“We’re going to move forward in some fashion or another of paying players.”

It almost staggers me to say it, but Dennis Dodd has written an excellent piece charting college athletics’ inexorable march towards player compensation.

From a clear-eyed (in other words, not a romantic amateurism-ist) perspective starting here…

NIL benefits have gotten so unregulated that many of the outlandish benefits provided to SMU players 45 years ago in the death penalty case would be allowed in 2021. Slush fund? Allowed if you consider current “collectives” of donors pooling their NIL money to lure players. Free cars? Quarterback Spencer Rattler had two of them last season at Oklahoma.

“The Spencer Rattlers always had two cars [in the past]. It was in a different way,” Dannen said.

That different way was described recently by College Football Hall of Fame running back Eric Dickerson, an SMU superstar in the 1980s.

“You’re a youth athlete, 19-years-old, and a guy comes to you and says, ‘Here’s $20,000.’ You don’t say, ‘Oh no, I can’t take that money,'” Dickerson told CBS Sports.

“What they did to my school is bullshit. They would never have done that to Alabama. They would never have done that Texas. They would have never done that to Oklahoma.”

… and winding up here…

“We just have to figure it out,” Cunningham said. “… How do you stop it? We’re not going to stop it. All we have to do is figure out how to finance it.”

Players have always been paid.  They always will be paid.  The question is whether the folks running college football are smart enough to take the steps necessary to preserve what control they still have the opportunity to control.  I’d say it’s even money on that.



Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

23 responses to ““We’re going to move forward in some fashion or another of paying players.”

  1. Corch Irvin Meyers, Former Jags Corch (2021)

    Even money, Senator? With those dummies? I’d say it’s 2 to 1 they screw it up even more. It is what they are best at doing.

    The “collectives” thing, like with Texas boosters paying o-lineman $50K just for signing with Texas? That has to go.

    Let the players sign whatever deals they want with car dealerships and fast food restaurants and what have you.

    But that shit at Texas? No way.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ozam

    The answer to your question is an emphatic NO.


  3. chopdawg

    Today’s headline: “Owners, Players Set To Meet Again Monday.”

    That headline, of course, refers to the current labor dispute in Major League Baseball. But fear not, it’ll apply to college football soon enough.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. practicaldawg

    NIL simply lifted the curtain on player compensation and probably also provided smaller programs with more incentive to pay players because they previously didn’t have the deep hidden networks of bagmen that the bigger schools enjoyed

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Hogbody Spradlin

    Off topic but . . . Eric Dickerson always had an angry streak. His pro career surpassed Herschel Walker’s; he retired the leading or second leading rusher in NFL history. He may be right that they wouldn’t have done that to Bama or OK back then, but he still has an angry streak,

    Liked by 1 person

  6. If the schools only had access to the resources of legal, tax and business information to design a system. Oh well, I’m sure the experts on taxation and regulation in Congress will help out soon enough.


  7. kingcmo2000

    Good article, but Senator, you could have written that 3 years ago. You pretty much have. Nothing new there if you’ve been paying attention.


  8. whb209

    It bothers me when I keep hearing, “everyone was always paid”.
    I missed out on that and I don’t know of any player paid on the team in 1966 & 67. I will admit that we very seldom had a meal or bar tab. That was it.
    That team had Bill Stanfill, Jake Scott and a pot full of great players. If anyone was getting paid, it was the best keep secret ever.

    Liked by 2 people

    • practicaldawg

      Those guys were happy to put Spurrier on his back for free

      Liked by 2 people

    • Russ

      How do you think Butts talked Sinkwich and Trippi into moving south?


      • Gaskilldawg

        I have written about that many times in comments on this blog. There was no rule at that time against Harold “War Eagle” Ketron from hiring them to ride shotgun in a delivery truck from one of his Coca-Cola bottling companies. By the way, Ketron’s nickname had nothing to do with Auburn.


  9. Faltering Memory

    My friend and classmate was a leading player on the 67-69 teams. He roomed with us after his eligibility expired. We would go to Arcade to the beer stores there where I watched the most amazing financing system. Big man would go in and buy pick up two cases of beer. He would give the owner a ten dollar bill and the owner would give Big Man one of Big Man’s checks the owner had been holding. Then Big Man would give the owner a new check for the two cases of beer. I watched this week after week for all spring quarter. Also made the best grades in school I ever made.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. spur21

    IMHO it is out of control and cannot be fixed – the genie has escaped and will never be captured.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hobnail_Boot

    “Players have always been paid”.

    No shit, Sherlock.


  12. junkyardawg41

    I can’t see a future with fair play enforcement/regulation without player employment which ultimately leads to School Sponsored/Affiliated minor league football.


  13. Gaskilldawg

    The “what we should do” discussion should only take place after a discussion to identify the problem the folks Dodd quotes are trying to solve.
    If those quoted can only point to loss of control over the NIL money going to players because they are accustomed to have control and don’t want to give it up, then what exactly is the “harm to college football as we know it?” Maybe Dabo or Todd Graham losing some power over players is a dire threat. Maybe not. At least define the problem before imposing a solution.
    If the perceived problem is that fans will lose interest as a result of “the loss of innocence ” factor study that theory before acting on it. Did the fact that Trippi as a high school kid and Georgia player was paid more per year to occasionally ride on a Coca Cola truck than his father made in a year suppress attendance to our 1942 and 1946 SEC champion’s games? I will bet not.
    If the perceived problem is that fans won’t like that some schools are better able to offer benefits to players, then study how fans liked or did not like college football prior to the late 1940s when there was no NCAA wide uniformity as to benefits. Back then conferences could set their own rules. The SEC allowed its members to give athletic based scholarships. The Big Ten and some other conferences did not allow their members to give athletic based scholarships. Go back and see how that affected fan interest.
    The administrators should not dream up solutions until there is a clearly defined problem to address.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. spur21

    Player pay has been with us since before most of us were born – to think otherwise is folly. Now it is out in the open with no way to control the flow of money. Even if the NCAA could come up with some kind of limit or control boosters are still going to boost. It might be time to accept the fact that big time programs are going out spend the little guys so nothing will change as far as leveling the playing field. Players will get a piece of the pie as they should.
    Schools with the deepest pockets in terms of wealthy boosters will be elite everyone else will be looking up at the mountain top.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gaskilldawg

      Right, Spur. As far back as the 1800s the rich schools such as Yale and Harvard dominated college football and the Podunk State Teachers College couldn’t compete.
      The landscape hasn’t changed. From my point of view my alma mater has a significant competitive advantage due to its athletic department wealth. Why would I complain about that?