“I wish we all had the same amount but we won the championship.”

For those of you who have expressed concerns that allowing student-athletes to market their names, likenesses and images would cause locker room turmoil due to an unequal distribution of revenue between, say, a star quarterback and one of his starting offensive linemen, I have a question:  based on this Calvin Ridley interview, should schools restrict the touches certain players get, to avoid unequal statistics?

Of course, I’m being a wee bit facetious there.  But there is a valid underlying point to be made, as the header indicates.  Whatever locker room jealousy Ridley’s performance stirred, it didn’t stop ‘Bama from winning a national title.  Good coaches know how to manage their players’ emotions successfully.  Why would endorsement deals be any different?

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51 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness

51 responses to ““I wish we all had the same amount but we won the championship.”

  1. Randy Adams

    All it does is make throwing money at the athlete’s legal and it’s “Katy bar the door”. The school will have an entire group that does nothing but connect these kids with car dealerships, autograph signing companies, etc. This is an AWFUL idea that will make things much worse than better, all in the name of the school ‘not paying’ the athlete by the school. 95% of the violations are for minor money. $1,000 per month per athlete. Will it stop it? No… But will most of it go away – you bet it will.

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    • Would you take that type of restriction on your ability to be compensated for your skills and abilities?

      The guys who would be envious would be the locker room cancers regardless.

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    • Former Fan

      Why is it so awful that others come in and pay the player on the open market?

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  2. Uglydawg

    No. Of course not. You still play to win if it means giving one guy the ball one hundred percent of the time.

    But it will cause problems. It’s only human nature to resent the guy you’re opening holes for when he not only gets all the glory (as it is now..although most skill players will give credit to the line, the coaches, etc..) but is driving a new sports car and has cash to throw around while you’re getting little to naught for being his road grader.
    I don’t know how the pro’s avoid this, as the same principle would seem to apply, except I think (think) offensive linemen are so well compensated that it doesn’t hurt that bad, or…if you get a bad attitude and cause trouble you get traded or fired..or it’s seen as “just bidness”.
    Then again, maybe the resentment problem IS a problem in the pros. (Admittedly, I follow pro football on a very shallow basis)

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    • Whether or not it’s a problem — and I really do think that’s part of what program management is for — it’s a shitty rationale for dictating to players what they’re allowed to make in this country.

      Liked by 1 person

      • JCDAWG83

        Is it as shitty as a union agreement not allowing legal adults to be able to pursue their chosen career in this country?

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        • Considering that one is legal and the other isn’t, I’d have to say it’s worse, but obviously your mileage varies.

          By the way, note the use of the word “agreement” in your example. Student-athletes don’t even get that.

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          • JCDAWG83

            I was not aware it was not legal for college athletes to not be paid. I wonder if any DAs or the DOJ is aware of this?

            I have always been under the impression that every scholarship athlete signed a form of agreement that laid out what is and is not allowed. Maybe I’m wrong but it seems the athletes agree to the terms when they sign.

            Maybe your energy would be better used in pushing for the unions to change their bargaining agreements so they don’t prevent qualified adults from pursuing the career of their choice.

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            • It’s been determined by two courts that the NCAA violated antitrust law. That is the literal definition of “illegal”. Apparently you’re not an attorney, although you attempt to play one in the comments here at the blog.

              Some agreement — eighteen-year old kids, many from impoverished backgrounds, signing NLIs without benefit of professional representation.

              Thanks for the editorial advice, by the way. How many one-and-done kids are we talking about saving every year?

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              • JCDAWG83

                Well, if the court has said the NCAA is violating antitrust law, your wish should be coming true any day now when the schools start paying the players. I doubt Emmert or the ADs and presidents of the colleges will want to be going to prison for engaging in illegal activities.

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              • “violated antitrust law”…….wow. That’s some lawyerly obfuscation. Pretty sure those cases have 100 different carve outs right ? Did the court say colleges can pay athletes cash untethered to their life as a student ? (Don’t think so, or I doubt you would be going to such efforts on this issue daily)

                What courts are these in ? Are there citations to these opinions ?

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      • Biggus Rickus

        Maybe it’s shitty. it’s also not the only argument. And for a guy who seems endlessly worried about things like playoffs detracting from the uniquely college experience, I don’t understand why you’re so blase about the likelihood that paying players will do far more harm to the distinctiveness of college football. But I’m not going to sway you, so I will let this me my last word on the subject here.

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        • I never said it was the only argument.

