Today, in Econ 101

I’ve mentioned many times now that it’s not the romanticism per se of amateurism’s defenders I find frustrating — I was once there too, you know — it’s the attempt to dress it up in economic clothing by folks who really don’t know what they’re talking about.  For you, I strongly recommend this piece by Andy Schwarz.  In particular, I’d love to hear you address his concluding remarks (and question):

So, class, what have we learned?

The real moral of the story is that the price of the middling college basketball player playing for the large swathe of schools outside the Top 100 is ONLY going to rise if that athlete is perceived to generate more value than the cost of a scholarship alone. His price cannot get bid up higher than someone can “afford” because if no one can afford $60, then his price will be less than $60. We know someone is willing to pay $50 (in scholarship) so perhaps his final price is $55, or $58, but he won’t sit on the market with a price tag of $60 and go unpurchased because $60 doesn’t happen without a willing bidder, and a willing bidder, by definition, can “afford” him.

And thus, I beg you dear reader, please do not argue that an open market for athlete talent will mean that no one can afford talent. Prices in markets do not come from a holy mountain and land, unchangeable and eternal, into the marketplace. They are set by bids and acceptances and unless your argument is that kids will prefer to go work at McDonald’s rather than accept a full scholarship, then no one who is worth a full scholarship today is going to lose a slot on the team because he’s suddenly “too expensive”

You only get ‘expensive” in a market if someone wants to pay you more than the old price. Which means someone CAN afford it. And if no one can afford more, then the price stays the same as before. Got it?

So please, please, please, when someone says “if athletes can get paid then only a few schools will be able to afford athletes” please ask them what the price will be of all the athletes who don’t go to those few schools and why all the poor schools can’t just offer all of the remaining athletes a scholarship, just like today?”

There isn’t a whole lot of mystery there.  It’s how life works, at least in the rest of the economy where prices aren’t being fixed.

If you don’t mind, in the responses, you don’t need to go “I don’t like paying players” on me.  I respect that position, as long as that’s all there is to it.  I’m more curious to hear your criticisms of Schwarz’ argument.

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84 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

84 responses to “Today, in Econ 101

  1. I am not sure I agree with his argument that you only get expensive if someone can afford it. Teams bid against each other for survival and supremacy, and don’t always stay within the confines of what they can actually afford. That said, this still supports his overall point.

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    • You can behave irrationally in the short run, but you’ll go out of business in the long run doing so.

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      • It’s why the NFL has a salary cap. The owners could not control themselves. The survival of the league depended upon artificial constraints. The NFL owners would make SEC AD’s look like misers in contrast.

        It doesn’t speak to the moral and ethical issues involved here but someone tell me what Bo Jackson or Herschel Walker or Marcus Dupree’s recruiting looks like in a totally free market. I think it would be a travesty because the people involved wouldn’t be able to control themselves. Someone would have to do it for them eventually.

        You can convince me that it’s the right thing to do, but I’m not going to be convinced that it would be orderly. It would be a circus.

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        • Sides

          True. I thought the nba put an age limit because they were hurting themselves overbidding on unproven high school talent.

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        • That’s not why the NFL has a salary cap. It has a salary cap to lock in a certain level of profit.

          Why don’t you talk about MLB’s salary cap?

          Good thing we don’t have a circus now in college recruiting. Imagine what things would be like at places like Ole Miss and Louisville if we did…

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          • 81Dog

            So, you want college sports to be more like MLB’s financial model? 😀

            Of course markets are self regulating over time. But people cheat on salary caps, or bonus regulations, or non-US draft rules. Going to a strict market approach works fine, in theory, but it isn’t going to eliminate cheating, it just moves the bar. That is why we have antitrust rules, yes? Or some regulation of trade?

            Eliminate the one and dones, let the kids with NBA perceived talent go pro, and let the ones who want to go to college stay 3 years. Pay them all a stipend. If the solution to the problem, and there is a problem, is just pay everyone, I think you just create different problems that may be worse.

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            • People are cheating now. How would increasing player compensation change human behavior, exactly?

