We must defend our bank accounts.

Give credit to Mark Emmert.  He’s not even trying to pretend being even-handed with this quote:

“The most fundamental principle here …is whether or not we want to have college sports as it exists today,” Emmert said. “That is student-athletes playing student-athletes. Or whether we want to move toward a model where these are employees that are compensated whether directly or indirectly for their performances. And universities and colleges have very consistently said they don’t want to have student-athletes become employees of a university. They don’t want them to be playing for compensation. They want these young men and young women to be part of a higher education environment.”

No mention there of what those young men and women want.  And why should there be?  Emmert doesn’t answer to them.

Of course, this is Emmert talking, so even if the greed is laid bare, there’s still plenty of bullshit to go around.  What’s conveniently ignored is that players are already being paid, with scholarships, room and board and COA stipends.  Not to mention this:

Two years ago, Texas swimmer Joseph Schooling was paid $753,000 by his native Singapore for winning a gold medal at the Olympics. One year later, he was not only eligible to compete at the NCAA Swimming Championships, he also won six medals.

Somehow, an NCAA athlete getting paid three quarters of a million dollars didn’t run the amateur model into a ditch.

Just don’t let those dollars get anywhere near football or basketball players, though.

Give Dodd credit, too.  He had the stones to point that out to Emmert, who had a classic response.

Those athletes can be paid by their sanctioning bodies and home countries because, well, swimming doesn’t matter. No one who cares about the amateur model cares about swimming. The NCAA allows elite swimmers to collect up to $1,750 a month as a stipend.

Ah, but buy a 14-year-old budding point guard on the AAU circuit a lunch, and we’ve got a major problem.

According to USA Swimming, professionals can be paid $3,000 a month. That’s the difference that led five-time Olympic gold medalist and 14-time world champion Katie Ledecky to leave Stanford’s pool this week and turn pro.

There is no doubt college athletics is a better place with Ledecky swimming. But it’s not Ledecky that rejected college athletics; it’s the NCAA that has rejected her.

“I think you described nicely one of the challenges that was put in front of the [Rice] Commission itself,” Emmert told me.

There is no financial challenge the schools and the NCAA can’t ignore, if it would affect the bottom line.  But they’ll ignore it nicely, at least.

The hypocrisy, it burns.  The bank accounts, they fill.

23 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

23 responses to “We must defend our bank accounts.

  1. UGA '97

    The dam is springing leaks at a faster rate and Emmert’s trying to cover all those holes with his hands, his feet…this is comical.

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  2. FarmerDawg

    I still say let the athletes sign their own deals. Take the NCAA and schools out of it. If an Alabama booster wants to give a million dollar endorsement deal to Albert Means or Ole Miss Wants Laremy Tunsel that bad so be it.

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  3. kfoge

    How would payroll taxes, et cetera, be handled in this situation (i.e. paying athletes as employees? SS taxes, Medicare taxes, Fed and State taxes. Are you looking at 200 more employees (all sports)? I don’t have the answer, I’m inquiring if they would have to be treated like employees.

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    • Got Cowdog

      They don’t have to be treated as employees. The NCAA doesn’t have to have anything to do with it. The NCAA wants to have control over it (at the school/ conference behest) to keep sponsorship dollars at the NCAA/Conference/University AA level instead of the sponsors paying the players directly. They are screwing the players out of the NLI money they (the players) should be making to protect their own interests with a bullshit rule that likely is unlawful and should be done away with.

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      • Got Cowdog

        AND (while I’m ranting) their arrogant and obstinate unwillingness to acknowledge that the athletes are a large part of the true value of their product as the bloated salary’s and facilities budgets are exposed only adds to the reasoning that their treatment of players is at best unfair, illegal at worst. Recent lawsuits indicate it’s shortsighted, and frankly, offensive and dumb.
        Kareem Abdul-Jabaar was quoted in one of the links yesterday referring to the NCAA’s practices as ‘Indentured servitude”. I’ve called it that since I’ve been involved in this discussion. Indentured servitude went completely away with the 13th Amendment if memory serves correctly. That makes it unconstitutional as well as grating on my somewhat unreliable moral compass.

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      • FarmerDawg

        Exactly, a completely market driven system Title 9 compliant and the only regulation would be registering the agents.

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    • They can be contractors … they can be employees. It doesn’t matter.

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  4. Got Cowdog

    What an absolute tool. “Swimmers? Who the f@#! cares about swimmers?”
    I honestly hope the NCAA is forced, forced (!) to allow players free hand at compensation outside of their scholarships. I would love to see Deandre swift or Jake Fromm win the Heisman, hire Jimmy “NCAA Slayer” Sexton, get plastered all over the television for a couple of million bucks and not give a nickel of it to that shitbird or his organization. Then win the Heisman again the following year. AND stay for their senior season ’cause they don’t have to gamble with their future (as much).
    Bleep. Bleep, blank, bleep. What an asshole.

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  5. “And universities and colleges have very consistently said they don’t want to have student-athletes become employees of a university. They don’t want them to be playing for compensation. They want these young men and young women to be part of a higher education environment.”

    I just came from breakfast with a good friend whose son plays in a non-revenue sport at a P5 school (on partial scholarship) … It’s studying and the sport (practice, travel, events, work-outs, etc.). There is no “higher education environment” even for these men and women in the non-revenue sports much less those who play sports where everyone around them is getting paid (and getting rich) as a result of their labor.

    Mark Emmert, one thing you are good at is being a hypocrite.

