What do you get when you ask a bunch of folks who teach Economics what would happen if colleges paid student-athletes?
Really, it shouldn’t be that hard to understand why the NCAA fights to preserve amateurism.
Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA
Process for evaluating the conclusions of Econ profs:
1. Write conclusion down on paper
2. Light on fire
H/T Nassim Taleb
Obviously, someone who’s won a Nobel Prize in economics knows less on the subject than some random, anonymous sports blog commenter.
I bow to your obvious expertise, sir.
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“If I could just find an economist with one hand…”
Process for close-minded thinking:
1) Think of a time when smart people made a mistake
2) Ignore smart people, facts
3) Declare victory
As a PhD Economist I am certain that the consensus of economists cited here is correct. (Note: I am probably in the minority of economists since I am a lifelong Bulldog fan who follows this blog religiously!) It’s not even close if the question is whether athletes at many schools would be paid more.
But the question that concerns me is what else would happen. Economists (and maybe lawyers) would love to take a shot at this question but we would likely all be wrong. That’s not a justification for restricting the value of college football players through (NCAA) regulations. Just be aware that a major change to the status quo will create many winners and losers. Some winners will be college football players. Some losers will be college football players.
Final FWIW note. I rarely feel the need to add to the comments here because you guys have it covered. And the Senator has an excellent grasp on the role incentives (money) play on the motives of decision makers.
Finally, that BA in Economics pays off. 🙂
Nothing builds team unity like struggling with class and practice schedules and then parking your scooter next to your teammate who’s driving a Bentley and lives rent free at the luxury condos build specifically for highly valued recruits.
5 Star Bitchez!
Nothing builds corporate unity like struggling with shift work and hourly wages and then riding the bus from your apartment to the factory where the executives park their Bentleys and live in gated communities built specifically for highly valued employees.
So …. let me follow your logic.
We have inequality of income at the corporate level which results in a huge difference in the lifestyles of average workers and the corporate elite… which is obviously such a GREAT thing that we need to mirror that system in college football?
Not sure where you’re going with this one.
Speaking of not sure, are you suggesting that a cartel that reins in the compensation of executives is needed?
There should be, and they are called shareholders, who routinely do not make their votes count when electing board members to represent them to oversee management. This has really become almost impossible with the growth of mutual funds. It’s yo money, sheep.
I’m sorry… you’re suggesting that shareholders are a cartel?
Not at all, just saying salaries, bonuses, and buyouts have spiraled out of control in large, public corporations, but you don’t need a cartel to control the situation, there is already a system in place. It isn’t working well, but the mechanism is already there with shareholding voting.
My logic is that most Americans would never accept a cap on income and forced redistribution in the corporate world. If you would accept that for yourself, then by all means you are entitled to that opinion. But if forced equality is something you reserve only for others, then you’re the one that should explain your logic beyond amorphous concepts of unity….
Well…my comment about team unity was tongue in cheek but obviously that’s lost on the literal.
I don’t like the system we have now and get the argument that it isn’t fair. What I’m saying is let’s not make it worse by trying to make it equal. I don’t see any way that a pay to play arrangement for players doesn’t get totally out of control. If you truly want to equate it to an employer/employee relationship then it will become NFL lite. Anything short of that will turn into that over time.
I don’t see how you can reconcile the two positions of “look at what college football has become …. money is ruining the sport” to “we should pay the players” unless you want to hasten the demise of college football so it can be rebuilt into something else.
Personally, I’m all for a NFL farm league and Universities go back to fielding teams of student athletes who are treated equally and have to meet all the same requirements to be a student. Then everyone can stop pretending.
As commented below, I agree with you that I would prefer the schools not open up the floodgate to direct pay for play, but instead allow athletes to contract with 3rd parties for additional compensation.
On your last point, the NFL is OK with the current arrangement, if only the schools would play real footbaw instead of the spread… 😉
But more seriously, there has always been a sliding scale across most universities to get more talent and diversity in their student body beyond just GPAs and SATs.. UGA seeks out students from every GA county (so someone from Liberty County may get in with numbers that wouldn’t make the cut in Cobb), as well as a certain percent out-of-state, legacies, and socio-economically diverse students, plus it has additional exceptions for artists, musicians, inventors, athletes, etc. I don’t have a problem with the exceptions, if only the student part of student-athlete wouldn’t be treated as much of a sham as many schools, and the NCAA, make of it.
The only professor who disagrees makes a valid point about colleges not wanting to overpay for unproven 17 yo talent, but that would be easily mitigated and balanced by market forces. Even his take isn’t an absolute no.
Schools overpay for unproven coaching talent all the time. Why should a 17-year old be any different?
And I agree in principle. Right now, at first glance of what may happen if players are compensated, I feel strongly that the best way to preserve the amateurism concept while also paying the players a market based amount would be to pay them based on performance. Keep the current system in place, accurately quantify the pay based on the athletes performance at the end of each season (could be weekly, monthly, etc….). This way it keeps the players in position to develop and not be propped up by perception or popularity. Fairly treats the walk on that comes out of nowhere and the 5 star that would get the Bentley before they ever had to perform.
Is this supposed to be shocking?
