“…I don’t think paying all college athletes is great, not every college is loaded and most 19-year-olds [are] gonna spend it–and let’s be honest, they’re gonna spend it on weed and kicks! And spare me the ‘they’re being extorted’ thing. Listen, 90% of these college guys are gonna spend it on tats, weed, kicks, x-boxes, beer and swag. They are, get over it! They’re not gonna budget it efficiently, they’re not going to invest it, they’re not gonna shop for the best interest rate for their moped. No they’re not, they’re 19 they just got a fresh Honda, there’s a cute girl in chemistry class, they’re gonna get some new kicks. That’s what they’re going to spend it on.” — Colin Cowherd
I suspect a lot of Cowherd’s attitude permeates the thinking revealed by this Washington Post survey. I’m sure some of you will jump on the racial breakdown of the data, but far more interesting to me is that a majority of respondents support players being paid for their names, likenesses and images, despite the tats and weed that might buy.
As far as Cowherd’s argument goes, Andy Schwarz offers a rebuttal.
“Whenever you get down to the core of it, they’ll say it just doesn’t feel right for these young people to have so much money when they’re so young. And I say, well, how do you feel about Emma Watson, Hermione Granger, having so much money?” Schwarz said. (Watson, the British actress, reportedly earned more than $20 million by the time she turned 18 from her turns in the “Harry Potter” films.)
Which brings us back to the uncomfortable consideration of why people have a specific problem with college athletes being paid. Again, I’ll leave that for you to surmise.
One other thing I’ll leave for you to speculate about is a suggestion from Andrew Zimbalist about how to resolve the amateurism problem.
In his new book, “Unwinding Madness” — co-authored with Donna Lopiano, former director of women’s athletics at Texas, and Gerald Gurney, past president of the Drake Group, a think tank focused on ending academic corruption in college sports — Zimbalist argues for Congress to provide a limited exemption to college athletic departments from federal antitrust law. This exemption would allow schools to impose universal caps on coach pay and other athletic spending in exchange for the schools agreeing to a series of measures, such as balanced athletic department budgets and expanded postgraduate health care for athletes. Zimbalist’s proposal also would allow athletes to earn money through sponsorship agreements and the sale of merchandise.
“If they’re students and amateurs, then it doesn’t make sense, ethically, to pay the coaches millions and millions,” Zimbalist said. “This would tend to promote more competitive balance across the schools, which, presumably, is a good thing . . . and it would save tens of millions for schools in their budgets.”
“This exemption would allow schools to impose universal caps on coach pay and other athletic spending in exchange for the schools agreeing to a series of measures, such as balanced athletic department budgets and expanded postgraduate health care for athletes.” Seriously, can anyone imagine a more DOA proposal? A salary cap on coaches? Balanced athletic department budgets? That’ll go over smoothly.
Let’s face it: Jim Delany’s not looking for fiscal sensibility or ethical sense. He’s looking to maintain conditions that allow his conference to pay him a $20 million bonus. Those of you who buy his BS are deluding yourselves. P5 romance, for the win!