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              • 81Dog

                It wouldn’t change it at all, it would just move the area of cheating to a different spot, which it seems to me, would be just as bad or worse. I agree the players are a large part of the equation when you talk about the value generated by college sports (or at least, football and basketball). I agree that the labor part of the equation is probably getting less than is fair under the current rules, though I don’t agree that they aren’t getting anything of value. “Pay the players” sounds great, but the devil is in the details. Should high school players get paid, too? How about middle schoolers? How much? When? Is it taxable? Do they have to go to school?

                I realize there aren’t any simple answers and lots of hard questions. Who’s problem (or responsibility) is it that the NBA and NFL want a free farm system? Is it the NCAA’s (maybe in part)? They surely benefit from the arrangement. Maybe they should just disgorge the benefits and be like high school Show up, enroll, go out for the team (well, maybe not some HSs. Buford football? Norcross? Wheeler and Marietta? Etc.) Of course that wont ever happen, but the problem and a potential solution is more complex than “just start writing everyone (or someone) checks,” I think, YMMV.

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                • Who’s problem (or responsibility) is it that the NBA and NFL want a free farm system? Is it the NCAA’s (maybe in part)? They surely benefit from the arrangement.

                  The reality is that all three selfish actors benefit from the status quo. It’s only the labor pool that’s getting screwed.

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            • Gaskilldawg

              The MLB financial model is that owners buy teams at a certain price, hold onto the teams for a few years, and then sell the teams for a big profit.

              You do not see owners selling teams for less than they paid for them.

              Kind of like saying the guy who bought 100 acres of raw land that produced zero income for $1,000 per acre then sold it to Disney or somebody to build a theme park for $100,000 per acre was following a poor economic model because he did not earn yearly income before the sale.

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            • Napoleon BonerFart

              Going to a voluntary system, by definition, eliminates cheating. Cheats can only cheat against market interference in the form of laws, rules, or regulations. So a college athlete has to worry about whether the peanut butter on his bagel is allowed. A college student working at any other job can just put whatever he wants to on his bagel.

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          • One, what was it that was cutting into the profits? If they were worried about profits AND set a salary cap at the same time ya think there might a been some connection? Maybe?

            Two, I don’t know shit about baseball and dont watch it but it’s my understanding that baseball’s lack of sharing and salary control has contributed to its growing unpopularity. Too easy for big market teams to compete and too hard for small market teams to compete.

            Three, if you think that Texas in the 1980’s and Hugh Freeze and Lane at UT is the most “circusy” it can get, I think you’re very, very wrong.

            You tell me what happens when Saban takes the top recruit out of Georgia because alabama was willing to pay more. You think the fan base will see that as a rational economic decision or an unwillingness to compete? An unregulated or uncapped free market would spiral out of control in no time.

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            • Pro football’s salary cap, outside of rookies, is set on teams, not individual players. Tom Brady, as I mentioned before, makes $22 million a year.

              Since you don’t know shit about baseball, go check out what franchises sell for when they go on the market. (HINT: they aren’t declining in value.)

              Right now, what you have is a black market in college athletics. The reason you don’t find it too circus-y is because most of it is like an iceberg, under the surface, where you’re unaware.

              Pretty funny that in one breath you note the NFL still manages to regulate player salaries and in the next fret about an uncapped free market in college football.

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              • Huh? I’m simply saying that if we start paying players, there will soon be stipulations on how much can be spent, either individually, collectively or both, because the schools won’t conform themselves to reality. If those caps are too low you’ll still have a black market and probably one with even less enforcement.

                Which brings me to a superior plan: mine. Play college sports with students who got into your school on academic merit.

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                • Right. College sports act irrationally when it comes to funding, but will nobly pursue with complete logic strict academic requirements because… why, exactly?

                  I think we’re done here.

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                  • I think conferences could more easily police that than you think. Getting a retard a 3.8 high school transcript in college prep courses and a 1300 SAT probably isn’t as easy as handing his uncle a sack of cash.

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                    • Debby Balcer

                      Calling student athletes retards should be beneath you. A lot of the students that come here academically unprepared were unprepared because of the schools and home situations they are from not because they are intellectually inferior. If someone spent as much time developing their brains as their body and athletic skills they would have no problems with the academics see Malcolm Mitchell for a good example.

