Nobody’s holding a gun to their heads and making them go to college, right?

For those of you who believe playing the “no one is forcing these kids to go to college” card is an effective rebuttal to the whole student-athlete compensation argument, here’s some food for thought.  If you’re in the mood to think about it, I mean.

64 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

64 responses to “Nobody’s holding a gun to their heads and making them go to college, right?

  1. illini84

    We don’t need none of them smarty pants professors around here!

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  2. Charlottedawg

    I’m sorry but people who support amatuerism have zero interest in critical thinking or intellectual consistentcy much less want to learn basic economic principles. I’m sure these same folks would be totally fine if every employer in the industry they work in banded together and decreed that each firm has agreed to no longer pay its employees but will instead provide room and board and access to training facilities. After all nobody’s making these employees work in xyz industry, they are free to go flip burgers at McDonald’s instead. Also these employees get to put the employer’s prestigious name on their resume, that’s way better than like a paycheck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ellis

      I don’t think you know how much you do understand “basic economic principles”. Your “what if” scenario of the world is exactly how economics works in real life.

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      • ChiliDawg

        ummm…… what?

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      • Charlottedawg

        My what if scenario is real life? So your employer has made an agreement with every other employer in your industry to cap wages at room and board, aka they don’t pay you and neither would any other firm in your industry? If that’s the case then maybe you really should consider switching careers. My guess is you get a paycheck and would howl with indignation (justifiably so) if your employer only paid you room and board or tried to restrict your ability to leave for a competing firm or colluded with competing firms to suppress wages in your industry. It would also make your stance on student athlete compensation completely hypocritical.

        I think my industry is a pretty accurate representation of “the real world”. It’s a really competitive industry and firms are constantly looking for ways to take market share and make more money. Since these same firms don’t and are not allowed to cap employee compensation they will often dangle very attractive pay packages to talented employees to get said employee to leave his or her current firm, because said employees especially in my industry have a direct effect on how much additional money his or her employer can make, exactly the same as a talented football or basketball player would for a college team. That’s how economics in an open and competitive market place work. Employees go to the firm that pays (a proxy) for values them the most. What I’ve described in no way resembles college athletics at least not in regard to the players.

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        • Ellis

          Wages are not capped at room and board, but wages are capped by the market based on skills needed, especially since we are talking about entry level positions. And while it is not room and board, healthcare is a major factor in many people’s salary decision. Salaries grow with experience. So to make the comparison to football, employees with no experience often do take a lower salary initially for better future earnings and incidentals like healthcare, company cars, etc. in exchange for experience, training, and prestige of certain companies names on their resume. Signing an NDA or non compete contract is also very common. That is real life. Once you have proven yourself, depending on the choices you have made, then you can demand the higher wages that the market supports or a professional athlete commands.

          Bring it back to college athletics. If I have two offers, one from Auburn and one from Stanford. Which is better? It depends on the student. Does he want to be a vet or live closer to home in Alabama? That may be his decision. But if he wants a career in computer science, then Stanford would clearly be the best choice. The scholarship is worth what the athletes wants it to be. Stanford is clearly more valuable from a monetary standpoint for the kid interested in computer science based on prestige of the institution, the higher future earning potential of the career, contacts the student will make, and of the course the cost of the college. Same type choices an entry level person makes in any industry.

          The athletes are not victims and being offered over a hundred thousand dollars to play a sport and prepare for life is a pretty good deal.

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          • ChiliDawg

            You’re an idiot.

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            • Otto

              Grad Students do research for the University and what compensation do they receive and how much money does the school get? They are working for free, where is the cry for them to get paid?

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              • DaddyRichATL

                When was the last time you shelled out $70 to watch a grad student work? I must have missed the news bulletin where the Science or History channel signed a billion dollar deal with the conferences to air research content on their networks.
                Thanks for playing.

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            • Ellis

              “ummm…… what?”
              “You’re an idiot.”

              Deeply intellectual responses there chilidawg. I’m really impressed and obviously swayed to change my thoughts by your adept persuasion skills and impressive ability to rebut an argument.

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              • ChiliDawg

                Your comments weren’t worth more than five words in response. Besides, you’re not the type who’s going to be persuaded by silly things like facts and logic.

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                • Ellis

                  Not by your child like intellect and lack of real world experience for sure. I know this is hard but perhaps you should think before you just spout off two syllable words.

