Today, in business decisions

Roquan Smith says he struggled with his decision to enter the NFL draft.

“We came up short in the national championship game and that played a big part in it. I wanted to finish my degree; that and the comradery – I love those guys,” he said. “It was going to be my last chance to be a kid and not worry about adult responsibilities, that kind of thing. I talked to many individuals who have left early and it was always how much they missed college, wishing they could go back one more time. All of that went into it, but at the end of the day, the pros outweighed the cons and it was in my best interest that I did leave.”

If it were that close a call, what if Smith were receiving enough compensation to tilt his decision into staying in Athens another year?  How much would that have really bothered some of you had he done so?

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UPDATE:  Here’s another quote from a Dawg who left early.

“My mom played a big part of the process,” Thompson said. “She gave me the okay, so I went with her guidance…. I played a lot of football. Three seasons at UGA, in one of the toughest conferences, the SEC, and I want to support my family. This has been my lifelong dream, ever since peewee ball…when I was 12 years old.”  [Emphasis added.]

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47 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, The NCAA, The NFL Is Your Friend.

47 responses to “Today, in business decisions

  1. You mean Roquan would have gotten paid AND not had to worry about adult responsibilities? How does that work? 😉

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  2. Joe Schmoe

    Interesting thought: seems like paying the players would actually further the academic side of the equation as some players might elect to stay and finish their degrees rather than turn pro given that the financial opportunity costs wouldn’t be as high.

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  3. DoubleDawg1318

    I was thinking the same about Roquan. It sounded like he had a tough time making the decision and I could definitely see him staying if he had been receiving more $$ for his contributions at Georgia.

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  4. Charlottedawg

    Paying kids WILL ruin college athletics. I’ll tell you what I couldn’t bring myself to celebrate roquan stuffing that ou running back on third and short in overtime or sacking Jarrett stidham in the seccg if I knew uga or nike or the local car dealership paid him any amount of money. I’d be like “Yeah we won the rose bowl but so what, the players that entertain me get paid. That just ruins everything”.

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  5. I’ll be the contrarian in this case. R was leaving even if he had been paid. When he signs that contract, he is set for life if he manages it well (I have little doubt he will). A 4th year at Georgia even with compensation beyond the scholarship wasn’t going to compete with that. I also have no doubt he’s going to finish what he started and get his economics degree at Terry in the off-season.

    Godspeed, R. We know you’ll make us proud.

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    • Go Dawgs!

      A 4th year at UGA without compensation did compete with that, unless Roquan Smith is just lying about how tough it was to make his choice. How can you be so sure that money and an insurance policy wouldn’t have?

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      • I don’t think he was lying. I’m sure it was a tough decision – the “real” world of a professional athlete vs. one more year as a college student-athlete.

        I’m a supporter of compensation, but I just don’t think at the end of the day, it would have been enough to convince him to stay one more year.

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    • I’ll contrarian your contrarian. I’m making some assumptions here of course, but I think it’s possible that Roquan could have easily earned 300k+ gross at this point between likeness profit and and avenues of additional compensation (in this hypothetical alternate reality alumni create a slush fund for enticing players to say/etc). No, that’s not set for life. However, between a juicy insurance policy from Lloyds to cover injury and the story about him coming back to finish business I see a jump in income in his hypothetical senior year. Not 7 figures (although if he suffers a major injury it might be), but 6. He’d be a major headline for the entirety of the offseason and the college football season. He would even get some (token, because he’s not a big 10 defender) Heisman talk.

      I see the additional monies as being potentially enough for him to say “you know what, I am going to come back because I can do so with peace of mind”.

      Alas, we’ll never know.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Go Dawgs!

    Anyone who tells you that having college kids get paid would ruin the experience for them either A) hasn’t devoted any time to actually thinking about the issue, or, B) needs to give me their Braves or Falcons tickets. Players getting paid under the table only bothers me because it gives less scrupulous programs (War Eagle!) an advantage over programs that do it the right way (Go Commodores!). Make it legal to pay players, do it soon, and I’ll be happy to see them make money. Or at least profit off of their own likenesses. There’s no reason that the Nick Chubb/Sony Michel/Roquan Smith autograph signing events should have had to wait until after they’d played the last down for UGA.

