Pay for “A”s

I will give Dabo some small credit for one thing he did say.

What is your definition of the professionalization of college athletics?

Getting away from scholarships and getting away from academics. Ninety-eight percent of these kids are not playing in the NFL. That’s one of the reasons I do like the NIL because 98% of them aren’t going to make the NFL, so it’s good while they have a nice platform that they can take advantage of these opportunities. Clemson has a million Twitter followers, one of three football programs out there with a million. So it’s good they have an opportunity to make some money while they’re going through their journey right here. But we also know that 98% are not playing in the NFL, so we better be getting that degree. As adults, we should do everything we can to incentivize education — period, the end — and that ain’t ever going to change for me because I know ultimately that’s what creates generational change in young people’s lives…

I will grant he’s saying that primarily because he doesn’t want his players being paid directly for their services, but he’s right that once you sever the link between college athletics and college academics, you really don’t have college sports anymore, just a glorified minor league system.

Along those lines, it seems to me that one of the bigger no-brainers for schools in the wake of the Alston decision would be to pay college athletes directly for their academic success.  I mean, if you can write a coach’s contract paying him a bonus for his players’ academic achievements, doesn’t it make sense, both as an incentive and also as a message about priorities, to do that with the athletes themselves?

Well, this being big time college sports, you can probably guess the answer to that one.

In response to a federal judge’s mandate, the NCAA changed its rules in August 2020 to allow schools to pay each of their athletes up to $5,980 per year as a reward for academic performance. The oddly specific dollar amount was calculated during the legal proceedings because it is equal to the maximum amount of financial value an athlete can receive in one year from awards related to their athletic performance, such as conference player of the year titles or the Heisman Trophy. The U.S. Supreme Court solidified the federal judge’s ruling with a 9-0 decision in the NCAA v. Alston case last June.

According to information gathered by ESPN in the past several months from public records requests and a voluntary survey, only 22 of the 130 FBS-level schools say they have plans in place to provide these academic bonus payments to their athletes this year. Twenty months after the initial rule change, and nine months after any doubt about its legal permanence was removed, more than one-third of FBS respondents say they have not yet decided whether they will provide these additional benefits to athletes.

To Dabo’s credit, Clemson is one of those 22 schools.  Strangely enough, Georgia isn’t.

… Nine of the 22 schools with plans to pay bonuses this year compete in the nation’s richest conference, the SEC. Georgia, the reigning national champion in football, is the only SEC school that said it was still undecided on bonus payments.

Note that Alabama is silent on the question, so Georgia may not be alone in that regard.  Sure would like to hear somebody ask Josh Brooks why, though.  (McGarity would mumble something about the reserve fund, I suppose, but I’d like to hear UGA’s thinking on what seems like an easy call to me.)


Filed under Academics? Academics., College Football

27 responses to “Pay for “A”s

  1. 69Dawg

    Scrooge McDuck was an easier touch than the Georgia AD. Kirby had better get on the mother before that 5,900 gets us in a hole.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    I am disappointed that UGA hasn’t jumped on this. I cannot think of a good reason not to do so. No matter how good you are when you get recruited as a player, it’s a certainty that the bulk of the team is never making NFL money. They can’t possibly being worried about what it would cost. I guess they may be worried that they will spend more time studying for classes and less time studying the playbook, but sometimes you have to take a risk.

    Liked by 7 people

  3. Doggoned

    No brainer. Pay the bonus. No downside here.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Derek

    I read that Saban says they’re paying and have been paying.

    Probably for maintaining a pulse rather than getting an A but paying.

    Wouldn’t doubt that we have a similar plan: stay alive and on the roster and get a ck.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. theotherdoug

    I can’t imagine Smart or Saban would miss a chance yo pay a player that money because it has to be a slight advantage on the recruiting trail. There has to be more to this story.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I am not a lawyer but I wonder as schools start doing this, how long before regular students taking the same classes, and making the same or better grades, sue because of the inequality of it at a state institution?

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Biggen

    So scholarship + healthcare + food + stipend + “academic bonus” + NIL? Damn. You would have to be a fool not to spend at least 6 years in college milking this system.


  8. HirsuteDawg

    Regarding Dabo: Even a blind pig finds an acorn once in a while. But you (an he) are right – maintaining the emotional / I’m part of this attachment to the school while paying individuals to play for the school (should we call them ringers?) is going to be a challenge.


  9. whb209

    Academic bonus…
    If you are eligibly for the next season, you get the money.


  10. RangerRuss

    Mims is big but weak.
    Buh bye.


  11. RangerRuss

    Caught the last few holes of the Masters. Brought to mind a quote from Robert Duvall as Al Sieber in Geronimo: An American Legend.
    “Texans, the lowest form of white man there is.”


    • I have not seen Geronimo: An American Legend, nor do I get the current reference regarding the Masters. I do however realize that the quote “Texans, the lowest form of white man there is.” seriously puts 27 years worth of working in the oil and gas sector in such a beautiful clarity, a clarity that I’ve had difficulty articulating all these years. So simple, glorious, best quote I’ve seen in years, and so fucking true.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Not sure where this is coming from unless it was on social media … Scheffler appeared to be total class in winning the green jacket.

      Liked by 1 person

      • RangerRuss

        DammitEE. I bet you don’t laugh at “It’s all fun and games until someone gets their head blown off; then it’s hilarious” either.

        Liked by 2 people

  12. uga97

    Academic or Athletic performance pays later in the form of career salaries. NIL was designed to pay bridge $ to get less fortunate Athletes, but is now being exploited to the 9s.. Gee who can we thank for this, and also demand to fix this?


  13. amurraycuh

    I agree with Dabo…only 2% of his roster is going to get paid. A much higher % of the UGA roster is going to get paid. Never stop recruiting.
    Pay the men their money for their grades. Its a win-win.


  14. gurkhadawg

    Senator, did you pay your kids to make good grades in Middle and High School? If not, why? I’m honestly interested in your answer.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. godawgs1701

    I’ll add my voice to the chorus saying that Georgia really should be on board with paying athletes for their academic achievements if it’s allowed – I don’t see the downside.

    However, I’m here in the comments to dunk on Dabo Swinney, whose University of Alabama education was clearly not sufficient to help him understand that paying players =/= ending the link between education and college athletics. The only thing that eliminates the link between education and college sports is dropping the academic requirements. The man is arguing against his own position when he points out that most college athletes aren’t going to play in the NFL and that it’s nice that they get some way to cash in on their athletic prowess – gee, Dabs, wouldn’t it be even better if we took a couple million out of your check and gave it to the people who are the reason you’re making that cash? He’s right that a college degree can lead to generational change. But a college degree and a nice purse earned while playing college football is an even better start to your new Dabo Swinney-approved life.


  16. 3 Dabo posts in 24 hours, that’s 2 more than I would want in a year


  17. row105

    The answer to why UGA does not have ” plans in place to provide these academic bonus payments to their athletes this year.” because UGA’s players don’t need no F***ing degree because they’re all playing in the league….every damn one of them. Alabama and us don’t have time for this shit. Do you want stiped/laundry money or do you want a large signing bonus in 3 years…..that’s what UGA is selling and they got lots of 5 stars buying. in….besides I bet UGA NIL money is larger than most…….Stipends are for Vanderbilt…..I want bidets in the Sanford Stadium bathrooms…..that’s where I want that money to go.

    Liked by 1 person