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                • ChiliDawg

                  Your appeal to intellectual authority in light of your displayed stupidity is exceptionally comical.

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                • Ellis

                  You still haven’t refuted my argument which tells me you cannot.

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                • ChiliDawg

                  “Your argument?” You’re the one who shit on Charlotte for his lack of knowledge of “basic economic principles,” and then promptly demonstrated how you didn’t actually understand what the fuck you were talking about. What do I have to refute? You’ve already done it. Go make me a balloon, clown.

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                • Ellis

                  Wow, this shouldn’t be so frustrating that you have to cuss. Just tell me where you disagree. When you mature you will hear it referred to as a discussion.

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          • Once you have proven yourself, depending on the choices you have made, then you can demand the higher wages that the market supports…

            Just curious — has a sophomore who’s named an All-American, or, even better, a freshman who wins the Heisman Trophy and becomes the most marketable collegiate athlete in America proven himself?

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            • Ellis

              Good question. I would say yes. But, that is a different discussion. I would have no problem if an NFL or NBA team were to give the kid a chance.

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  3. Hogbody Spradlin

    A lot of opposition to paying players is motivated by a decent sense of amateur purity, then dressed up in economic rationales. Give the opponents (well some of them anyway) a little credit for thinking nice thoughts.

    “Oh, but there, Mr. Abrahams, I’m afraid our paths diverge.
    You see, this university believes that the way of the amateur…
    …is the only one to provide satisfactory results.”

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    • Actually, I agree with you on this. That’s why I wish those who favor the status quo would limit themselves to the aesthetic argument, instead of trying to dress it up with economic clothing they clearly don’t understand.

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  4. Tim Rankine

    Get that poster an editor/proofreader, stat!

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  5. If you like amateurism, just admit you’re a romantic and move along. I was with you once, but AJ Green and Todd Gurley changed it all for me.

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  6. HiAltDawg

    Pay players, don’t pay players–we’re still gonna be treated like ATM’s by the UGA Athletic Association; and, I’m Sucker #1.

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  7. Ellis

    What is the point of Andy’s tweet? Who is “decrying the rise in coaches salaries”? A good coach will earn what the market demands. Does someone object to that?
    Not sure how that is related to players. Student-athletes are already compensated fairly through the competitive scholarship process. Why fix something that isn’t broken?

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    • Atticus

      Agreed, but a a lost argument on this board. Poor kids. Getting several hundred thousand dollars in scholarship money and food and housing and yet they are being taken advantage of…..

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      • If they would receive more in an open market, they are being taken advantage of.

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        • Atticus

          You and I will never agree on this but I just laugh at the fact that a kids free choice, to go anywhere, or not, don’t sign then…..get paid hundreds of thousands of dollars and get a free education, food housing and medical care and they are being taken advantage of…..

          Can it be a better system, absolutely. The stipend was a good step. I would think so form of paid up health insurance for life would be another.

          What open market, its not an open market because its not a competitive marketplace. There is one league. Sue the league then. But to say they are taken advantage of is ridiculous.Do you know how many millions of kids would jump at the chance to be taken advantage of the same way…

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          • There isn’t one league. There are five power conferences.

            Again, the question isn’t whether players are receiving compensation. Clearly, they are. The question is whether in the current market setting they are receiving fair compensation for their contribution. So don’t laugh — tell me what you think would happen if the NCAA stopped enforcing amateurism tomorrow.

            I’m not arguing there isn’t a middle ground reasonable people couldn’t find. The problem for now is the NCAA isn’t run by reasonable people.

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            • Atticus

              So what you are proposing is an open market with the Power 5 or all?

              So kids coming out of high school are bid on by any and every school?

              Is that what you are proposing? Or a high school draft like baseball?

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              • Derek

                I’m no defender of the current system. To me the unfairness/exploitation comes from accepting kids who can’t/won’t take advantage of the university’s purpose (education) and neither side really seems to give a damn.

                For every Chris Conley, a kid who could have gotten into UGA on academic merit and who got in to the NFL on athletic merit, there are dozens of “one and dones” or “three and dones” just coasting by as best they can to stay eligible trying to stay healthy enough to cash those sweet pro league checks.

