Today, in slippery slopes

It sounds like Iowa’s athletic director is having some sleepless nights because of Jeffrey Kessler.

Iowa athletic director Gary Barta said Thursday he is concerned that a pending lawsuit against the NCAA may flip the current college sports model on its head.

“I disagree that we should have an open-market, pay-for-play (system in which) student-athletes are employees,” Barta told reporters after the monthly meeting of the Presidential Committee on Athletics.

Last week, a federal judge ordered the NCAA back to court to defend its limits on the compensation college athletes can receive. A trial was set for Dec. 3. The plaintiffs are seeking a system that would apply only to major-college football and Division I men’s and women’s basketball players.

That’s one aspect that worries Barta.

“What does that do for all the other sports? What does it do for other challenges like Title IX?” Barta wondered. “Right now, we have 24 sports and they’re funded primarily through football and men’s basketball. So what happens to all our Olympic sports? I’m just concerned about all the possible dominoes that could occur.”

Must suck that you aren’t good at dominoes — if, by “dominoes”, you mean doing the same thing that every chief executive of a big business in this country does every day.

Here’s Iowa’s financial reality.

You know what really bothers assholes like Barta?  Having to do their job.  Life is so much easier when you have more money rolling in than you know what to do with it.

Why is Barta an asshole?  Because it’s not just about him.

That’s the so-called “Olympic model” of sports. Barta rejected that notion as well.

“This is about a student-athlete experience. Our student-athletes graduate at a very high rate and they come here to do two things — compete at the highest level in the sport that they love and earn a degree from one of the great universities in the country. And they come here with that in mind, not to be an employee,” Barta said.

“I think the Olympic model is unique to the Olympics. … I like the collegiate model. It doesn’t mean it can’t be improved. It doesn’t mean it’s perfect. The collegiate model has worked for 100 and some years. It’s a great model that can be made better, but not flip and turn into an employee and employer relationship.”

This is why these guys oppose the Olympic model for college.  They’re scared shitless that a court is going to see outside compensation as the camel’s nose inside the tent, and — poof! — that hundred years of exploitation goes up in smoke.  Then Gary Barta would have to work for a living.  No wonder he’s uneasy.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

32 responses to “Today, in slippery slopes

  1. These people who run P5 athletic departments really are stupid.


  2. ChiliDawg

    I’m surprised Gary Barta hasn’t been tapped for a cabinet position in the Trump administration yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Gaskilldawg

    Barta does not know his history. College football in 1918 included players who got paid to play.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 92 grad

    I continue to be in awe of the amounts of money athletic departments take in since the television networks arrived. I also think it’s comical how AD’s pretend to need the money so badly. It’s as if football didn’t exist before these annual $30mil checks landed in their laps.


  5. UGA '97

    It’s not “pay for play” as if the “pay” must be earned by W-2 employees as they keep putting out there . Problem with schools’ ADs and Pesidents saying this, is that the pay guarantee is already earned up front for 5 years plus the stipends, regardless of whether the student athletes play or sit on the bench (assuming grades/behavior remain good standing). Call it like it is…”pay for view.” The Olympic model will likely force their hand soon, so the jackasses need to just stop with the delay tactics.


  6. David K.

    AD’s are going to start changing their tune on endorsement deals and players selling their name and likeness soon. That way they can give way to the oncoming tide of player compensation without having schools have to stroke checks. That bone should keep the wolves at bay for the short term and colleges can continue to keep up the amateurism charade a little longer.


    • Cojones

      Sounds likely and it’s something that most people and alums could support in the interim. If it’s just between the school and the players, it would cut out the middlemen who are getting most of the money now.


  7. ZutaDawg

    I would be curious to know what is the budget for say women’s rugby at UGA versus Kirby and his assistants salaries? I don’t think the AD’s want us to know information like that, and that’s why I don’t know.