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  7. Macallanlover

    So now providing a fully loaded, valuable scholarship isn’t enough; we need to support their families too. Is there no end to this throwing money at anything as a solution? Sounds like we need more gubmint, again….as if that has worked so well.

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    • So now providing a fully loaded, valuable scholarship isn’t enough; we need to support their families too.

      Mac, they’re leaving school early, so on its face, yeah. that scholly ain’t enough.

      By the way, who’s that “we” you’re referring to?

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      • Macallanlover

        Pretty big “we”, takes a big village you know.

        Are you suggesting the families do not benefit from a child getting a full scholly? How much may vary from one SA to another, but seriously? Does that pail from the benefits available from the few who hit the NFL lottery? Sure, but those dollars are dwarfed when compared to the benefits from the whole of CFB.

        Sorry, I am weary of this same debate. You are driving this train, I am just getting off. I hope your side never prevails and good sense rules the day, it is a sport my children love almost as much as I. It won’t die over night, but it will never be the same, and that will kill it. Rant on, it seems very important to you.

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    • JCDAWG83

      Let it go. The Senator is the #1 advocate of creating an NFL minor league that plays on college campuses and is sponsored by college athletic departments. If I want to watch paid athletes, I’ll watch the NFL or NBA or MLB, I don’t want to so I watch college sports. Those who want to see paid players in Athens on Saturdays in the Fall should stick to the NFL and not insist on taking away the last shred of amateurism from those of us who don’t.

      Raise the entrance requirements for football and basketball athletes and solve the issue once and for all.

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      • Division-III football is tanned, rested and ready for your attention. Knock yourself out.

        Liked by 1 person

      • ETDF

        There’s always high school sports to fall back on. You know…for the purity of the sport and all. Or, to take it one step further, I am sure there is a vibrant mens slow pitch softball league in your area. Talk about playing for the love of the game and being amateurs! That is where the game is at its purest!

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        • Got Cowdog

          Don’t forget golf. You can join your local CC and sit on the veranda on a lovely spring afternoon, having cocktails. If it is positioned like mine, you can witness amateurism in all it’s frustrated glory for as long as you care to spectate.

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        • Hell, high school boosters have been giving jobs to mom’s and dad’s to move to their school district for decades. That ship sailed long ago.

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          • ETDF

            Absolutely true. So we are down to municipal/church leagues? 5 year old leagues?

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            • Nope. Those are corrupted too. Isn’t it funny how all the best kids need to ride together to games and practice, so therefore must be on the same team. I once saw two parents get into it at a U10 soccer draft, both claiming to be this one kid’s parent-santioned ride. It was funny as hell. Church leagues? Most of those teams are full of ringers who never set foot in church and are brought in by the team’s organizer. I know we are not talking “payment” for either of these, but the purity is corrupted somewhat by those who want to win and are willing to lie and cheat to do it.

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      • College football already is an NFL minor league sponsored by college athletic departments.

        Not sure if serious or troll.

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      • CB

        I bet minor league baseball teams would sell out every game if only they would stop compensating players. Perhaps they should offer free classes at local community colleges to their rosters. I think this is a solid business model and not at all stupid in any way.

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    • CB

      Definitely, let’s triple these coaching salaries instead. Wouldn’t want our support staffers to leave for more lucrative offers.

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  8. lakedawg

    What if he came back and the disaster of getting an injury that prevented him from getting that pro contract happened? Course Ga could have also paid for an insurance policy for say 50mil of coverage.

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  9. MGW

    I’m curious how the NCAA is even legally able to ban the Olympic model at all. How have challenges to this in the courts gone in the past?

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    • Meet Jeremy Bloom.

      The NCAA changed the rules after that. Now, student-athletes are only ineligible for a sport if they accept money for that sport.

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      • Got Cowdog

        Soooo… if that is the case, any UGA football player could play for the Blind Pig “Sausage Ballers” softball team? And if the Sausage Ballers booster club wanted to make a small donation to the player of, oh let’s say, 50k to help with tournament fees, travel expenses, etc. the NCAA couldn’t do anything about it?

