Making it worth their while to stick around

Stewart Mandel posted something in his Mailbag yesterday ($$) that I’ve harped on before as a potential positive of NIL compensation.

… it’s conceivable a player who’s a college starter and recognizable name would be better off financially coming back for his senior season than turning pro and winding up a low-round pick or undrafted free agent.

We’re already seeing that in basketball, where stars like Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe (the national player of the year), North Carolina’s Armando Bacot and Michigan’s Hunter Dickinson are coming back next season. That might not be the case were they projected lottery picks, but these guys weren’t certain to be first-rounders. They’ll likely get NIL deals that make passing on an NBA minimum salary ($925,000) more palatable. It’s possibly the best thing to happen to that sport in a long, long time.

In football, I am already hearing about plenty of less-than-All-American college players, particularly those in the transfer portal, who are getting deals in the $200,000-$400,000 range. The NFL minimum salary last year was $660,000 — but that’s if you make the team for a full season. Practice squad rookies make $9,200 a week, which comes out to $165,600 on the season. So yes, a pay cut.

And that’s just for guys who would theoretically be eligible this season. It’s impossible to predict what the landscape will be like in three or four years for guys who are only now enrolling in college. Some elite recruits are already signing deals worth more than those minimum NFL salaries.

Maybe somebody who’s vigorously opposed to player compensation can explain how making it financially viable for starting players to stay in college another year, allowing them to contribute athletically and continue progressing towards getting a degree is a bad thing, because all that looks like a win to me.



Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

26 responses to “Making it worth their while to stick around

  1. Biggen

    Its the pay for play (recruiting) that sticks in my crawl. It’s obvious schools are using it as a selling point now to get athletes on campus. Remove that issue and I’m onboard.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hear ‘ya, but keep in mind this example involves players, not recruits.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I think Biggen clearly has a point. I don’t think anyone has a problem with Brock Bowers selling chicken for Zaxby’s now that he’s on campus. I also think many (likely including you, Senator) don’t like what this is devolving to because the NCAA abandoned its recruiting oversight responsibilities to create the situation we’re seeing now.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Russ

    I’m willing to bet Stetson will take a pay cut when he leaves UGA after this season.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. tonyhig

    It just looks like professional football to me.


  4. Derek

    I’ve long thought they should be allowed to sell drugs between classes for just that reason. Maybe do some pimping? Perhaps a murder for hire? Whatever it took to stay in school and make it worth it. Its the ends not the means after all, amirite? Perhaps tomorrow we can discuss the health benefits of working out in the fresh air during the 1812 cotton harvest.

    This is sarcasm in case that isn’t obvious.

    The issue isn’t that they have money. Its how its “earned.” Its why its offered. Its what the money being offered at that age does to a kid and his view of the interrelationship of his talents, the need for an education and how each are tied to his future.

    If anyone thinks a 17 year old kid should go to Arizona State and turn down Stanford due to the value of a NLI deal, thats not a win and thats not whats best for the kid.

    There is NO good reason to allow schools and those acting on their behalves to literally buy kids who ought to be thinking about their futures WITHOUT football in it. Because that day is coming and coming FAST.

    We will set records tonight in the draft. However, in real numbers MOST of Travon’s teammates will never make a dime in the NFL. Among those lucky enough to get there, a very small fraction (1 to 3 players max) will make enough to support themselves through life.

    That means that almost every player at UGA will have to earn a living on their own someday.

    Promoting ANYTHING that takes a child’s eye off that ball is, in the long run, detrimental and NOT a win of any kind for the player.

    Is it superior in some way to the immediate past? Perhaps. But its a Pyrrhic victory at best.

    The NFL will treat SOME of these players like financial actors and entertainers soon enough. Until that time and for the best interest of almost every one of these guys they need to begin their recruitment at 15 or so and end their college careers at 20-2? as primarily students exchanging athletic ability for an education. If that isn’t what its about then just sever the athletic departments from the schools and stop pissing on our backs and telling us its raining.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 79dawg

      Well said Derek – simply cherrypicking by the Senator. Pretty much all policies have good and bad aspects, but generally we should try to judge them on the whole….