  8. Cojones

    Sorry to be so inattentive to have not read everything printed about paying players, but would it be too much for someone to tell me how this would work and not turn into an open bidding war with even more money offered under the table? How would this pay plan support the team concept of both sports when some players on the line may not like clearing the way with their $400 asses to let the $400,000 RBs race through? Talk about a slippery slope! What’s to keep the newbie rich from antagonizing the old poor on a team by driving across campus in his new Porsche with the pick of the litter UGA womanhood by his side?

    Since no one has proposed a system whereby inequities among players is avoided, I have come to believe that no such system exists for the changes proposed. After losing the current model of team play for one that promotes team dissention, standing and watching the chaos while scratching my head as to what to do doesn’t fit into any thinking that will have a future promotion through the ADs and athletic departments. There go the donations and then college football and BBall will be supported only in a professional model paid for by TV with supplements from NFL teams. Imagination doesn’t have to be stretched to see influence from NFL teams to promote certain teams with proven success that will benefit the training of the guy they want in a few years when their current crop of employees begin to wear down, therefore, they could supply under the table money to put him in position for the future draft rights they could exercise like the well-oiled plan they set out to begin with 3 years before.

    Putting forth a change without regard to consequences is not something I wish to experiment with the Dawgs right now. Writing this in a milieu that supports the status quo with ADs and athletic depts. doesn’t make me feel any rosier either. A well thought out plan that has a little depth for future events that can occur in an employee-employer system in college sports would be welcomed in order for me to agree with my conscience when changing the current system, otherwise we are parading around with signs to protest the inability of blogging words to get the system changed.


    • “would it be too much for someone to tell me how this would work and not turn into an open bidding war with even more money offered under the table?”

      The Olympic model would be a great place to start. Allow student-athletes to earn money from their name & likeness if the market allowed them such. Back off on the off-season requirements that have made this a job to enable an upperclassman who isn’t going to play professionally the opportunity to get an internship and leg up on a future career. Simplify the NCAA rule book to the stuff that’s really important and make the penalties harsh for both the school and the S-A for violations.

      “How would this pay plan support the team concept of both sports when some players on the line may not like clearing the way with their $400 asses to let the $400,000 RBs race through?”

      Why does the team concept work in professional sports using your logic (the guy who makes the league minimum playing side by side with a guy making $10,000,000+ per year)? Why does everything have to be about wealth envy? It’s about supply & demand. Any pure pay-for-play system will be handled through a contract between the school and the student-athlete. Likely the S-A will get a 5-year commitment from the university for his services as part of his recruiting. The compensation would be driven by the demand for said player’s services and the potential of that prospect to be successful as a college student-athlete primarily on the field. One year a big time left tackle prospect may get the best package. Another year it might be a hot-shot QB. In another it may be a dominant pass rusher or linebacker. Some guys who want a shot are going to be willing to take less for their services for a guarantee to play for “Name Your Coach” rather than the mid-tier P5 program.

      The laws of economics have a way of working all of these things out.


      • Tony Barnfart

        i think he’s saying the Olympic model, unregulated by the University, would produce the inequities he is concerned about.


        • TB, I didn’t read it that way. Cojones can speak for himself, but it appeared he didn’t think a different model would change matters about money “under the table.” That’s why I hate the “socialist” model of everyone gets the same amount … that truly doesn’t eliminate the “illegal” (in the minds of the NCAA) payments.

          Honestly, the Olympic model doesn’t eliminate it either. No one is going to make a commitment to an incoming freshman for an endorsement deal, etc. without proven on-field performance. The Olympic model makes it possible for Todd Gurley to earn some money off his name & likeness aboveboard rather than signing items in the back of someone’s car or for AJ Green to sell his own personal property without NCAA oversight. The Olympic model also allows that defensive lineman who made a big sack to win a game the ability to accept that $100 handshake without retribution from the NCAA (if the rule book allowed it).

          The only way to get the bagmen out of recruiting is a pure pay-for-play model that is clearly the most controversial option for reforming college athletics. Each S-A and his/her representative negotiates the best deal and also has the ability to earn money from his name and likeness. If the SEC wants to institute a “salary cap,” that’s the conference’s business. If the Big 10 wants to keep the status quo, that’s their business. If the ACC wants to have no cap, best to them.