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                    • AthensHomerDawg

                      If you are seriously that uneducated that you can’t spread your vocabulary a bit to say something else other than the “R” word then that is a sad for you.

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                    • Speech police! Politically correctness!

                      I’m talking about a guy like David Palmer who gives a minute long sideline interview wherein I can discern no English words. Calling him a retard shouldn’t be offensive to anyone. It really shouldn’t. It just means dumb and there are a shit ton of dumb guys playing big time college football and basketball.

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                    • Debby Balcer

                      Sorry Derek it is offensive to kids with real diagnosises. Own your behavior.

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                • Biggus Rickus

                  While I agree with you that your plan is ethically superior on any number of levels, nobody is going to give up all of the money brought in by the current system. Unless they’re legally forced to do so, and seeing as about five of us in the country seem to think it’s a good idea to do away with the organized ringer system that’s developed, that’s not very likely.

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                  • I just have never bought that argument. As long as people think it’s a fair fight, people will want to watch Georgia’s student-athletes play Auburn’s. The pro game gets no greater love because it has far superior players.

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                    • Biggus Rickus

                      I think it would affect popularity to some extent, and it would certainly change the power structure, as schools with lower general academic standards would have access to a wider pool of players.

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                    • That is true. But UGA doesn’t have to schedule Troy state and cbs isn’t likely to sign up the sun belt. In other words if the existing conferences did my plan they could effectively shut out those programs. Also there are a lot more bottom feeders so that talent should be pretty diffuse. Finally I think the nfl would find a way to capture that talent if the big time college programs made that move.

                      This is a far superior plan than going full pro. Although I’d concede pro is better than the current framework.

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                    • I totally agree … I’ll watch Georgia & Auburn. I have very little interest in watching any 2 NFL teams on any given Sunday. As Lewis Grizzard would say, “It reminded me of 2 mules fighting over a turnip, who really cares?”

                      I follow the UGA guys in passing, but even then, I don’t really care.

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            • Former Fan

              The nice thing about a free market is it destroys bad decision making. That works well with big and small businesses alike… at least until government forgets about anti-trust laws and you end up with “too big to fail” institutions. It would force schools to be smart because if they did as you suggest they did, it would put a school in a hole for years and then they couldn’t compete well. In other words, the market would fix it by punishing such behavior.

              The smart schools would let the boosters overspend if it was needed. But that well too would eventually run dry. What you are talking about are bubbles. They generally happen when money is easy and there are too many participants.

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              • You can argue that so long as everyone gets what they deserve, then who cares? I don’t dismiss that as a reasonable concept. As I said above I’m simply suggesting that any idea that this change would be orderly and neat is very, very wrong. It would be a catastrophuck of epic proportions. Don’t sell the plan on the idea that the marketplace of recruits would be rational. It would not be rational. It would grossly irrational like with coaches now. Fucktarded. Then someone, probably the ADs themselves, would say: “protect us from ourselves before we all go broke.” Like the NFL owners did in 1994.

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                • Former Fan

                  The players are being paid on the black market now because the market isn’t free. The players are the ones getting hurt the most. Free up the market, and if some college athletic departments go broke, well, that’s part of the creative destruction of the market. The market is both rational and irrational because human beings are that way. The way the players are currently treated is illegal and unethical on so many levels. Give them the freedom they deserve and let the chips fall where they may.

                  In the long term, the market fixes itself by severely punishing the irratational risk takers and rewarding the rational risk takers.

                  What some coaches are making now is very rational given the way the market is controlled. Colleges are awash in dollars and those coaches make them a lot of money. The coaches salaries would likely come down if the employees (players) got to share in the wealth. A lot of people thought Bama was nuts for what they paid Saban but Saban made them a LOT of money. One could argue that what Tennessee has done would be irrational, but they have the money to spend so who cares? Free up the market and Tennessee would be punished big time for such stupid decisions because their bottom line would be impacted a lot more if they had to pay coaches. When administrators know that, it will change their behavior.

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      • True, but you helped set the new price while doing so.

