Carrots and sticks

If you’re the NCAA, these are words you definitely don’t want to hear“This latest round of contracts is … definitely getting attention in the Congress…”

Sen. Blumenthal isn’t taking a shot at the contracts themselves, just at the schools’ position that player compensation and related issues are anathema.

Blumenthal emphasized that he is not judging coaches on what they are paid “if they can command that amount. The schools are big boys. Nobody’s holding a gun to their head to pay this amount. The board of trustees ultimately may be held accountable for approving it. But my gripe is the treatment of athletes. …

“I don’t think Congress should be setting compensation caps. What we should be doing is requiring fairness in treatment of athletes.”

How to get the schools to go along with that, given their current reluctance?

Asked how a bill could be put together and passed in the face of continued resistance, particularly from schools, Blumenthal said: “Let me put it this way: There are a variety of different points of leverage, such as taxes, antitrust treatment and so forth. … They’d love antitrust protection, so maybe it’s a combination of carrots and sticks.”

If the schools and the NCAA were smart, they’d cut a deal right now.  Antitrust protection would be huge for college sports.  Judging from their track record, though, they’ll probably continue to fight, be hugely embarrassed in another congressional hearing or two and then wind up settling for less than they could have gotten if they hadn’t been their usual dumbass selves.  It’s just how they roll.

[Ed. note:  the first commenter who decides to reference Blumenthal’s history instead of sticking to the post topic will be unceremoniously canned, and so will anyone else who decides to trod the same path.  Just sayin’.]



Filed under Political Wankery, The NCAA

29 responses to “Carrots and sticks

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    Boy, what an easy issue to grandstand, for blowhards on both sides of the aisle. And the NCAA is cooperating nicely by running to Washington for an antitrust exemption.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Players are ~95% of the value of college football and their scholarships are MAYBE 5% of the revenue. That entire $ curve is broken.

    I love the idea of amateurism but that horse left the barn many years ago. This is a billion dollar industry nearly as big as the NFL. When they finally nail this 8/12 team playoff, it will be breathing down the NFL’s neck in revenue.

    It definitely won’t be easy to figure out how to “pay the players”, since there are so many players of widely varied impact/skill, and the difference in revenue between the top 20 (or 40) schools and the bottom 20 (or 40) schools is vast.

    But the question of WHETHER to pay the players should be over. That answer is resoundingly YES. Anything else is truly indentured servitude.

    It would be far more productive to move on to the question of HOW as quickly as possible so all parties involved could work together and find a decent solution.

    ALSO: Players need some kind of union or union-like body immediately. Otherwise this whole process is going to be a joke doomed to fail.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t care one whit about the players who play for the USC Trojans or the Alabama Crimson Tide. I wouldn’t be an AJ Green fan (and I’m not an NFL fan) today if he had played for Clemson or South Carolina. The value in college sports is tied to the brands associated with the universities.

      If the NFL, NBA and MLB started minor league teams tomorrow and took all of the top talent, I wouldn’t care (and I would guess you wouldn’t either), so the idea that the players are 95% of the value of college football just doesn’t pass muster.

      Even at the pro level, a Cowboys fan doesn’t become a Giants fan because a player moved.

      The value in sports is tied to the front of the jersey or the helmet logo. That doesn’t necessarily mean the players shouldn’t get more benefit. NIL is supposed to give the players more than that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Of course, MLB has that now. Sorry.


      • If it doesn’t matter how who or how good the players are, then why are the Georgia Tech stands empty?

        Players are the product.

        If Georgia was going 2-10 every season how many people would buy tickets or even post on this blog?


        • If Georgia Tech had all the good players, would I buy tickets to see them play? No. My allegiance is to the school. The players happen to play for the school, and yes, I bought tickets all through the 90s when we sucked more than we were good. I went to every home game when I was a student in the late 80s when we were mediocre.

          Maybe Tech’s stands are empty because the school has pissed down the entire state’s backs and chased students from all over the country and the world instead of building a local alumni base. Many of those students leave midtown Atlanta never to return. They decided to bring in the triple option in 2008, and it eventually ruined their football program.

          Now, do South Carolina. They have been mediocre for decades yet until the last season, they have packed out their stadium. When Clemson was Clemsoning, they still had traffic jams leading from I-85 to town.


          • Yall are both making good points. My in between take is that players increase the value of the brand when they play well. How many front runners do we all know that pull for a team and buy merchandise just because they are good? A ton. Universities make more money when their teams are better. And good players make teams better.
            Sure there is a base of fans that will root for the team no matter what, but when the team is not good because they don’t have good players they do not maximize their revenue potential.
            We all can agree that the players deserve more. If only we had millionaire administrators and executives who were paid to be equitable (by equitable I mean working to provide a standard market economy solution) instead of protecting the money.


  3. beatarmy92

    Streisand Effect for the win.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The contract that should be questioned is Mark Emmert’s. Other than being “one of them” he has failed miserably at his job. I would like to ask our own Jere Morehead, “What, exactly, makes you think you are qualified to participate in running a major sports organization?” The new NCAA first needs to redo their governance model and appoint commissioners with real sports and media experience to run each sport. There is a model that can allow for the professional nature of big time college sports to coexist with students attending school…see MBA, CPA, or other professional programs where workers/employees freely participate and negotiate for pay AND educational scholarships and benefits. That is not the perfect solution (especially where none exists) but it’s a better starting point than trying to explain how Jordan Davis is really just playing at an advanced level of a dorm flag football league.

    An UGA sponsored team, composed of students who meet specific academic requirements, participating in a league of common rules is just not that hard to figure out if we stop with the incredibly false and arbitrary definition of amateurism that exists today.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Texas Dawg

    Either the players are REALLY good actors when they give interviews, or they truly believe in Stetson to take them all the way. What they believe is much more important than what we believe.


  6. rigger92

    I’ve said it for years, there’s way too much money moving around with the media money being what it is for everything to stay “normal”.

    I’m also not loving the idea that ESPN basically owns the whole sport with CBS going away. They could market it “ESPN football league” if they wanted to.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. mg4life0331

    I don’t have a problem with NIL one bit. Profit sharing? Screw that.


  8. What is it about all of this that makes me think we’re eventually going to hear a conference commissioner say, “With the first pick in the (insert conference) draft, the (insert your doormat) select (5-star) (position) from (insert high school)”?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Michael Huckaby

    The only way that real profit sharing could be achieved is for the Power 5 conferences to leave the NCAA and create another “NFL” or feeder league tot he NFL. Small revenue schools simply wont be able to keep up with the haves.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. classiccitycanine

    I’m on the side of the players but I’m content with the current Olympic model of NIL compensation. In theory, I would support revenue sharing, but I have absolutely no idea if that is even workable in practice.


    • Revenue sharing only works if you have a union/players’ association on one side and management on the other with a collective bargaining agreement between them. Given that media rights are currently owned by the conferences, that’s why anything that happens will be the players’ union bargaining with each conference because that’s where the big pool of money is.

      That’s why I eventually say you are going to have a situation where the talent affiliates with the conference as opposed to the school. To distribute that talent means that everyone should have equal opportunity, therefore, a draft is the only way to do it, or you have to have a draconian salary cap where Georgia can’t have JT Daniels, Carson Beck, Brock Vandagriff and Gunner Stockton all on the same roster.


  11. 123 Fake St