          • Tony Barnfart

            “no one is going to make a commitment before on field performance”

            Buddy, they paid Cam’s daddy’s church 180k to sign. What are you talking about ?!? If this is yalls idea of a good “olympic model” (news flash: this isn’t truly the olympic model), then we can agree to disagree. I think this model would suck and stink up the game.


            • The Olympic model is about trading on name and likeness. The Olympic model would keep the existing model of “amateurism” in place with the NCAA but would allow for earning for endorsements, autograph sessions, etc.


    • CB

      Everyone getting paid the same is socialism. Does everyone get paid the same at your job? Do you think big ugly linemen get the same women as Jacob Eason did? Life isn’t fair.


      • I thought getting paid what you’re worth is the definition of fairness.


        • CB

          Economically it is, but if you want to get technical it’s not fair that Stafford was born with a laser rocket arm and I wasn’t, but let’s not get bogged down in semantics, Senator. You and I are solidly on the same side in this discussion. Let’s just enjoy it before the next post about playoff expansion or Mike Bobo’s value comes back up lol.


        • doofusdawg

          I thought paying your fair share was the definition of fairness


          • ASEF

            American economic definitions:

            “Fair”: I get more, you get less.

            “Socialism”: I get less, you get more, even though you don’t deserve it. Because I believe in fairness.

            “Capitalism”: I get more, you get less, which I totally deserve. Because I believe in fairness.


      • W Cobb Dawg

        Even my 7 year old granddaughter understands all congressmen get paid the same, regardless of the state or district they represent.


        • CB

          States also have differing numbers of congressmen depending on population. Also, Congress can vote themselves raises. So that really doesn’t correlate. What was your next point?


    • Gaskilldawg

      The professional leagues provide a model. In the NBA and NFL the collective bargaining agreements provide that a certain percentage of specified revenues go to player salaries. Each player is guaranteed a minimum. Teams can allocate the excess over the minimum and under a cap among its players as the teams and players choose.

      The conferences can agree, on a conference level and not on an NCAA level that players get a certain percentage of revenues, divided among scholarshipped athletes on a pro rate basis. That pro rata distribution is what makes it different from the professionals.

      The O’Bannon courts upheld the NCAA’s right to prohibit “bidding wars.” The NCAA could continue to outlaw booster bidding just as it does now. The NCAA rules would prohibit getting more than the conference allowed.

      As far as your concern about the inequities of all players getting the same, that is what we have now. All UGA football and basketball players get the same scholarship with the same value, the same Cost of Attendance stipend and even the same post-season swag. You have not complained about that, so Chubb getting the same as Sam Madden does not bother you or make you fear unintended dire consequences.

      I am not saying my suggestion is perfect response but I thought of it in just a few minutes. I am sure those brainiac half million dollar a year types can figure something just as workable, or more, if it is their job to do so.


  9. TN Dawg

    The tweet here is less than truthful with its numbers.

    The Iowa A.D. has posted a loss for the last few years even with the increased revenues.

    It would be highly unlikely they would be able to pay 200 atheletes $400,000 per year and remain solvent.


    • I love a less than truthful numbers argument about athletic department finances, because if there’s a place where there’s almost no transparency about the calculations, it’s there.

      But even if you want to take that at face value, what does it say about a business that increases its revenues over 12 years by 250%, doesn’t add a single new sport and loses money?


  10. Some guy

    I’m for a free market too, which means schools like Iowa have the freedom to eliminate any and all sports at their discretion. Markets with disruption will never be fair because every special interest group wants a piece of the action. Disrupted markets always create victims. Today’s victim may be the student athlete, but be careful what you ask for because an unintended consequence is just around the corner when you disrupt a market.


  11. Cojones

    I appreciate the thoughtful answers to parts of questions that were asked and answered seriously, especially by Gaskilldawg and eethomaswfnc. I’ll have a couple of extra cookies in my pocket for you guys on G-Day.

    Liked by 1 person