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      • kfoge

        We could always set up a Government agency to handle paying athletes, then there would be no worries about budget, deficit, over spending 🙂

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      • AthensHomerDawg

        or
        You can behave irrationally as long as these traditional media rights hold water and you can continue to fund those long-term expenses and commitments.
        Looking at you Cal Sports. One half billion in debt.

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        • Gaskilldawg

          Cal is half a billion dollars in debt because generations ago it built its stadium on the San Andreas fault line, and it had to borrow to pay for a $500 million construction project to make its stadium safe.

          Not a typical circumstance, and Cal had to address the stadium issue.

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  2. Markets generally work except when they are artificially manipulated by an outside party (for example, government) or by the market participants themselves (for example, the NCAA, OPEC, and the big banks before the real estate bubble). When the college sports pool open up, you’ll get real negotiation as opposed to a market manipulated by the buyers.

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    • Sides

      That’s a nice theory. Can you provide a real world example of a market that’s not manipulated? Market participants naturally want to monopolize the market and governments naturally want to influence them. There are no such things as free markets….

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      • LMAO.

        Are there freer markets than what the NCAA has structured? (That’s a rhetorical question. You don’t need to answer.)

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      • A real world example of a market that isn’t manipulated? If that were the case, Amazon wouldn’t exist … Sears would still be America’s dominant retailer. There’s a difference between the market manipulation and competitive advantage. Apple doesn’t dominate the market because it artificially manipulates it … they do because they provide generally superior products and can command premium pricing.

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        • Sides

          You didn’t name a market just three companies so let me give you some examples. Why do I pay sales tax on products I buy from sears and not from amazon? That’s not free or fair. Try to build a competitive product to Apple. Independent owned suppliers would never sell you the components. Why? Because Apple wouldn’t allow it. That’s not free or fair.

          Free markets are a nice theory but that’s not the way the world works.

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          • Samsung does it. LG does it. Google is doing it. Apple hasn’t stopped them from competing.

            Why does Walmart and Target kick Sears’ @$$ in bricks and mortar retail and online? Because they are better.

            Amazon beats Sears because they provide better products at a better price. Sears stuck their head in the sand when Internet sales started and got their business disrupted. Sears could have gone online while Amazon was selling books and music online. They allowed Amazon to become the online shopping mall.

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            • Sides

              You may be right that these companies provide a better product or service. That doesn’t mean they operate in a free market. Look what Samsung and LG take in direct government subsidies:

              http://www.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_business/622549.html

              Going back to your original statement, There is no such thing as a free market. All markets are manipulated.

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              • My point is that when an outside party says you shall or shall not buy a product or service whether you want to or not or says that a product or service can only be purchased from X or the market participants do the same … that’s market manipulation. If the participants get together and collude on pricing or supply, that’s market manipulation. Using your example, if the South Korean government said to the mobile phone companies you cannot connect an Apple or Google device to your privately owned cell network, that would be market manipulation. If the South Korean government gives their tech companies corporate tax breaks or direct subsidies to make their products more competitive in the free & fair market, they are making a policy decision and not selecting the winners and losers.

                The eventual purchasing decision is left in the hands of the end consumer.

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              • Napoleon BonerFart

                You’re arguing a false dichotomy. Since all markets are manipulated, let’s not worry about to what degree a particular market is manipulated.

                In the real world, market manipulation is on a spectrum. Hong Kong has markets more free from manipulation than Venezuela. It would be foolish to try to equate the two since both have some degree of outside interference.

                The NCAA interferes with the labor market for college athletics to a very great degree right now. It would be preferable for them to lessen, or even end, their interference with that market.

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  3. Sides

    This argument was irrelevant. Who made the argument that schools couldn’t afford to pay? I think we all agree there is plenty of money available to pay players at least in the acc, sec, big 10…. sports are competitive, if you can’t pay then you lose.

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  4. Former Fan

    The worth of an object for sale, in a free and open market, is always set by the buyer, not the seller.

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  5. DawgByte

    OCD, much?

    Blutarsky, when are you going to get it through your thick skull that you’re just flat wrong on this topic. This obsession with trying to prove your point makes you look foolish.

