“The NCAA may say one thing. Its pocket book says another.”

More absurdity from the college basketball scandal:

That included Gatto and Adidas allegedly doling out a $45,000 payment to a North Carolina State recruit, Dennis Smith Jr. That transaction, the indictment charges, came at the request of a Wolfpack coach so Smith wouldn’t back out of his commitment to the school. Gatto was charged with defrauding NC State, although how you can defraud a place when you’re acting at the behest of a key employee is an intriguing concept.

It also included Gatto being asked to help an unnamed but easily identified high school star, 6-foot-9 Silvio De Sousa, so that he would attend Kansas. The problem was that De Sousa, according to the indictment, “had received illicit payments in return for a commitment to steer the student-athlete to a university sponsored by a rival athletic apparel company.” De Sousa was considered by recruiting experts to be a near lock to attend Maryland, which is sponsored by Under Armour. In order for De Sousa to attend KU, his guardian, via an Adidas-sponsored AAU coach, was allegedly asking Adidas to “repay the [original] illicit payment.” Gatto allegedly approved. Later, there was an additional request for “‘another $20,000’ ” payment to get ” ‘out from under’ the deal to attend the [other] school.”

The problem isn’t one-and-done, agents or a lack of NCAA enforcement.  The problem is that major college athletics have become obscenely profitable.  Ironically, when it comes to basketball, that’s on the NCAA itself.  As Dan Wetzel writes,

College basketball is its own multibillion-dollar business. It has its own motivations. Age rule or no age rule, tickets will be sold, television deals inked and coaches expected to win. The game was no less competitive or cutthroat before the age-limit rule when the best high schoolers went directly to the NBA. Just because LeBron wasn’t available, revenue, salaries and competition went up.

You really want to put a halt to all this?  Take the big money out of college athletics and it goes away tomorrow.  The odds of that happening are about the same as the NFL starting its own minor league.  But if it makes you feel better to blame the pros, have at it.

18 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

18 responses to ““The NCAA may say one thing. Its pocket book says another.”

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    Your statement about taking the big money out can apply to numerous endeavors. Ain’t gonna happen amigo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sorry… are you under the impression I thought it might happen?

      It ain’t gonna happen any more than the NFL doing something against its financial interest, which was kind of the point of my post.

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      • Hogbody Spradlin

        I prolly shoulda said exactly what I was thinking, which is that getting the money out of big time college athletics has as much chance as getting it out of politics, but I got cute.

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  2. Boz

    Take the money out of the athletic department and into the academic institution and be able to offer free admission to students.. would that be a terrible thing?

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    • As long as the schools are getting the bucks, there will be a financial incentive to direct players to a particular program.

      The issue isn’t where the money’s going. It’s simply that the money is going.

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  3. Sides

    Respectfully, I haven’t blamed pros for the money in college sports. I blame the pros for limiting the options of high school athletes. You seem to be very concerned about the NCAA making a lot of money on poorly compensated athletes. I think the reason they are poorly compensated is they are not allowed by the pro leagues to make money off their talents, forcing them into NCAA servitude. We don’t have a problem if any other group of people skip college to make money or if people forgo wages to further their skills through education.

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    • From Wetzel’s article:

      De Sousa was considered a very good recruit, maybe top 25 or 30 in the country, but a far cry from the top five that could truly make or break a team such as Kansas. He would go on to play 8.8 minutes a game this season, averaging 4.0 points and 3.7 rebounds for the Jayhawks.

      He was also not considered a sure-bet “one and done” who would hit the 2018 NBA lottery (he hasn’t declared for the draft). As a power forward he fit no prototype that would lead any shoe company to think of him as a future endorser.

      He was just a guy. Yet “just a guy” is worth that much money and that much work for multiple people because of his value to college basketball. The NCAA may say one thing. Its pocket book says another.

      NBA draft rules would have no bearing on the De Sousas of the world. If the top 20 recruits all go pro, then Nos. 21-40 become the most valuable recruits to college programs and thus the most valuable to shoe companies who are eager to aid their investments in college athletics.

      Just how many kids do you think the NBA can sign?

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      • Sides

        They have a development league so a lot more than the players on NBA rosters. If De Sousa can’t make a G league team then he probably shouldn’t break NCAA rules, he might need that education.

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        • So what you seem to be saying is that with the developmental league option, eventually schools would hit the point where student-athletes would have no value in the market place, despite the billions of dollars people pay to watch. You really think that makes sense?

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          • Sides

            Honestly, nothing you just said makes sense to me. Colleges have compensation packages (scholarship, nutrition, coaching…) and D leagues have compensation (straight cash). The high school athlete can take whatever route he wants to get to the pros. If more players go D league, NCAA will increase compensation. If the D league wants to attract talent it will pay more than NCAA. Either way the players win. Competition is good for the consumer.

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            • If more players go D league, NCAA will increase compensation.

              LMAO. I thought the whole point to this was so that the NCAA wouldn’t have to pay players. If you’re okay with that, why the need to run D-League competition? After all, the P5 conferences are competitors. Just let them set the market.

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              • Sides

                If the NCAA sees a large portion of the high school talent going to the development leagues they will certainly increase their compensation package to attract more talent. If their business is threatened by competition they will react. They could decide to let the talent go pro and focus on the student athlete experience but I think we all know that is a sham. They have invested a lot of money in stadiums and facilities to let those go empty.

                I see the P5 conferences as competitors like the Falcons and Panthers are competitors. They compete on the field and one may make more money than the other, but they operate under the same set of rules (NFL) and their relationship is mutually beneficial. Basically they are not competitors. The NCAA was ruled a cartel (I don’t know if you heard) so how could you expect the member institutions to set the market without outside competition?

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                • Got Cowdog

                  Aaannd ……..we’re back to the Baseball model.

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                  • Sides

                    Is that good or bad?

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                    • Got Cowdog

                      I don’t know. Seems to work for MLB. I’m curious as to how much competition there is between bus leagues and universities for players.
                      My feeling is the minors are a throw back to a time when baseball was THE sport, and they supplied a need for entertainment that has long since been filled by television. Now I think they are as much a player pool as they are a developmental league.
                      Cool Ray field is a great place to watch baseball, tho.

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                • Basically they are not competitors.

                  Tell that to Jim Delany and Greg Sankey the next time broadcast contracts come up for bid. Or conference realignment takes place.

                  Cost of living stipends are set by the conferences, not the NCAA.

                  The conferences are independently operated. The same case in which the NCAA was ruled a cartel also found the conferences to be in competition with each other. Doesn’t sound like you heard. 😉

                  You seem to be in agreement with me that more competition would be a good thing for student-athletes. Letting go of amateurism is something entirely within the control of the NCAA and would lead to more competition. Nobody has to wait on the NBA and NFL. Problem solved!

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  4. Slightly off topic: I was reading last night where American Athletic Conference athletic departments (at least the top 5 programs or so) receive between $18mil and $25mil in subsidies from the University each year. This basically includes 3 categories: (1) direct institutional support (2) indirect institutional support and (3) student fees. They cloak it all in smoke and mirrors and try to only count the direct institutional support—and they treat it all as revenue no different from operating revenue, but they’re still operating on an $18-25Mil annual shortfall.

    Holy hell ! It’s insane to me that some journalist / politician combo hasn’t lit into this. Pretty egregious if you ask me.

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