“I’m not crazy at all about the law.”

Athletic director math is the best math.

Donati estimated that TCU spends approximately $100,000 on each student athlete every year, factoring in everything from tuition to room and board to medical expenses.

Of the approximately 525 student athletes on campus, Donati said, you could count on one hand the number that actually exceed the $100,000 from a media value perspective.

“So we’re going to change all the rules for 525 other kids because of three? I think that’s crazy,” Donati said. “Ultimately what’s going to happen is if you have to provide more resources for this, it’ll absolutely crush your Olympic sports. I hope that’s an Armageddon situation, but every year we inch closer to that.

To summarize, the dude (1) admits there are kids on the roster being denied compensation they would earn in a more open market setting; (2) claims the school “spends” money on tuition/scholarships; and (3) pretends that the school would be spending money on third party endorsements.

And the NCAA wonders why it can’t win antitrust suits.



Filed under The NCAA

32 responses to ““I’m not crazy at all about the law.”


    I certainly think the NCAA has some stupid rules. At the same time most of the kids on a team have limited value in the endorsement (for lack of a better word) market. There’s not a lot of concern for player number 85 or for the walkons. There is a reasonable answer to the problem I would imagine. But as always the fear of the extreme is a problem. For example, I might agree to a limit on guns, but I fear that total confiscation is the goal n (as an example). No doubt a player should have the ability to make money off himself, while at the same time the team aspect of football needs to be protected There is a value to everyone including the players to keep College Football a nonprofessional sport. I have no faith that we will find a reasonable answer.


    • There is a value to everyone including the players to keep College Football a nonprofessional sport.

      I hate to break it to you, but that train left the station a while back.

      Schools are receiving revenue measured annually in the hundreds of millions.

      Coaches are being paid millions. Administrators are well paid, too.

      What you’re really saying is that players are the only group in college athletics who shouldn’t share in the money flow. And somehow, that’s more reasonable than your fear of the unknown.


      • Players have always had a share in the money flow. Not counting the scholarship, meals, medical care, free publicity, plus a built in ability to network after college and those nice facilities they are using didn’t build themselves.


        • The scholarship isn’t part of the money flow. It’s merely a bookkeeping entry.

          “Free publicity”? I think that’s kind of the point here.

          And I’m pretty sure if you asked a college football player to choose between a waterfall and a check as to which one he’d take.


      • SWGADAWG

        No that’s just me saying it poorly. I was referring to the fact that if it becomes like professional football it will lose a lot of what makes it great. I think the revenues are absurd, but of course we keep giving them our money. My poorly made point was that I believe the “pot” would begin to be eroded if it becomes to much more like professional football. I could also be wrong and naïve. I think a reasonable solution is out there but I have no faith it can be reached.


  2. Derek

    It’s a damn shame Gary Patterson has to turn down his Trojan condom and Bud Light endorsement opportunities as a price for representing TCU athletics!!!

    It’s fucking communism…. run amok!!!!


      • Derek

        Everyone involved in an organization gives up something to be a part of it.



        Care to comment?

        Freedom ain’t free. Ever. It just ain’t and it ain’t just college players.

        Membership has a cost. Don’t want to pay? Don’t join.


        • It’s illegal to rig a labor market. Arguing that college athletes have agreed to allow that in order to “join” the NCAA is not only stupid, but void as a matter of public policy.

          But you keep doing you, Derek.


          • Derek

            So Joe should have sued Pete Rozelle and the league to keep his interest in the Manhattan bar?

            Is it “rigging the labor market” for a contract to require coaches to have all endorsement go through the university so that no coaches endorse condoms, liquor or gambling sites?

            Can Mike Leach wear a Caesar’s Palace Sportsbook hat? On the sideline? At a press conference? At anytime he is repping WSU?

            And I thought this was America!!??

            Your premise is built on a pile of dirt.

            The reason is that:

            you can find plenty of restrictions on commerce placed on people simply because they are representing something larger than themselves that have unique interests that must be protected. Never been challenged. Won’t be challenged and its nonsensical to believe they should be. BTW: someone on a salary doesn’t lose their rights. If they paid 20 hours a week at minimum wage would you say: now they can ban endorsements? No.
            no endorsements by college players is a reasonable restriction because its impossible to police. I know this because you won’t suggest otherwise. Your response is – look squirrel!!! Or “we’ll see.”

            If you want the NCAA player contract to say: all proposed player endorsement contracts must be pre-approved by the NCAA to ensure competitive integrity among its members (not amateurism) and they approved none ever would that make you happy? Is there a chance in hell the NCAA ever loses in court under those circumstances?

            Fuck no and the reason is simple. There is NO proposed player endorsement contract that you can come up with that I can’t show is, or can be, tainted by the likes of Auburn and Alabama.

            You are welcome to try.

            Or do you and pass on the opportunity to show just how wrong I am.


            • What I want is what you don’t seem to understand: the opportunity for college athletes to operate in the same market setting as you or I. The details aren’t my business. They’re the business of schools and athletes.