    • W Cobb Dawg

      “…kids who ought to be thinking of their futures without football…”

      The average worker changes careers multiple times over his/her work life. The idea that football isn’t a valid career path, and should be avoided in favor of …. something else, is unrelated to reality.

      I agree about the value of education, though I personally feel a person who has developed skills to a high level in virtually any field is more valuable in the marketplace.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Derek

        The most valuable thing, with very few exceptions, a kid will ever earn with football is a scholarship. I’m not saying no kid should have NFL aspirations. I’m saying that dream should be put in some objective perspective. My fear is that NLI pulls the time line of “professional sports” to a beginning point that isn’t healthy.

        If you don’t value the education you shouldn’t be on a college campus, period.


    • Sooo… just so I’m clear, it’s a bad thing for kids who don’t have an NFL future to make money during a collegiate window that’s fleeting?


      • Derek

        Not at all. It does matter HOW it is made. I do not believe NLI is an overall beneficial means of putting money in their pockets.

        I’d much rather see schools making direct across the board payments whether its called “profit sharing” or whatever. I have no problem with Kirby giving up some salary for both Stetson and the women’s soccer goalie, and in equal amounts.

        UT, Alabama and Georgia having reps out their competing for the hearts and minds of 16 year olds with $ is a BAD fucking idea tho no doubt some silver lining can be found if you’re looking at trying to justify it.


        • The post isn’t about recruiting. It’s about whether providing a financial incentive for college athletes to come back for another year is a good thing or not.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Biggen

            I think that is a good thing. Maybe we can kill two birds with one stone. How about we should limit NIL to sophomores and up??



            • Derek

              Not a bad idea. No discussions of money until you’re draft eligible AND you have a verifiable draft grade! Certainly its an improvement.


            • Why is it reasonable to tell someone that their effort shouldn’t be paid because of their age? Would you accept that your first year at any job is uncompensated? Especially if you were better than longer term employees and had a bigger impact? Why do starters who are freshmen deserve to work for free?

              What happens to the first freshman who gets a career ending injury during their first season? Why was it fair to prevent them from capitalizing on their skills and effort?


            • Biggen, I doubt that would hold up in the face of an antitrust suit.


    • ASEF

      So, the kids are too stupid to make responsible decisions. Your basic premise all along and for pretty much everything.

      The thing you keep missing is that the people who would make decisions for them typically don’t. They say that’s what they’re doing, but in reality they typically use that control to serve their own interests and line their own pockets.

      In some parallel and ideal universe where college sports actually adheres to its gauzy, softly lit “principles,” I’d agree with you.

      As things currently stand, however, I’m fine with players monetizing their gift and opportunity. Comparing that to selling drugs or murder? Sheer sophistry. The most valuable thing I did during college in terms of career development was get a summer job telemarketing season tickets to a professional theater company. That experience in the short term yielded an insane amount of beer money and in the long term turned into a sales and marketing career that allowed me to retire at 45. I still work, but the money is incidental. The primary motivation is giving back.

      The kids will be alright. The old system produced a lot of horror stories. I’m sure the new system will produce some cautionary tales as well. But probably less, because the kids have far more agency now.

      We’ll see

      Liked by 3 people

      • Derek

        We shouldn’t keep 16 years olds from alcohol, from voting or entering into contracts.

        Hertz 25 year old minimum is WRONG and probably unconstitutional!

        Why should selling kids be a more serious offense than selling to a 50 yo?

        Ages of consent for sex? Why?!?!


  5. Derek

    “Selling [drugs to] kids”


  6. 69Dawg

    Until the NCAA gets it Sht together, the buying of recruits will continue. I’m all for paying players who are enrolled but that’s not even happening as fast as paying recruits by out bidding all the other schools. If the now nearly defunct NCAA could just enforce recruiting it would serve a purpose but I fear it’s too late for that. So just take all the big money guys money and buy those players. Jimbo’s so full of sht his breath stinks when he says they are just doing it with hard work. The mere promise to pay a recruit for signing with a school should get the school and coaches a show cause order.


    • junkyardawg41

      The problem is they never really could perform enforcement. Schools allowed themselves to be enforced more than the NCAA every enforcing practically anything.