          Again, I don’t mind that people feel strongly about not paying players out of a sense that it would rob them of the romanticism of amateurism. I just wish folks could leave it at a personal level, instead of making bogus economic suppositions.

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        • 92 grad

          Senator seems pretty level headed and consistent to me. I always get the feeling he is just trying to move the goalposts where they should be within the context of a free country and a booming business, being college football. Even politically, senator does a pretty good job of tolerating differing opinions and doesn’t use his site to tell everyone to pound sand if they have a different view.

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        • Former Fan

          What harm would be done by paying players? The FBI already has evidence players are being paid in BB on the black market. How could bringing it into the light and letting the free market settle it openly possibly be worse than what we have now?

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    • Charlottedawg

      “I don’t know how the pros avoid this” effectively admitting the argument of teammate jealousy and resentment over different levels of compensation leading to a dysfunctional football team is a bullshit red herring.

      If you carried this argument out to its end no organization including, wait for it, a unversity, and especially companies could function because employees have varying levels of compensation. It never ceases to amaze me how many doomsday scenarios and hypotheticals get thrown around where the real world already demonstrates how that “problem” is resolved. News flash, companies pay people different levels of compensation. The more valuable employees are paid more. Yet somehow everyone still manages to show up to work everyday and do their job even though it’s no secret the rainmakers get paid more.

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      • Gaskilldawg

        Right. Draymond Green isn’t getting the endorsement dollars Curry and Durant get, but the Warriors are doing just fine.

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      • JCDAWG83

        In the real world, legal age adults can enter their career field of choice as long as they are qualified. The NFL and NBA have created a world where legal age adults have no choice but to play college sports in order to audition for their chosen careers. Maybe this is the real problem and not whether or not college athletes should be paid over and above the room, food, tuition and other benefits they receive?

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        • doofusdawg

          Exactly. The only thing missing is the advocacy challenging the monopoly. But I don’t see attorneys lining up to sue the goose that lays the golden eggs (NFL players union). Shocking.

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      • Uglydawg

        “The more valuable players are paid more” ?? They’re paid zilch now, while coaching staffs, ADs and staff are paid exorbitant amounts. Make them “employees” and pay them. The money we’re talking about in this conversation would be coming from private enterprises outside of the institution. Not the same thing.
        “effectively admitting the argument’…wrong.
        It admits nothing of the sort. Professional players are compensated on performance at their position, and performance of their team as a whole Make the playoffs…everyone gets rich…get to the Superbowl, wow! But when a college player gets to the NC, he doesn’t get a thin dime.. Letting the “player of the game” types get well paid while the no-names who work as hard or harder get little or nothing will not be a lovely thing. I don’t think we know or can see how it would work out. While I think college football players should be payed, this is a potential snafu.
        If you want to sign the best running back…you’d better have the best offensive line to show him because it’s going to be the engine pulling his gravy train. Same with receivers and QB’s..they’re going to require excellence from one another because they’ll both be getting paid.
        So you’ll have businesses (see Auburn, Opelika area Chamber of Commerce) seeking huge endorsements from O linemen, etc… It will become a huge mess.
        You will have players seeking transfers because they can get more endorsement money in College Station or Columbus.
        There’s no way we can really see how this would go. But I would think allowing outside money to flow to college athletes would be a bad idea. We’re both entitled to our stupid opinions.

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        • Uglydawg

          correction..Charlottedawg wrote “the more valuable employees are paid more”, not “the more valuable players are paid more”. But that’s academic..we are talking about college football players.

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  3. Macallanlover

    Life will never be totally equal for all, despite the Utopian like whining. It already isn’t for CFB, some players have schollies, others don’t; some have spending money from home, others don’t, etc. Paying for likeness, used game equipment, etc., and putting it in a fund to be split among teammates when they leave school may work, may not. That is the only way I see to compromise the two schools of thought without disrupting the sport.

    I understand compensation is an issue, huge issue for some (mostly lawyers), but it is disproportionately discussed here. It it your blog, and you certainly could spend 100% on this subject if you choose, but how many people in other discussions about CFB have this come up more than 1-2% of the time, if that? Substantial progress has been made in the areas of spending money (hijacked to be “cost of attendance”), continuation of health benefits for injured players, assistance with travel costs for parents to attend games, etc., but I get that sinking, familiar, feeling that nothing will ever be enough for some.