                If the university gave free educations to kids who got in school on academic merit and who excel at sports, no one would/could complain. It would be a mutually beneficial and fair arrangement. This is what was intended by college sports initially and that’s what we should go back to.

                The reason there are complaints is that the “one and dones” and “three and dones” want to be professionals NOW because there’s so much money and it isn’t flowing to their bank accounts. I don’t blame them, but I don’t think they should be admitted in the first instance. Colleges don’t have any obligation to become a pro league. The fact that many freak athlete knuckleheads of the world don’t have other options at 18 isn’t UGA’s problem, its the NFL’s and NBA’s and they shouldn’t have the guarantee that the NCAA with nursemaid their future talent.

                But to your point, I don’t see how you have a fair market without drafts, agents, cuts, re-negotiations, and eventually, unions, caps and strikes.

                Is it worth all that when we could simply play with the kids who got into school? I would imagine that if you took the average SEC school SAT/ACT and GPA for admittees and made that the conf. minimum that would solve all these issues without burning down the whole thing.

                A fair market, while no doubt fairer, would destroy the game. Playing football with conscripts on contract isn’t going to do anything but ruin college football. Plus its dumb to think that a HS kid from Miami may be subjected to being taken in the second round by the Minnesota Gophers.

                For those who think that you could substitute recruiting with negotiations, I think you’re short-sighted. Only a very few teams would and could pay to buy up all the talent. Your pool of possible national champs is small now, but at least there is the appearance that with the right coach and investments that your Stanford’s and Boise State’s and Iowa’s have a chance.

                You see the bidding wars between Auburn and Alabama and A&M and Texas and that concept will be shredded. Nationally, a completely free market would lead to a twelve team league max without controls like a draft.

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              • So what you are proposing is an open market with the Power 5 or all?

                So kids coming out of high school are bid on by any and every school?

                Is that what you are proposing? Or a high school draft like baseball?

                The only thing I’m proposing is a fairer approach to player compensation than amateurism.

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                • Derek

                  If you’re promoting something that is simply more fair, we should at least acknowledge that “fair” is subjective. We should also point out that the market isn’t exactly fair either. It does have the advantage of being objective.

                  If each scholly athlete in a revenue generating sport got X (x equals what the host calls fair) per year then you’d be happy even though the scholly kicker and the scholly qb don’t have the same value, risks or responsibilities, right?

                  I agree that this better than applying free market economics to college sports, but it must be pointed out that you’ve been using market arguments to achieve a socialist policy/end. Not that I have a problem with that. It certainly works great for the nfl.

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                • Jesus Christ.

                  If we can’t start by acknowledging that “fair” at a minimum means “not violating US antitrust law”, then I give up.

                  Liked by 1 person

      • Greg

        Tuition, room and board, food and etc. ain’t cheap. Those that get it (free), should feel fortunate/blessed.

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    • DawgPhan

      Imma say you didnt read the article.

      The article is about how the market for coaches is being inflated by collusion between the schools to not pay the players.

      And considering that a 21% excise tax was just passed on salaries above $1million at non-profits that seems to have at least been partially aimed at football coaches, there are people complaining about coaching salaries.

      as an aside…any of you tax guys out there know how that excise tax works on Coach Smart’s new contract? Is it wrong to think that UGA might be spending $1.2m/year in taxes on Smart’s contract?

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    • I love how you’ve determined s-as are compensated fairly with no facts just statements.

      Why isn’t what’s good for the coach good for the student-athlete?

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    • So, you think in an open market student-athletes wouldn’t receive any more compensation for their services than they do already? If so, why do you care if changes along that line are made?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Greg

    LAWD…..this thing just has you totally obsessed doesn’t it. The players know the system/rules before they even participate in it. If they do not like it, do not commit to it & find another way (prep for NFL/education) ……or, they can just “bitch”</>…….seems the way.

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    • As I posted, “If you’re in the mood to think about it…”. Obviously, the post wasn’t meant for you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Greg

        Obviously, I was in the mood….hence, the post. The players/athletes have choices, if they do not like the system….they should just move on and find another way. I am sure there are some that will step in and take advantage of free money (scholarship).

        Can’t wait to read your next post on the subject. Keep up the good fight!

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  9. DawgPhan

    was really hoping that we would get some passionate defenses of collusion in a free market.

