In the wake of Dabo Swinney signing that ginormous contract extension at Clemson, I’ve seen a fair number of takes like this, suggesting his argument that player compensation is another form of entitlement that college athletics can do without no longer has any place in the discussion.
With all due respect, that completely misses the point. Of course Swinney’s perspective continues to matter, and matter greatly. Not because it occupies some moral high ground, but because, unlike some, Dabo ain’t stupid. He can do the math, and the math here is pretty dang simple.
For now, there is no reason to think the top of the college football coaching marketplace is going anywhere but up. Rapidly.
Every year, more money pours into college athletics departments. There is no legal way for schools to cap coaches’ compensation. And for the time being, at least, there is a legal way to cap athletes’ compensation.
So a market that’s governed by the usual economic factors, plus the wild card of emotion, is almost assured of going higher than it did Friday.
All that money’s gotta go somewhere, and if it’s not going to the players directly, well… like I said, Dabo ain’t stupid. There’s a good reason college sports are the only major commercialized venue where coaches make more than star players.
What I wonder about is what happens should the time come when the NCAA and the schools go all out for an antitrust exemption. Will college coaches realize what that will likely mean for them, too? And, if so, what would they do about it?
11 responses to “On the up and up”
I’m not sure the overpaid PE teachers are smart enough to understand the effect of an antitrust exemption on their fountain of cash.
I bet Jimmy Sexton knows and doesn’t like it one bit.
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“Every year, more money pours into college athletics departments.”
Unless you’re in the Pac-12.
If Dabo can force them to put whatever he wants in their bodies, increase or withhold their compensation and education opportunity at his demand, and cut off their escape routes, how much is this is different from being a slaveowner?
Well, they can quit and go home whenever they want and he can’t just ship them off to a different school/coach of his choice. It’s just such a shit analogy to use for something that is, in essence, completely voluntary. If you need a real example from American history, google “company town.”
Even union members can leave that company town and pursue the same career almost anywhere. Their compensation is above-the-table and supported by an employment contract. Non-compete clauses are known at the time of employment and they are not required by the company to take illegal and harmful medications.
This does not sound like lil’ ol’ Clemson.
If Clemson is the hell you paint it to be, why aren’t we seeing any players leave or tell their stories of mistreatment after they graduate? Every player on the team is not a starter or a star so if Clemson was the slave galley you think it is, word would have come out by now.
The lunatics at Fighting Gamecock Forum keep a close eye on all things Clemson. Their hatred of Clemson is a borderline mental illness. I can assure you they would be screaming if there was anything untoward going on in Clemson and there was any firm evidence to back it up.
True, Clemson may be the best example of a school where athletes don’t see it as hellhole. The number of highly ranked, draft eligible, DL players who chose to stay on another year rather than go for the gold says it couldn’t be all that brutal. Add to that the recruits who visit, talk to players mired in that pit, and come away saying they really want to be a part of that, confirms it is not only tolerable but quite attractive and desirable.
The whole “life on the plantation” meme floated by many may as ludicrous a depiction ever floated on this blog. Point is, there will always be malcontents who would pout,complain, and leave situations the rest of us would fight to have had. The life of a full scholly athlete at a Power 5 program is to be envied, but it won’t stop some from saying “it could be better” because Dabo, Nick, and Kirby have more toys.
Players within the program know that blowing the whistle on mandatory PED use or the distribution of undocumented ‘resources’ at Clemson will find himself personally ostracized and his career backballed. There are a lot of people getting rich off this scheme and no player wants to risk being known as the ‘Jan Kemp’ of Clemson. It is why Coach Smith said “you can really keep everything tight” there.
Having the light shined on this, along with the recent restrictions on transfers, one can be confident that kids and their parents/guardians now know what they are signing up for when they go there.
“….what happens should the time come when the NCAA and the schools go all out for an antitrust exemption?”
I actually think it is too late for that to happen; there are already bills being introduced in various places to let players get some benefit from the market. I just don’t think they could get the votes to get an antitrust exemption.
Oh gee, gosh…I don’t think the players should get any of this money. There’s too much entitlement in the world as it is. You lose me right there. If it happens, I’ll go do something else. I promise I will (but I won’t give back any of this sweet money). Golly gee gosh.
I do think that if the players had their likeness rights then coaching salaries could be negatively impacted since so many of the contracts contain pretty sizable endorsements.