I mean, what else can you say when Eric Dounn, a partner at a New York-based player agent outfit gives this kind of advice to college offensive linemen everywhere ($$)?
“But the focus should always be on the field. Don’t get tied up with what your teammates are doing in a sense of what they’re posting about or what dollars they’re making. Don’t get upset and cause possible tension in the locker room because you didn’t get that deal. Don’t be worried about a couple of dollars now. Be worried about six, seven figures later in the draft.”
Pro teams might have issues with players who can’t get along with teammates? Why, I nevah, Miz Scarlett!
But the dude who was the NCAA’s expert witness during both the Ed O’Bannon and In re: NCAA Grant-in-Aid Cap Antitrust trials (to the tune of $2300 an hour, which, considering the outcome, is some bang for the buck) tops that by insisting jealousy isn’t about offensive linemen. Nah, it’s about you and me.
Though he is no longer on the NCAA’s payroll, the 77-year-old Heckman’s support for amateurism has not waned in the intervening years, and he believes that jealousy and anecdotal fallacy have confused the country over the value of a college degree to an athlete.
And how did we do that to ourselves?
In the years since his testimony, Heckman says that he has grown increasingly “dismayed” to see the national conversation about amateurism turn on the idea that college athletes are exploited. He invokes the green-eyed monster in explaining why the country has, in his words, “lost its mind.”
“I don’t mind that some people are jealous that Nick Saban gets so much money,” Heckman said during a recent hourlong telephone interview. “I personally don’t care if he has a private plane and flies to Monte Carlo. But I do think it is misleading to cast [college sports] as a labor market and to somehow think the goal of college is to make money off these athletes. I don’t see that as the goal.”
I don’t think we’re the ones who’ve lost their minds here.