              I’m not sure why that is so hard for you to grasp, but apparently it is.


              • Derek

                If it were possible, I’d agree completely.

                I don’t disagree with your moral compass on this, I just don’t think its workable.

                The fact that ncaa is comprised of a bunch of greedy, entitled, ignorant assholes, while compelling enough to look at the issue closely, it just doesn’t follow on inspection that the rule, despite whatever its motivations may be, is unfounded. I think it is essential to the health of the sport, no matter how much it can be put in a bad light i.e., Gurley and Green.

                In short, if you could devise a way that these guys could profit without the clusterfuck I predict, I’d be with you.

                It just isn’t there. It IS pandora’s box and the parade of horribles is real here.

                Its not the result I want, its just the result there is. No one can change it. And if caution is thrown to the wind here, the results will be disastrous.


                • “We can’t stop the NCAA from violating the law because we can’t imagine that the NCAA has the common sense to devise something workable” is a helluva hill to die on, brother.


                • Derek

                  Resuscitate me.

                  Lead the way my brother!

                  You don’t/won’t/can’t explain how it will work and not kill the sport.

                  I assure you any attempt will be made transparently unworkable.

                  Please try!!


                • It’s not my job to try. It’s Mark Emmert’s.


                • Derek

                  I guess that’s as close as I’m getting to “you’re right.”

                  I’ll take it.

                  Typically proponents try to game out their suggestions as a means of supporting or bringing credibility to an argument or proposal.

                  Yours is an atypical form of advocacy. I’m thinking that some Bolsheviks and Cuban Revolutionaries suffered similar shortcomings.

                  “So what happens when people won’t work for the public good and political power becomes the new currency?”

                  “Shut up!!! That’s the czar’s (Bautista’) problem!!! My enemy hates this idea so it must be right! They shouldn’t have brought us to the point of doing something dumb in the name of freedom!!”

                  I guess I’m a “look before you leap” kinda guy.


                • C’mon, man.

                  I’ve identified a problem that needs to be fixed. Your complaint is that since I won’t lay out a detailed plan for the aftermath — not the fix itself, mind you — my position is hopelessly flawed.

                  The problem is that nobody put you in charge to define the flaws. One of the examples you gave in one of your earlier comments was restricting what coaches could do. What you didn’t mention was the time that the NCAA fixed assistant coaching salaries. That ended just as you might expect: the NCAA was found guilty of price fixing and paid treble damages.

                  Here’s what your superiority is going to get you. Either the NCAA is going to be forced to yield on this issue politically, or it’s going to lose in court. At which point in time, all the looking you want to do is going to be futile, because the schools will have no choice but to leap.

                  That’s my biggest problem with the NCAA. It’s not that the schools are clueless, ultimately, as much as it is they simply don’t want to consider the alternative, when a dose of proactive action might salvage more than you’d expect.

                  As for your political analogy, you’re far from the only one who equates free market advocacy with Communism in this setting. It’s dumb, but it’s about all you amateurism romantics have left in rebuttal.


                • Derek

                  Not equating them in the same way. I also see the hypocrisy of the so called free marketeers deciding that it’s fine for all but poor black kids who entertain us to bargain for their services. I’m certainly not in agreement with those folks on much of anything. Here my agreement is a complete happenstance and I’m not the one being hypocritical. I believe in markets and I believe that markets need constraints.

                  I’m just equating what happens when you follow a train of logic, not based on an understanding of the human condition, and which seems to ultimately rely on the degree of hostility you get from your opponents.

                  You can say that only in hindsight, was communism doomed to fail. I say it was as obvious as the fact that libertarianism would actually collapse even more quickly.

                  Inasmuch as it is the ncaa’s remit to figure this out, I can say with all certainty that their due diligence , and even sympathy for the player, would land them exactly where they are: no player product endorsements or other outside compensation.

                  I’m fine with stipends. Spread, or redistribute if you like, the wealth and all that. Just follow title ix while you do it.

                  I’m open to the idea I’m wrong and that Gurley can sign with Nike prior to enrolling at UGA and all will be well but someone is going to have to show me the error of my ways.

                  There simply is no endorsement possibility that can’t and won’t be abused with tragic consequences for the sport. I’ll stand by that and note I’ve not seen ANY suggestion that I’m wrong on this.


                • I’m just equating what happens when you follow a train of logic, not based on an understanding of the human condition, and which seems to ultimately rely on the degree of hostility you get from your opponents.

                  I have no idea what that means, but I’ll just point out that your logic train runs on tracks under-girded by assumptions you make, which hardly makes your logic more reality based than others with different assumptions.

                  You’re certainly welcome to your conclusion, but the idea that you have it all figured out and anyone who won’t acknowledge that your starting point is the only acceptable version of reality is factually wrong is a stretch, to put it mildly. I mean, “Inasmuch as it is the ncaa’s remit to figure this out”? The whole point here is that’s starting to slip away and the NCAA refuses to face what’s coming.