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  10. ASEF

    Could someone sue the NCAA over the 85 counter rule? Or 25 schollies per year? Could Player 26 say, “Hey, I wanted Georgia and Georgia wanted me. Why does the NCAA get to cap supply of spots at Georgia?”

    The demand for these spots exceeds the supply exponentially. Why not let the free market determine how many guys Georgia can afford/wants to put on their football team?

    That’s the other side of this coin. The NCAA has created an environment where the value of those spots is inflated by arbitrarily limiting them to a number the least among them can handle (85).

    But it’s the insane demand for those spots that gives fuel to the “nobody is making them” argument. The enterprises that have sprung up to develop scholastic athletes into scholarship athletes are collectively a billion $ + industry.

    Those are pretty big elephants in this room.

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  11. In a fair market, free room and board and tuition is over compensation for the 3rd or 4th string player. Their compensation would need to be cut.

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    • In a fair market, compensation is determined by what the market pays, not by your personal sense of value. Only way that third string player’s comp would be cut would be if there wasn’t a program willing to pay it.

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      • You are correct. You don’t know if the compensation for a particular player will be more or less. You’re personal sense the all players will be compensated more is not based on facts.

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        • When have I ever said all players will be compensated more?

          Then again, if you count the COA as compensation, that’s exactly what happened the last time the NCAA was pushed.

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  12. Your, not you’re.

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  13. Macallanlover

    Cartels, guns to the heads, etc. etc. Overreact much guys? Hysteria abounds in this country so it isn’t shocking anymore, but while I can see some minor reform, your oft repeated wailing ignores the fact these folks are very well compensated as it is. Several hundred thousands of dollars for an intern getting on the job training, with the bonus of a side degree which could help them succeed in life if they don’t make it to the professional leagues is damned good.

    It is a team game, not an individual sport, and they enter with potential, not known value. So yes, pursue another career if this isn’t good enough. Not only are there other options, this particular model has worked well for decades and it would be nice if it weren’t torn down for the benefit of a few superstars. Equal benefits for starting RBs, etc. and scout team player during training. It all gets sorted out in the NFL, Canadian league, and Europe. It may be a feel good for you romantics who like to dwell on this 24/7, but it ignores the reasonable chance it destroys this opportunity for the athletes of the future. You may not share that opinion, but that is all this is about…opinions.

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    • Two courts have in fact ruled the NCAA is a cartel, so how is that an overreaction, Mac?

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      • Junkyardawg41

        From a historical standpoint, I wonder when (what year) the NCAA crossed over into being a Cartel. I get the court ruling defined it as such. Having said that, I am not sure anything about the NCAA over time has changed substantially except for the insane amount of money it generates. It just makes me wonder if you take away the money, is it still a cartel or is it the money that makes it a cartel.

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      • Macallanlover

        Scare word, hardly fits the general usage of the word historically, imo. And the American judicial system has not always been such a shining star, particularly this century. All opinions, you flakes shouldn’t get so testy about those who don’t fall to their knees.

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        • Asking a question makes me testy? LOL. I guess no one should question the great Mac’s takes on anything, then.

          At the risk of sounding testy again, what is the general usage of “cartel”, historically?

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    • Hysteria abounds in this country so it isn’t shocking anymore, but while I can see some minor reform, your oft repeated wailing ignores the fact these folks are very well compensated as it is.

      Claiming your own opinion as fact is certainly in line with the modern America you seem to decry.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. How is “fair” determined? I think an arms length negotiation between the 2 parties is really the only way. That could be accomplished if we let the players unionize and reach a collective bargaining agreement with the NCAA. It could even involve some sort of draft of HS players. If the players are just there to play football, they could major in “football” with classes where if you show up you pass. Not saying I would like it, but the players would no longer be getting screwed.

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    • junkyardawg41

      If the players unionize, they would now be considered employees. As an employee, I am not sure how the NCAA would enforce attendance in classes — much less attend, pass, etc. Furthermore, since we are talking about fair market, I am not sure how the NCAA could ever enforce only allowing a player to play 4 years. If Aaron Murray was a unionized employee with little chance of making a NFL roster, why couldn’t he play 10 years as a “college” player?

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      • That would have to be negotiated. It would definitely change college football, but I think that is going to happen anyway. Why not go ahead and change it in a way that is fair to everybody. The times are a-changing.

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