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  6. TnDawg

    In a free market, those paid also accept the responsibility of paying their way. Are the paid athletes going to now pay their way?

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    • DawgPhan

      A free market wouldn’t force no scholarships. Scholarships are clearly the min wage of college football.

      I appreciate the senator making these posts. Think of all the stupid Facebook posts that aren’t being sent because people are over here arguing that a free market means students would have to pay for school.

      Liked by 1 person

      • DP, good point. I would take it one step further. Why couldn’t an athlete negotiate to pay a part of his/her own way in exchange for more freedom related to transfers or other consideration?

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      • TnDawg

        AH, the scholarship is minimum wage. What about room and board. They get paid with no responsibility to pay their way? What a deal. This just doesn’t work. I am not against paying the players, just watch out for what happens when it happens. There is more to this than giving the players money based on the free market. I just don’t understand why only one side of the issue is being argued.

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        • CB

          Yeah, because housing allowances and expense accounts don’t already exist in basically every other industry. How will colleges ever manage this completely foreign terrain???

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  7. To quote Schilling: “The market can remain irrational longer than you can remain solvent.” This is why schools are trying to rig the market. That being said, the Senators arguments cannot be countered by economic theory or economic reality. If I could kill off the entire US methodology of higher education, I would…except for college football. The entire college system is broken. It churns out grads with useless degrees after burdening them with grotesque debt to pay egregiously overpriced professors and massively inefficient administrators. The price of information is dropping with the advent of the internet yet the cost of what is essentially information is only going up at an institution of higher learning near you. This thing is going to end…eventually. Maybe the Dawgs will go on an epic run to close it out…

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    • DawgPhan

      Yes. Clearly the internet can replace a college education.

      That makes a lot of sense. Do you have a newsletter? I can subscribe?

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      • AthensHomerDawg

        What businesses, governments and society need from education is shifting.. Technology has made brick and mortar libraries obsolete. Harvard has an online extension program. You can get a degree from Arizona State online complete with transcripts. Employer wont be able to discern whether or not to you studied on campus. Attendance at colleges is where it is at because student loans are so easy to get Kinda like mortgages before the housing bubble burst. 😉

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    • Former Fan

      You make some valid points. MBAs are much different now than they were in the 80s. They are focused more on finance and less on actually running a business for profit. Student loans are outragious. One should be able to declare bankruptcy and get rid of student loans. That would fix a lot. It would make the lender actually look at the degree and the kid before giving the loan. It would stear kids away from low paying degrees because the lender would worry about getting their money back. It would make those degrees cheaper to get as demand fell, and schools lowered prices to get more students.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Personal bankruptcy is such a good alternative for someone trying to get started … a 10-year scar on one’s credit record and you have to disclose it even after it’s removed from your credit record. I wouldn’t want a bank to tell my kids what they were going to study before they got a student loan. If you want to minimize the amount of debt you graduate with, there are plenty of ways to do that. You don’t have to go to a school that offered no financial aid because it’s so prestigious or my dream school. You can decide to attend a community/junior college for the first two years to get the basics completed. You can do well in AP or dual enrollment in high school to minimize the financial burden of college. You can work while you study. You can take semesters off to do a co-op. You can decide not to spend every night downtown because your loan is covering school and your job gives you spending money. It’s about choices.

        Your point about MBAs is somewhat accurate, but I would suggest the reasons they are more finance-focused is that’s what the buyers of graduates want.

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    • Napoleon BonerFart

      The problem is that most groups are acting rationally. College administrators are rationally raising prices because cheap loans and government scholarships are increasing demand and subsidizing costs. Politicians are rationally spending taxpayer money on subsidizing education costs because it gets them elected. Students are attending school because employers aren’t yet recognizing that college degrees don’t separate qualified people from unqualified people the way they did decades ago. And because their costs can be subsidized by government.

      Taxpayers not consuming college are the main ones being victimized. But they’re not directly involved in the activities, so they have the least amount of influence.

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  8. W Cobb Dawg

    I’m okay with paying the players. They are the raison d’etre for the whole sports enterprise shabang. I’d add a little wrinkle though. I’d want student athletic fees eliminated to ensure the player income doesn’t come from that student captive audience. Oh, anyone thinking paying players will eliminate cheating is foolish.