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    • Substantial progress has been made in the areas of spending money (hijacked to be “cost of attendance”), continuation of health benefits for injured players, assistance with travel costs for parents to attend games, etc…

      Honestly, Mac, why do you think that’s happened?

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      • Sides

        Crusading bloggers and money hungry lawyers? The NCAA not being as evil as portrayed? The publicity brought by these intelligent young athletes.

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      • Macallanlover

        I think because there is more money, and it is the right way to spend it. The COA is a BS bastardization of a stipend for some spending money. Got a little out of hand to me, but I always favored spending money close to what many/most college students have available (gas money, date money, little cash for spending money, etc.) If you are implying it is because of a gun to the head, I disagree. Everything about CFB is bigger these days.

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  4. Hal Welch

    Because you can’t spend emotion at the grocery store. Sorry dude, not the same thing.

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    • So the issue isn’t inequality-induced jealousy, but money? Then how do pro teams not fall apart all the time?

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      • Uglydawg

        I’ll bite. Pro teams compensate their employees with money guaranteed by a contract. The players get paid better for better performance (bonuses and playoff money). If an offensive lineman is a road grader, he can shop his skills around at the end of his contract. Free market an all of that.
        College football is (lmao) amateurism and thus the difference. If you don’t pay all of them but let them take outside money for endorsements, you are going to have problems with the have-nots.
        Either make it Professional College Football, or give an equal stipend to every athlete, or get a mess with a hybrid.
        ” Hello Mr. All American, We think you would look great driving a corvette from our dealership here in Birmingham. And while you’re sitting it in, we could film a commercial ad with you telling the folks out in television land how you’ve always wanted to play for UX . We pay very, very well for endorsements. Of course, you’d need to transfer because we only do this for UX players”… If you think that’s a stretch consider that similar things have happened even with it’s being illegal. Maybe not the commercial ad, but the car part.

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        • Some pro players get endorsement deals. When he played, were Peyton’s offensive lineman upset over the large sums he was paid by folks wanting to cash in on his name? What about Michael Jordan’s enormous endorsement deals? Didn’t seem to hurt the Bulls much, back in the day.

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          • Uglydawg

            I agree. I’m not arguing that endorsements are out of place in the professional world.
            Quit paying those linemen (as would be the case in CFB) and see how long the serenity lasts. Isn’t this what we’re discussing?
            Honestly, there are so many ins and outs to this that one can find himself swayed to one side or the other, back and forth, as the discussion progresses. I suppose that’s the point of discussion…too bad it so often turns into an argument with hard heads on both sides (see American politics). Seeking solutions is a different ball game from seeking to win your point.
            If I were a Debate Judge and I officiated the (unlikely) match in which one of the teams stood and said, “We have been convinced by the opposing team that we are wrong and they are correct on the subject of this debate, therefore we capitulate our argument”, that I would declare them the winner.
            I’ve heard (or seen on TV) of it happening in Court.

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            • Quit paying those linemen (as would be the case in CFB) and see how long the serenity lasts. Isn’t this what we’re discussing?

              I think it could more accurately be described as a large compensation gap, as opposed to one side receiving nothing at all. After all, isn’t the scholarship and COA stipend some compensation?

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              • ASEF

                The linemen will be taken care of. Control freaks like Saban or Smart would make sure that starter spots on the OL carried some financial weight. Although it does get interesting when you talk about a Manzeil or a Gurley spreading the wealth a little on their own. Pro RBs and QBs do it. I wonder whether the NCAA would want to monitor where and how a player like Gurley or Green used their Olympic Model windfalls.

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      • Hal Welch

        Well for starters they do fall apart often and it is often over money. I believe there was a crawl just yesterday on ESPN, “should Rogers take less money to help team”.

        Thing is this is just a very big soapbox issue for your personally and you take offense to anyone and everyone who doesn’t see it exactly as you do.

        I’ve agreed with you more than once that players should be compensated in some way in addition to what they are already receiving which again is by far and away more than the rest of the student body at large receives. Do they earn it? Damn right they do. How we get there is a very important conversation with broad ranging implications.

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  5. Lou

    Separately from colleges directly paying players, i don’t see how you create a program for players to receive endorsement deals without it becoming an even worse problem than we have now. Enticements for endorsement deals will be made before a player ever demonstrates any performance in college. Crooked schools, coaches, alumni will game the system. If a freshman was promised an endorsement deal linked to his play, and then a coach didn’t play him, how does that work for everyone? I suspect badly.