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  6. AusDawg85

    Try as I might, I can’t follow Emmert’s logic (which, to be fair, he’s not stating is his logic, but that of the member institutions). University researchers and grad students get paid and are “competing” for results, research grants, prestige, etc. “We” are OK with this because it seems so closely tied to academics. But Big Time professional college sports does not seem to fit the academic model “we” cherish.

    Is the solution really so hard? Can the member institutions not police themselves by requiring legitimate academic progress and limiting the time and energy permitted to go towards sports? (That’s rhetorical…we already know the answer is a resounding “NO”). If Jake Fromm wants to earn $100,000 in endorsements and go to QB camps run by pro teams, great for him (and us!). As long as he goes to class and maintains his passing average, how is he not part of the university student experience?

    Now…this would and does hurt those who are not able to meet academic eligibility requirements and denied opportunities in their youth to have a chance at success. I’d like to see the resources of state universities and colleges go back towards improving the primary education system rather than stockpiling endowment funds and building huge monuments for bloated administrations.

    I’m truly coming to the realization that the American Legacy will not be one of Exceptionalism, but degradation following in the footsteps of the Roman Empire. Wow…that’s a pretty heavy rant for a Friday morning!

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    • Got Cowdog

      ” I’d like to see the resources of state universities and colleges go back towards improving the primary education system rather than stockpiling endowment funds and building huge monuments for bloated administrations.”
      You have no idea how much what you speak of would help if properly and equitably applied. My current employment is K-12 heavy (facilities, not education) and I am appalled at the apathy and general ineptitude that I see now and where our future is concerned. I can say that the involved parent (not just in athletics but producing well rounded, intelligent, responsible young adults) is the best solution. Unfortunately that requires sacrifice and effort for an end result not readily realized and that is rarely seen these days.
      Good post, Bro.

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  7. Hobnail_Boot

    “What’s conveniently ignored is that players are already being paid, with scholarships, room and board and COA stipends.”

    You just unwittingly undid years of myopic blogging.

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    • Not sure what that is supposed to mean.

      If you’re trying to say I’ve argued players aren’t compensated, that’s not accurate. My position is that they aren’t fairly compensated. Big difference.

      Apologies if that’s not what your point is.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hobnail_Boot

        Then I’ve misunderstood your stance. Apologies and thanks for the clarification.

        In your opinion, are we asking too much of the impotent NCAA to set clear guidelines as to what “fair” compensation might look like? Not only have they proven inept at managing most things they touch, but w/r/t the revenue sports, the pro leagues have zero incentive to change the current model.

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  8. AthensHomerDawg

    The USA Olympic powers that be adopted the rule ( pay to metal) in 2001. Singapore in 2015. (20% of Joe’s check is kicked back to the team). Hypothetically I guess if Joseph were a 2 sport athlete at UGA he could swim and play for Kirby. Sony could compete in track and perhaps Chub could be on the bobsled team. If the Olympic basketball team were not pro’s I’m guessing they could be paid if they metal and continue bb for their college team. By the way Canada only pays $20,000 to their gold metal swimmer. -1 for the Canadians for defending that bank account. Cheapskates!!

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  9. JasonC

    First, let me say that I’m generally in the “players should get compensated” camp, but if I understand the quoted text correctly, the comparison is $36,000 a year as a professional swimmer vs. a tuition-free experience at Stanford. Is that right? For an in-state student, that’s about $62,000 at a very good school. And if she can collect $1750 in stipend, then I’m not sure how smart a deal it was to leave. I guess it all depends on how much she can make in endorsements.

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    • She’s going to make Michael Phelps’ money in endorsements.

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      • JasonC

        That’s what I figured, but wasn’t sure exactly how much money the endorsements would be. I mean, Beau Kittredge might be the best athlete you don’t know in his sport. And whatever endorsement money he’s earning is likely less than $62,000 + a stipend.

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    • The thing I hate most about this discussion from the folks that are adamant about not paying players it that argue as if this is a binary process (i.e. you either can’t cash in on your name and likeness and get a scholarship or as soon as you cash in on name and likeness, you don’t get a scholarship).

      A school like Stanford can still offer an athlete like Ledecky a scholarship to come and join their swim team while Ledecky can cash in on her Olympic fame through third party endorsements. It doesn’t have to be one or another. Stanford surely benefits from having a talent like Ledecky on the team and she benefits from being able to cash in on her well earned fame.

      As the Senator has stated numerous times – there’s no argument that a level of compensation already exists, it’s whether that compensation is fair. Some folks clearly believe it is fair (they’re wrong, but certainly entitled to their wrong opinion), but methinks the NCAA and its schools would be wise to budge on the Olympic model before Kessler whips their asses in court and they’re forced to figure things out in a direct pay for play model that will cost far more than if they just gave up on the idea that athletes shouldn’t be able to cash in on their own NIL’s.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Huntindawg

    Ok, I hope I’m not out of line here if I continue to repeat the same statement in response to these posts. P5 college football and basketball is either a pro endeavor or it’s not. There is no way it can be a little pregnant. I don’t think it’s pregnant yet, but it is certainly in the formative stages.

    I think Emmert is just saying that the NCAA and its member institutions don’t want professional sports. I’m no Emmert apologist, but I think that’s a pretty fair statement of their position.

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    • P5 college football and basketball is either a pro endeavor or it’s not. There is no way it can be a little pregnant.

      It already is a little bit pregnant, when it comes to player compensation. They’re getting COA stipend checks from the school, solely because they’re student-athletes.

      And when you’ve got head coaches making north of $5 million a year, I have a hard time pretending there’s nothing professional going on.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Chopdawg

    I don’t understand why Texas hasn’t been penalized by the NCAA for allowing an athlete who they knew accepted money continue to compete for the team.

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