    It’s gonna take a bit more prodding to get me on board with bidding wars. Even if we pay players more (they already get a stipend), are we really making the jump all the way to a free market? Is there such a thing as a free market? Count me out if the model is gonna be one kid making $2 million and the rest of the players getting a $4k stipend.

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  9. Nope Nope Nope… Every professional league has salary caps for a reason… They know that there will always be a few that drive the salaries through the roof. And that is with leagues with 30 teams or less, professionally ran from top to bottom. This will ruin college football and basketball – pure and simple..

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  10. Ugajeff

    I’ve really struggled with this one for years. While I still believe the old school view “they are getting paid-scholarships do cost money,” the ridiculous money being generated af the top of the P5 makes if hard to argue they shouldn’t spread that wealth around with their athletes. Still, you can’t just ignore the fact there are kids lined up to take the next spot if Johnny and his parents think it’s an unfair system. That, and admission standards are market regulation in itself. So pay the players something…I dont know what, but make it something equivalent to a kid working his way through school at a full time job, because they are. That said, I have 2 proposals:
    1-Set a “budget cap” for every P5 school. Anything earned above budget is returned back to the academic institution. This could limit coaches salaries, players, facilities, etc.
    2-Make the fbs schools spin off their money making operations (FB, BB, etc) into separate for profit entities operated separately, but owned by s school affiliate (UGAA) that may only use students as athletes. Then pay them however the affiliate wishes, per free market.

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  11. rchris

    Schwartz’s arguments are logical. The only difference that will occur is that the Vanderbilts of the world will go from occasionally being able to upset a Tennessee or a Georgia to having no chance at all. Whether you prefer that is ultimately an aesthetic choice, not an economic one.

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    • The Georgia Way

      This aesthetic choice is also an economic one. Together, it creates foundation of The Georgia Way.

      Precious few athletic programs realize that winning on the hardcourt for two hours is not worth losing forever at the bank.

      Shared media revenue, low costs, and a large populous state location provide the economic support, while wrapping it all in moral sanctimony preserves the aesthetics. These are the four cornerstones of The Georgia Way.

      Rest assured, we have been in front of this for decades and it will continue to be the reason we will never have deal with this problem.

      #COMMITTOTHEG

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    • Does Vanderbilt ever beat Georgia or Tennessee for a recruit those schools really want? I’ve never seen a kid that goes to Vandy that my first thought is “I can’t believe he went to Vandy rather than X, Y or Z.” My question is “How did every school in the SEC miss on the evaluation of Cunningham, Stacy or Cutler?”.

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      • Darin Smith

        My understanding of the amount of money at Vanderbilt is that if they wanted to have the best football team in America, and it was a bidding war, they could put Alabama to shame. There would be an unintended consequence of paying players…….

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    • CB

      Ensure that we never lose to Vandy again? That’s a tough one.

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      • darin smith

        Oh I am all for letting players get paid…….I was just giving an example of how we have no idea how things will shake out.

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  12. For the first time on this issue, we are kind of in agreement. You know what his theory rests on though…….FULL CONTROL of what is and is not “affordable” or “too expensive” rests with the University.

    I’m fine with the price collusion racket ending amongst universities. What I’m not fine with is unfettered 3rd party “NLI” bidding by boosters that has no bearing on his entire premise on what the university sees as value vs affordability.

    And frankly, yes, the money that a contingent of skeezy boosters would conglomerate to pay a kid to sign with Alabama directly competes with the money a university might receive in donations. I’m not saying that Alabama couldn’t eventually decide to route all of that money right back to the kids—but you can’t determine what is and is not “market affordability” when the entity that has all the bills to pay is getting short circuited to its detriment by the customer and the employee. I don’t really know of any “free market” enterprises that are just cool with that.