    Makes no never mind for me if a high school player goes direct to be a professional, anyone should be allowed to do that. But, as an alum and an interested individual, i don’t want my school saddled with running a professional franchise.

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  6. ASEF

    I once had a conversation with a dude at a bar waiting for a table at a restaurant in Honolulu. He had a private plane. He had a yacht. He had a helicopter for the sole purpose of flying it out to his yacht. Never did pin down whether the docking location was just remote or whether the yacht was large enough to land a helicopter. He was a Georgia fan.

    If that dude wants to sponsor Strongside Defensive End for the Georgia Bulldogs, more power to him.

    It’s absolutely true that in the wake of those restrictions being lifted, there will be a sorting out period, and there will be excesses. Measured against pyrotechnic waterfalls making locker room lobbies resemble EPCOT’s Grand Finale closing ceremony, I think we’ll be ok.

    I honestly think when the dust settles, we will wonder what all the speculative fuss was about. Elite players coming out of high school are still going to be focusing on the programs that can most likely land them in multi-million dollar paydays come draft time, meaning program infrastucture is still going to be the key consideration for almost all of them. And the non-elite players quickly run into the issue of supply and demand. Yes, money will flow, but the have-programs will still be the have-programs. The only difference is that when Todd Gurley is driving down the street in a really nice new set of wheels, people will think, “He earned that,” rather than, “He’s not supposed to have that.”

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  7. Spur 21

    Just wondering here. If a kid walks on and receives no scholarship help is he under the same NCAA restrictions as the fully scholarship player? Can he freely work for a car dealership owned by a booster and get paid far more than the job is truly worth?

    Let’s say Nick or Sony decided to walk on in lieu of getting a scholarship. Could they then accept funding from outside the school?

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    • 69Dawg

      The “walk-on” would be ruled ineligible just like he had a scholarship. The NCAA is an equal screwer of the “help”. A walk-on can’t transfer to another FBS school without sitting out a year just like a scholarship player. The NCAA cartel has it’s rules to help the members of the cartel keep it’s “help” even the ones that get no scholarship.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Al Ford

    Geez, you’re certainly persistent when you have a strong opinion. It’s pretty clear to me. You want free market economics, but you’re not working with an actual free market.

    The better option is to create an actual free market to compete against college football. This will enable players to get paid, but may destroy the very topic you blog about everyday. My guess is you could find a few 18 year old kids to play football for a price. It wouldn’t happen overnight, but the college game would be impacted after the talent is slowly drained. You’d start with the 2-star kids that have no chance at playing in the NFL. Eventually, the league would be forced to remove the 3 years from high school graduation rule because their own pool of talent will be impacted. And then…..maybe the NCAA starts paying players. That’s how you get action, not by just complaining over and over again.

    Personally, I’m tired of the complaining. Capitalism works better with action. Go do something about it.

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    • You want free market economics, but you’re not working with an actual free market.

      What does that even mean? Of course we’re not, because the NCAA is a cartel that restricts the labor market.

      You realize that if tomorrow the NCAA’s amateurism protocol was voided, the conferences would be competing against each other, right?

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  9. Tony Barnhart- Mr! CFB

    If you told the most important arbiter of value, Kirby Smart, that Fromm was going to get 200k in cash but Isiah Wynn would get $0, he would tell you to get ****ed.

    But if Georgia could actually pay Wilson… like the Patriots pay David Andrews, then Tom Brady being Tom Brady is not that big of a deal…. But as long as the organization itself, whose opinion on “value” is more important than anyone else’s, will not be paying, then you have to have fierce control over NLI revenue.

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    • Tony Barnhart- Mr! CFB

      mean Wynn not Wilson

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    • But if Georgia could actually pay Wilson… like the Patriots pay David Andrews, then Tom Brady being Tom Brady is not that big of a deal…

      Andrews makes $3.8 million a year; Brady makes $22 million a year. The difference is “not that big a deal”? It’s about 90 times larger than your hypothetical gap between Fromm and Wynn.

      Did you and Kirby have a talk about that, by the way? Amazing how you know his thinking. Since you two are close, maybe you could find out if he’s going to put in a special package for Fields this season. 😉

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      • Tony Barnhart- Mr! CFB

        I would say the difference between having a disposable income of $0 vs $200k is a lot “bigger” of a deal on the quality of life standpoint. At least the internal revenue code and democratic politicians would suggest that.

        Not to mention that quality of life actually matters to the people running the show… yet they would presumably be squeezed out of any decision on this front. Makes no sense to me.

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