make it semi-pro, in essence, because “amateur” is really just another name for “exploited”. Tell me I’m wrong, I guess, because I don’t see amateurism existing if salaries, contracts, agents, and the like become the norm.
The issue is simply this: whether treating student-athletes’ compensation in the same manner as everyone else is or isn’t compatible with your enjoyment of college sports. If it’s not for you, I get it and that’s fine. It’s a personal call and your opinion is as valid as the next person’s.
Just don’t give me all the bogus economic and political trappings that amount to you trying to sell me on there being some sort of factual basis for your aesthetics being superior to mine. Because there isn’t and they’re not.
I enjoy college football less and less every year, as the sport, and the athletes, become more and more like the pros. Part of my issue is that the student part of the equation is shrinking/dying as the calls for more money are increasing. If amateurism completely dies, and college melts into pro, then my interest will surely wane. But the larger issue is that education will continue to be de-valued for athletes. Not sure about you, but I wouldn’t be doing so well without an education. How about these young men?
You keep coming back to this. Are you saying that getting paid and getting an education are incompatible? That makes no sense to me, as there are literally thousands of college students who do both.
What do amateur athletics look like to you in the purest sense? A kid who has his expenses covered so he can go to school and play ball, in that order? I think that’s the idea. His skills are a blessing that allow him to get an education. The education is the goal; the athletics are the means. Salaries have not been a part of the equation because money is not the goal. A developed brain and an ability to later compete in the workplace is the goal. The value of simply being a student is enough.
What do amateur athletics look like? Like Division-III.
The amateur train left the D-1 station a while ago, I’m afraid. There are billions of dollars pouring in; conferences have chased realignment, added regular season games and expanded the playoffs in a grab for more. “Money is not the goal” is a pipe dream on your part.
Players are expected to give more of their time to revenue sports than ever before and nobody blinks an eye.
And one more time: PLAYERS ARE ALREADY BEING PAID. I love how this is routinely ignored in the debate. Scholarships are compensation. COA stipends are compensation. Bowl swag is compensation.
We’re not arguing over amateur athletics. We’re arguing over whether one can be a little bit pregnant.
Good point in the final part of that post, Senator. It’s like the joke with the guy asking a woman if she will have sex with him. She turns him down so he offers a hundred dollars. She turns him down again and he offers a hundred fifty. She says, “No. What do you think I am, a whore?” He answers, “We have already established you’re a whore. Now we are just haggling over the price.”. I’m not comparing the players to whores. Only that they are being treated that way.
But is it okay to make a distinction between professional and amateur?
No, it’s not okay. They’re only “amateur” because some rich, white guys in the UK and the US in the early 20th century were concerned that they’d get their asses kicked on the playing field by the poor and brown people and wanted to avoid that ignominy. That is literally the only reason the concept of amateurism came into existence as we know it today. As Union Jack stated above, the roots of amateurism come from prejudice and class-ism.
We’ve always considered student athletes amateurs, along with Olympic athletes, etc. Is that no longer the case?
No, it hasn’t been the case for a long time. Olympic athletes have been able to profit off their own NIL’s for many years now. Are you unaware that professional basketball players (you may have heard of this thing called the Dream Team) and professional golfers compete in the Olympics? There was a football player at Colorado (name escapes me) about 10 years ago that was also an Olympic skier that had a huge brouhaha with the NCAA over his skiing endorsements effecting his collegiate football eligibility. It was stupid then and it’s stupid now.
Is that no longer the case? If so, then do away with collegiate athletics and call it semi-pro; that seems to be the way things are moving. Then coaches, athletes, whatever, just like the NFL, etc. Drop the “student” part completely.
This is the extreme argument. Many of us that believe in the free market (even when it benefits things and / or people we disagree with) would just prefer to get rid of the stupid transfer restrictions and allow players to profit off their NIL’s. If Nick Chubb were allowed to walk up to Nike tomorrow and get an endorsement deal to wear their products, but still had to do all the other things that come along with playing school – I think most of us would be okay with that. If that means that the sport is less enjoyable for you because an American is making money off his own name…well – that’s a you problem.
I highly suggest you watch the Netflix series Last Chance U to see how much athletes AND the schools give a shit about the education. For a large percentage of these guys, all the schools care about is that the players stay eligible and all the players care about is that they continue progressing towards that NFL dream. Sure – they both give the importance of education its due lip service, but they all know the only reason a large swath of these guys are even in college is because it’s the only logical route for them to pursue a professional career in football.
