“In an ideal world, we wouldn’t limit college athlete compensation at all.”

Okay, we’re far from that, but this proposal, from a regent at the University of Minnesota, no less, is a pretty reasonable bridge the gap idea.

… I believe that if the NCAA wants to continue mandating amateurism while asserting that competitive equity is at stake, then it should allow the total compensation received by athletes at any school within a conference to be equal to the highest-value full ride within the same conference. Better still, the NCAA could permit total allowable compensation for every athlete in the nation to equal that of whichever school is the most expensive in a given year. (Northwestern’s full ride was the most expensive among all Division I schools in 2017-2018.) Either way, it sets a benchmark that reflects the current economic realities of college and short-circuits both the overt bidding wars that the NCAA professes to fear and the secret ones that it pretends not to know about.

Schools are already paying out COA stipends, so there’s nothing there that runs afoul of current NCAA rules and regs.  It’s just a massive equalization of the payout.  Simple, yet elegant.

He’s flexible about how the shell the money out, too.

The easiest method would be via cash payments—just increase the size of the cost of living stipends that athletes already receive and have the NCAA and its member schools declare that hunky-dory under the ever-shifting definition of amateurism. If they find that objectionable, they could always equalize compensation in other ways. How about tuition for graduate education? Or, if education really is as important as the NCAA claims, by placing deferred compensation into trust funds that athletes could access following graduation or upon the completion of a minimum number of credit hours.

Worth an honest debate, if such a thing is possible, anyway.


Filed under It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

11 responses to ““In an ideal world, we wouldn’t limit college athlete compensation at all.”

  1. No such thing as an honest debate when it comes to the NCAA, its member institutions, and this topic.


  2. St. Johns Dawg

    The average fan’s response to this idea: “Damn, that makes a lot of sense. I’d like to see this considered.”

    NCAA’s response to this idea: “Your reasoning is sound and the logic in its application is considerable … Therefore we reject this notion entirely and we further ask that security remove you from the building post haste!”


  3. Spur 21

    Expecting honest debate with the NCAA is as futile as trying to buy chicken lips at your local grocery store.


  4. TN Dawg

    There really is no answer other than legalizing the direct financial recruitment of players via boosters and ADs.

    Anything short of that is just a half-measure that ignores reality. Giving players $25 or $50k per year still won’t end the shady black-bag stuff. Just open it up and make it a free for all.

    The competitive balance crap, student-athlete stuff is a farce for nostalgic fans and idealists. Trying to set an NCAA payment schedule is kind of foolish, as it assumes a lot of things, namely that revenue streams will forever continue upward.

    There are plenty of signs that will not be the case. Attendance at games is on the decline. We can’t ignore that cord-cutting and political demonstration have hurt sports viewership on television. ESPN and ABC aren’t jettisoning salaries and employees because life is so good, and I think its fair to assume that when re-bid time comes for a lot of major broadcasting contracts for NCAA conferences, the sugar may not be as sweet.

    So how about we just return college football to what it has always been, a sport dominated by a few power teams with deep-pocket donors that pay for the best players to come to their alma mater?

    If you do this, you can still allow smaller institution schools to continue to play football without having to adhere to some mandated universal NCAA pay structure that may financially cripple a school’s AD. For obsessed fan bases that must have a NC, they have the option of bidding for the best high school talent openly. And for the most highly coveted, superstar ball players, they get paid. Add free player transfers from school to school at any time and you’ve created a perfectly acceptable free market model.


    • So how about we just return college football to what it has always been…

      “Return”? You mean it departed from that?


      • TN Dawg

        Fair point.

        We have driven it underground with FBI investigations into shoe deals, death penalties for SMUs, hamstrung programs like UGA basketball under Harrick or ‘Bama from Gene Jelks’ of the world.

        But there was a time where it was more in the open because the stakes weren’t that high. I just support taking the gloves and masks.

        Can’t anyone give me any reason that Auburn fans shouldn’t be able to offer Justin Fields $2 or $3 million to come play for them next year and any reason the NCAA should stop them?


        • TN Dawg

          Oops, full of typos.

          Can not Can’t*


        • South FL Dawg

          None at all. But it would be interesting to see how the athletic-fee-paying students and their parents will respond. Even if you take that fee away, it’s the fact that they are getting an education that allows the athletic association to earn profit tax free. It’s not hard to imagine that they’re going to want some of the earnings applied to lower tuition costs.


  5. Senator: Did you see this yet?

    “Tucker is expected to be named Colorado’s next head coach after the Bulldogs play in the SEC championship game Saturday, sources told ESPN’s Chris Low.”

    I honestly don’t understand how in the hell CFB hasn’t put in place rules to utterly ban all interviewing, etc. until after bowl season is completed.

    Every year shit like this happens and it really fucks up bowl season and sometimes even playoffs/national title games.



  6. HR

    Erk Russell is expected to replace him. Right? Anybody else heard this?