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      • reality check here

        The Jeremy Bloom case was one of the most infuriating things the NCAA ever did in my view, which is a pretty high bar. They changed the rule but not until they declared him permanently ineligible to play football. He played two years until the case was over then they got him. He was good enough to be drafted in the 5th round by Philadelphia but injuries did him in. He is a quality person, Wharton graduate, successful entrepreneur and just plain more substantive than any of the people working for the NCAA. Which I guess is damning him with faint praise.

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  10. ApalachDawg

    R would be leaving even if he was getting $100k from The Sanford Stadium Corporation.
    I have a question – since all of these all star games for high school kids are on ESPN and sponsored by Under Armour, etc – are those kids being exploited? What about the refusal high school games on ESPN…should those kids be compensated?

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  11. Uglydawg

    This is a very, very long read, but it is the most detailed history and expose’ of this issue I have ever seen. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/10/the-shame-of-college-sports/308643/?single_page=true#

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  12. steve

    True story. I am teaching a young guy a procedure and the case is about over so the room is filled with chatter and relaxed banter. One of the attendants asks the young guy what his wife has been doing since he moved to the area. The young guy says “she has been attending class to become a counselor. Lately she is taking classes on listening”. The attendant asks, “what has she learned”? The young guy says “I don’t know, I wasn’t listening”. The take home message for me is, who is going to listen to fans (other than the UTK board)? Pay the athletes or not. If they leave early to get paid they are the ones who miss out on the one singular greatest experience in life. Hell, why get off in NYC when the ticket gets you all the way to North Boston?
    The closest metaphor I can think of is individually wrapped cheese slices. As long as you are factory-wrapped you are protected against most everything including environmental changes, biodegradation, insects, filthy fingers and direct surface insults. The millisecond you are unwrapped two things happen: 1) you lose every bit of that protection 2) you know you are about to be somebody’s meal. In my experience leaving Athens was getting plastic wrap removed. So let them leave or let them stay. Pay them or not. Hope scholarship students get paid, right? I hear some even make money from all the gifts and grants. Should they be prohibited from organic chemistry because they earned a grant for sponsored research from Sandoz?
    The only person that should care is the one who has to decide to lose 25% of their 48 month-long journey that is likely the single most important self-defining segment of time they will enjoy their entire life. Athens, Ga is like a giant uterus with stop lights and memories. After I left I have spent >50 yrs trying to crawl back in, but have had to settle for rapidly declining memory banks. Mostly good memories, despite having to sit through the bow-tied, dirty-purple clown-suit, U-turn-bald Dr. Hering for P Chem. Although his midterm and final were the EXACT same test.

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  13. AthensHomerDawg

    I went to Georgia. Both sons went to Georgia and one is a Double G Dawg. They were home often either doing laundry, raiding the frig and later at some point my beer was not safe. Our house was often the meeting place to drop off vehicles and carpool to football games and tailgates. That house has been sold and I’ve built my wife’s dream house. One son is getting married in April,(G-day game. day..no kidding). The other is getting engaged. And they still have their things/personal items etc. stored at our new house. lol.

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  14. 69Dawg

    The NCAA reminds me of Germany at the end of WWII. They knew it was over but they were willing to fight on even when in the end it meant total destruction. The moto of the NCAA is let’s get ours before this thing blows up in our faces.

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  15. AthensHomerDawg

    “……what if Smith were receiving enough compensation to tilt his decision into staying in Athens another year? ”

    BIG what if! Smith is a late first round prospect. That means a 4 year contract and 7 or 8 mil contract with a 3 or 4 million signing bonus. He came to Georgia to play football with dreams of the NFL. If he were my son I tell him it was time to move forward with his goals.

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    • Smith himself said it was a close call. Taking him at his word, it doesn’t sound like he would have needed to have his rookie NFL contract terms matched to sweeten the deal sufficiently.

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  16. MGW

    Is the NCAA the least cool organization in America?

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