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Well, Olympic athletes are allowed to make unlimited amounts of money these days. But here’s the thing. Until fairly recently I agreed with you 100%. I was all about amateurism. And I agree that the money will eventually kill the goose that layes the golden egg. In fact, I think it already has. We agree on that. But schools, conferences and networks are making obscene amounts of money on the backs of free labor. I’ve worked in higher education for almost twenty years. A scholarship, while it certainly has value, costs the school almost nothing. Literally, almost nothing. Meanwhile, they rake in money by the tens of millions while penalizing a player for selling their autograph for a couple of hundred bucks. It just isn’t right. By the NCAA’s reckoning 95% of college football players will never play professionally. Let them cash in while they can. That way, at least capitalism wins.
Let me rephrase – it’s perfectly okay to prefer amateur over professional. However – the economic realities of the sport we’re discussing have blurred the lines so much that I don’t believe there’s any distinction to be had.
That is exactly how I see it. I am lamenting the loss of amateur sports. Salaries are for professionals, not amateurs, by definition. And I believe it will be a sad day if (when?) amateur sports and the student/athlete model are a thing of the past. That, IMO, will be a lose/lose for these young men. Thus, my strong feelings against salary proposals.
When Herschel was getting a new Nissan 280 every year back in your day, how amateur was he? I mean, I want you to tell me the time this amateur ideal actually existed. I can find examples of paid to play, bribes, favors, hook ups, women, on and on for the last 100 years. Every heard of Free Shoes U? That was a long time ago now.
Wouldnt it make more since to lock down the under the table stuff, and pay an above board wage? Wouldn’t you rather kill the bag man off and know straight up the wages? Would bag men still exist? Sure, but the excuses for it go even lower, and the punishments could be even great.
Herschel only got one Firebird and his father had to show the loan paper work on it to the NCAA. Your confusing everybody with SMU. They paid openly and they paid dearly.
I’m not sure that paying college athletes is the wrong thing. I just don’t know what is right in that regard.
But I KNOW it’s wrong to not let them profit off their name, likeness, autograph, etc. If their good enough then they should be able to make whatever they are able to in that regard.
My grammar is horrible. But I’m sitting in a hospital bed recovering from an appendectomy. So yeah.
Ouch! Get well soon. We need a full roster come September.
I am impressed with your dedication, sir. Here’s hoping you’re back on your feet soon enough.
If you want to compare compensations, don’t major-college football players who receive COA money and full athletic scholarships make more money than baseball players in the affiliated minor-league system?
You know minor league baseball has an antitrust exemption, right?
Right!…but, I’ve seen the argument put forth here that major-college football serves as the de facto minor league system for the NFL, so comparing the compensations seems justified to me.
If you can calculate the value of the degree that college football players can earn at the end of their tenure, you might conclude that minor-league football players earn much more than their baseball counterparts.
But Minor League players get a check for their work. They can put the money in the bank, they can buy food with it, they can buy clothes with it or music or cars or jewelry or tattoos. Heck they can blow it all on cocaine and hookers if they choose – but they get to decide.
College athletes don’t get that choice. The money they receive goes back to the school.
And they don’t have to “play school.”
And they receive a college degree. Does that mean anything?
And Tim Tebow currently is also allowed to be be paid for his autograph, should he wish to charge for it, without being suspended for a third of the regular season.
When the Augusta Green Jackets generate enough income to build a 90,000 seat stadium, require a contribution to it in order to buy tickets, and generate over $100,000,000 in annual revenues then maybe we can compare what the free market sets as Augusta Green Jacket salaries and what UGA players get.
I like how they kept mentioning the Pell Grant. You have to be pretty damn financially poor to get much or any of that grant.
Funny that the one coach thinks they should be able to work 20 hours a week. Coupled with the Josh Rosen comments, I’d say- what an incredibly gracious coach.
Although, I’m guessing that might work out okay for the majority of NCAA sports.
I have no problem with them being paid. But I don’t see people who are hesitant to support it as being driven by racism and/or agism either. That’s lazy thinking and while this is not a political issue, charactizing this as being motivated by that exposes the desire some have to turn it into just that. Because hell, isn’t everything else a political issue now? Fine by me if they start paying players. But let’s not pretend it’s only going to lead to good things for college football or even the players themselves. There will be good that comes with it. But there will almost certainly be bad that comes with it that I doubt those championing it the loudest have even given much thought to. The only part of this I just call bullshit on and refuse to listen to is when some crybaby compares playing college football to slavery. That’s stupid.
Good, respectful thoughts, but I absolutely think at least some of it is indeed agism and or prejudice (notice I didn’t immediately grab for the ‘R’ word). After all, how many times have we read/heard in recent years that they shouldn’t be paid because they are irresponsible and will quickly blow the money on things like cars, women, rims, and stereos?