              • 79Dawg

                The problem is you are defining “NCAA football” as the market, when “football” is the applicable market. The real “anti-competitive/market” rule f-ing everything up is not the NCAA’s rules, but the NFL rule requiring players to be X number of years removed from high school, where X is any number greater than 0. Another “half-market” step for college sports, like letting superstars monetize NLIs, is just going to keep mucking things up.
                Making kids who want to try and make money playing football, go to college for their “internship” first, is pretty counterproductive.


                • I’m not “defining the market”. The market is what it is. It’s simply that it’s illegal for the NCAA to act as a cartel and fix the labor market as it does, regardless of what the NFL does.

                  Even if the NFL dropped its rule tomorrow, how would that suddenly make what the schools do legal? It’s not as if every kid out there is going to play in the NFL immediately out of high school.

                  This is another one of those pseudo-economic arguments you guys use to dress up “I don’t like paying players”. I get your preference fine; leave it at that.


                • 79Dawg

                  I don’t like paying players because paying uncapping player compensation is going to destroy CFB. Unlike pro sports, where there is a hard or soft salary cap, there will be no such thing in CFB. Pro teams are able to impose the cap, generally, because they negotiate national media rights, collectively, and so create a “baseline” revenue for each team. The vast bulk of money in college sports comes from the negotiation of CFB and CBB media rights, which are negotiated on a conference-by-conference basis (other than March Madness).
                  Just look at what the absence of a “cap” on spending in other non-player areas of CFB has gotten us – it leads to the ridiculous and wasteful things we’ve seen like flying to meet recruits in helicopters, spas in locker rooms, DJ booths in locker rooms, etc. ad nauseum. Imagine totally blowing the lid off with unlimited player compensation, and it easy to see that those with the most money will “win”, and the links to education will become even more attenuated and strained (if that is even possible at this point).
                  Whether you like it or not, the caps on player compensation at least keep some semblance of competitive balance in place – without that, the whole sport will collapse (just like pro sports would if the Yankees, Cowboys, Lakers, etc. were winning every year because they had the most “resources”, i.e. money).


                • Ah, the myth of competitive balance… tell me about those days, daddy.

                  If you’re serious about that, then you should agree with something I’ve advocated for years, lowering the scholarship limit in FCS to the level of FBS.


  3. The scholarships are lost finances the institutions would have had if the student athletes had to pay they’re way. So there is a cost. It is also money saved by the student athletes or their families if they had to pay there way.

    ““Free publicity”? I think that’s kind of the point here.” It is. They are benefiting from others efforts. None of the players currently playing had anything to do with these TV contracts. Nor did they have anything to do with the decades long effort to build the brands of the power 5 schools.

    But what if the choice is between premier facilities and coaches to give you the best chance to make a fortune in the NFL or a pittance of extra income now?


    • “… if the student athletes had to pay they’re way”. Wait, what?

      If the S-As can’t monetize their publicity, how exactly are they benefiting from it?

      As for your point about TV contracts and brand building, how is that any different than, say, the NFL or NBA?


  4. “Wait, what?” If the S-As paid they’re way (in other words if they’re were no scholarships so everyone was a walk on) or if there were not any S-A’s there would be another slot paid entry into the school.

    “If the S-As can’t monetize their publicity, how exactly are they benefiting from it?” The fact that they have much more notoriety as well as the growth in popularity in the sport in general both greatly increase their ability to monetize themselves after they are out of school.

    “As for your point about TV contracts and brand building, how is that any different than, say, the NFL or NBA?” The sole reason for the exsistence of
    the NFL and NBA is to monetize their brand to pay professional athletes. Without that they would not exist. Do you think any school would close without football or basketball? No. they would certainly lose many oy the other sports. But even if they did not have a single sport they would not close because that is not their reason for existence. That seems to get lost to most people today.


    • Why would college athletes pay to attend school?

      Why do college athletes have to wait to monetize something until they’re out of school?

      Your last argument is interesting, but why not turn it on its head by arguing that schools don’t need to earn hundreds of millions of dollars to support football or basketball? After all, that’s how they do in in D-III every day.


      • Walk on players do it regularly. I can’t give you all the reasons why only that they do.

        They should pay their dues in training for their profession like everyone else. In addition failure to pursue this path will have negative consequences for far more people than the very few it will help.

        “schools don’t need to earn hundreds of millions of dollars to support football or basketball?” I am not contending that they “need” to. Only that the money impacts many people both inside and outside of those two sports. Do you think schools should have spending limits placed upon their athletic programs?


        • Walk on players do it regularly. I can’t give you all the reasons why only that they do.

          Sorry, should have been clearer. Kids who are good enough to receive scholarships aren’t going to attend schools where they’re required to pay their way.

          I am assuming your last question is rhetorical.


          • “Kids who are good enough to receive scholarships aren’t going to attend schools”. Only the ones that could afford it which would be very few. That is why I like the current system (not that it can’t be improved) because it gives opportunity to so many that would otherwise be left out.

            “assuming your last question is rhetorical.” Actually it wasn’t. Either there are spending limits (in what ever form and administrated by what ever organization) or you have the current system. Unless you see something I do not then those are the two options.