    I think it’s also important, as we ponder the “FREE MARKETS!” question, what other “free market” industry has a contingent of customers willing to drop a large percentage of money beyond the purchase price of the goods sold with negligible tangible benefits ? The point is, as much as it’s a joke to cling to amateurism tripes, it’s also a joke to pretend or assume that all of the actors in this equation are behaving in rational free market ways. Because at the end of the day, the ultimate “free market” move would be for a university to tell anyone who doesn’t like this to piss off and start a minor league. The Golden Rule of ECON101 is, in fact, “he who has the gold makes the rules.”

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    • I get your perspective, but what does it matter to me if a group of boosters take their own money and give it to a kid who has some talent? Why should I care if a car dealer gives a kid a car to appear in a commercial or for autograph signings and photo sessions at the local dealership? As long as the taxes are paid, I don’t care one bit.

      Another good saying is that “a fool and his money are soon parted.”

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      • The premise of his article is that the markets will behave rationally as schools calculate the affordability / benefit of having a certain player on their team. In order for this to happen, the determination of affordability has to rest with the entity that has the revenues and expenses.

        In a world, where a few cars are given to a few kids, I agree you would probably have no problem. I’m fine with a world where UGA has to decide between stadium renovations and the price to secure Justin Fields. But when the price to secure Justin Fields is determined by third parties who are not fettered with other competing expenses within the operation of a football program, you’re not talking about a rational free market. Booster X’s ability to stomach or not stomach a certain payment to a player is not a real free market decision when he is not burdened in balancing expenses and CapEx within the organization.

        If you think a system where UGA has to convince a booster to route X to the new IPF vs paying a star recruit is a fine idea, then we can just agree to disagree.

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        • Booster X is already making the decision to route money to recruits rather than the program. It’s a black market now. What’s wrong with the money being aboveboard where a kid’s poor decision doesn’t impact the team?

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          • Tony Barnhart- Mr! CFB

            Just because a black market exists doesn’t mean it’s nearly as rampant as it would be above board. Its unlawfulness (ncaa wise) is a deterrent enough to many, just like it’s tough to get Colorado weed in the southeast.

            And if you believe Steven Godfrey, it’s not the heaviest hitters engaging in the black market. Not that these current boosters (who are bag men) aren’t important to UGA, but Billy Payne is not anywhere near this.

            If it’s unfettered without basically complete UGA oversight you’ve just created 100? 1000? treasurers within the Athletic Department. Good luck with that.

            https://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2014/4/10/5594348/college-football-bag-man-interview

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  13. AthensHomerDawg

    According to Business Insider/2013 Heres how much college-athletes are worth…… fair market value for a football player is $138,000 and a basketball player $289,000. Not chump change.
    Question: How much was Jacob Fromm worth as a freshman first game vs a soph first game?
    Answer: A lot more than anyone here ever believed!
    So under the new “pay to play” agreement could he renegotiate his signing terms?
    Would he have an agent?
    What’s the over under that the good Senator would leave the real estate field and GTP to become such an agent? 😉

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  14. The problems I have with this are I believe the student athletes are being fairly compensated for what they do, and that it is not fair to have taxpayers on the hook for the financial loss the school will inevitably incur. It’s a straw mans argument essentially, that the pay the players crowd makes. I have said it before and will again but it is a reflection of our covetous society. Thirty years ago the players had the same essential deal and no one complained. Now because of the TV money some people feel they are exploited? If they are being exploited then why aren’t the high school kids being exploited? Don’t give me it’s because there is so much money in the sport. Not one of the student athletes playing today had anything to do with the TV contracts or the expanded popularity of the sport or the much nicer facilities they get the benefit of.
    This model in the article above would greatly increase cheating and exponentially increase the difficulty in over-site while serving to devalue higher education. Again as I’ve said before most of the people clamoring for this model, if they get it, will almost certainly regret it when the dust settles on all of this.

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  15. South FL Dawg

    He’s right. And besides it’s at will employment.

    The biggest problem is that the exit strategy for the Emmerts and McGaritys is to max out what they get paid now. It’s like the corporate exec that just wants to get paid for all his stock options that haven’t vested. Selling the company beats operating it for them. If you aren’t going to be there in the future you don’t care except to close the deal.

    Then after them you’ve got battalions of staffers that are a notch above the players but they are trying to get a bigger piece of the pie. Who do you pay first.

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