I see it in corporate America all the time too. For example, a 26 year old high tech sales guy I know who is very talented pulled in about 225K last year, and as a result his employer made his new quota almost impossible to obtain (thus putting him on target at almost half that amount this year). Meanwhile, the more seasoned guys making the same or more saw no changes to their comp plans, and I know for a fact they essentially punished him due to his age.
Of course, in his case, he had the liberty to move on to a different role, which is exactly what he did recently, and he’s back to being compensated commeserate to his talent level.
There will be good that comes with it. But there will almost certainly be bad that comes with it that I doubt those championing it the loudest have even given much thought to.
Not sure if you’re including me there, Mike, but I agree with your point about good and bad. That’s the way life works, after all. I just don’t see a good reason to deny student-athletes the same choice everyone else gets, including the coaches and athletic directors at their schools.
I agree with you. I think they should be allowed the same things the people in control of them have. If everyone else is making a lot of money off what they are doing then it only stands to reason they should get some of it. And like said below, if coaches can leave and go to another school and face their former players the very next year, telling the players they have to sit out a year first is not right. I just think it is also true that in the end, what we are left with is going g to be something we all like less. I hope I’m wrong and I still think the players should have those things, I just think college football will be so different when the dust settles we won’t like it as much. But on the other hand, that is going to happen either way, right? The suits have already decided they know better than the fans and have decided to make the college game more like the NFL. With that horse already out of the barn my concerns are moot.
You are singing to the choir on that last point, brother.
Well I’m in good company then. Lol.
Exactly where I’ve been for awhile as well. I appreciate the arguments about CFB being different and people not liking it as much, but it seems the inevitable conclusion that has to happen because the people in charge got too greedy.
People were told over and over playoffs make the game better, until they believed it. A big lie designed to fill the tv and bookie coffers.
And I don’t think players should be prevented from going to another lA program without sitting out a year. The coaches have all the mobility they want so the players should have it in my opinion. Again, I can think that while also being able to realize this isn’t all going to end up being something we like when it is done. College football is in the process of making a transformation and I think those of us who love it are going to love it less when that transformation is complete even if players are treated more fairly in certain respects in the process.
Some really thoughtful arguments on this thread today, which is why I frequent this blog.
Anyone who says that a full ride football scholarship to UGA that also now includes a cost of attendance stipend isn’t enough probably didn’t pay for their own education and sure hasn’t sacrificed to pay for their own kids’ college education. Those were certainly significant and meaningful checks to me when I wrote them. Hopefully this opinion doesn’t make me a racist or narcissist.
I don’t know what it makes you, but, again, if there were no amateurism tomorrow, do you think the levels of compensation would remain the same as they are now? If not, then doesn’t that mean they, in fact, aren’t enough, and if so, then what are you worried about?
I just read where Aaron Davis already has an undergraduate degree in finance and is in graduate school working on an advance degree in computer science engineering. Great for him! All of this, even with Hope, would cost non scholarship students/parents north of six figures. I understand that scholarship athletes, which includes Davis, get approximately $2,500 per semester in cost of attendance spending money. Personally I think this is sufficient and it is what the market is currently paying.
I had to pay money for my college education because quite frankly I did not have any athletic talent nor was I academically good enough to get a scholarship. I am still a fan of CFB. In the old days UGA was just trying to get the alumni to give money and the only thing the majority of the alumni really cared about was football. The coaches while paid were not making more than the whole executive branch of the state government. Hell most of them had to have side jobs just to get by themselves. The whole tipping point was when UGA and Oklahoma sued the NCAA for the rights to televise football. The only thing that has not radically change since that time is that the universities through the NCAA have tried in vain to keep the game somewhat competitive. The old level playing field argument. Well since the schools lost the case for setting coaches salaries, that left all of the leveling to fall on the players. Like any monopoly the cartel wanted to make sure that schools with a lot of money would not upset the apple cart. So they made rules about how much stuff a school could put on the free bagels they were allowed to give the players. The one good thing in the last 10 years is the NCAA has at least been shamed into cutting out some of the Mickey Mouse rules. The schools will only do what the court order them to and it will be a long time until this is resolved. Nothing we say here is going to matter at all, so don’t sweat it.
I thought they were getting paid….
“Give them credit, but I think everybody can see that Georgia’s going to be a force to be reckoned with. I’m very proud of this team and this university, and we’re not going anywhere.’ — Kirby Smart, AJ-C, 1/9/18
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