Of course the highest recruits would be paid huge amounts. Nothing like a high school free agent out shopping themselves to P5 schools – it would make Cam’s $250K look like chicken feed. You don’t have to be an economist to see that coming.
And it wouldn’t be just money…they’ll set them up with cars, personal drivers (which might actually be a good idea), luxury apartments….imagine AU with absolutely no deterrents and being able to operate out in the open. Your only restriction is that you don’t fail out of this custom curriculum we have for you…..
This is one of the largest deterrents to opening this can of worms IMO. I can just see Fields sitting there with his agent…. comparing offers prior to announcing…..
You’re either kidding, or you don’t read the comments here often enough.
I’m genuinely shocked. This is an obvious outcome and my primary reason for trying to wanting to let that genie out of the bottle.
Think we should combine Bernie Sanders free college tuition for all with a 90% marginal tax rate… wait.
Some of you never fail to impress me with your ability to conflate letting a kid earn a living like every other American into full-blown socialism.
Not conflating. Throw in the Title 9 financial requirements and you have a real clusterfuck. So many unintended consequences that the game and much of college athletics would not survive.
Your attempt at pushing the free market is really nothing but another social engineering push and an opportunity for some advisers to make bank. Can’t blame you for your advocacy I just don’t agree with it.
There has to be a better way to clean up the ncaa and college athletics and get more benefits to the student athlete. Universal injury and disability insurance would be a good way to start. Try to bring the concussion issue into that framework. Keep shining the light of day on the corrupt profiteering of coaches and administrators would also help.
Right. ‘Cause when I read “Bernie Sanders free college tuition for all with a 90% marginal tax rate”, the very first thing I think of is Title IX.
If you want me to take your argument seriously, make a serious argument.
Oh, and speaking of Title IX, for the umpteenth time: there are no Title IX consequences for compensation received from outside third parties.
Methinks there are other consequences that bother you much more.
Think Bernie just suggested a 90% rate. And you’re kidding yourself if you think the left and the democratic party would allow Chubb to get a million a year for college football and not require that the girl basketball players get their cut.
Sorry you didn’t take me seriously regarding exploring other ways to benefit and protect the student athlete. I guess this is a political blog as much as anything else. Don’t have a clue what other consequences you are referring to. Perhaps you could provide some evidence or at least an explanation.
Don’t really GAS about Sanders, who has nothing to do with Title IX.
As far as “And you’re kidding yourself if you think the left and the democratic party would allow Chubb to get a million a year for college football and not require that the girl basketball players get their cut.” goes, wut? Does anyone make the Olympic athletes who get sponsorship deals turn over any of their earnings to those who don’t?
For some reason, something about letting your average college football player or men’s basketball player make more money than you do isn’t sitting well with you. That’s for you, not me, to explain.
Really. You think this is about me. I suppose you’re implying that i think that it’s ok for college tennis players to get paid for playing with a Wilson racket.
You owe me an apology and me thinks you need to try harder in your arguments.
Have a nice day.
I suppose you’re implying that i think that it’s ok for college tennis players to get paid for playing with a Wilson racket.
Not implying anything. It’s your explanation to make, not mine. All I’m observing is the righteous indignation, backed by misstatements about economics and politics.
I don’t think the schools NEED to pay athletes anything extra, as long as players were free to make money from additional revenue streams that their name/likeness/personality would command. Shoe deals, apparel with their name/number, video game royalties, ad revenue from their social media accounts, signatures, photos, appearances, etc.
Here’s a thought what if the Stars of the team made lots of money on their name/likeness/etc and saw it as a business decision to share it with their teammates. Let’s say that star QB shared with his OL and WRs. You get the idea, if the star looks better then he will have a better payday when the NFL comes sniffing around. I really think this basketball situation is going to cause the end of the NCAA’s restrictions on likeness/name payments by third parties. The NCAA can’t afford the bad publicity of their coaches of student-athletes taking the perp walk. Hard to maintain that fiction of amateurism. The fun part will be the Nikes of this world making the schools make sure that the players only wear the official team stuff. I seem to remember Matt Stafford being schooled about his shoe choice long ago.
I always think about the Dawgs who got in trouble a few years ago for cashing checks twice. The checks were for $75, which just goes to show how little money lots of our guys have in their pockets. It’s pathetic, and it’s not right, especially with the football program taking in hundreds of millions of dollars on the efforts of so many guys from impoverished backgrounds.
A simple solution would be to treat playing football as a job similar to the ones other students get on campus. Players could be paid $10 an hour for their time practicing, doing mandatory weight training, attending meetings and playing in games. Rules could be set by the NCAA and apply to all Power 5 schools. Conferences, with the obscene amount of TV money they take in, could help pay the bills. Teams with weak, unprofitable programs would simply drop out.
What does that come to, about $300 or $350 a week during camp and the season, less during spring practice?
Jeff Dorfman was one of my favorite professors while I was earning my BSA in Environmental Econ. I’d like to hear him speak on this topic.
"What an incredible turnout. It felt like a home game when you looked up in the stands and saw all the red. I expected it to be that way but maybe not as much as it was." -- Kirby Smart, Dawgs247.com, 11/27/21
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