Friday, June 10, 2011

Pay for Play

Its been too long. I apologize. And a real X's and O's post is on its way. I promise. Spoiler alert- its on the passing game (GASP!). Believe it.

Anyways, a lot has been goin on lately in the college football world regarding payments and benefits of athletes. Some are suggesting to just pay the players. I say no.

I am against the straight-up payment of the players. A college education is plenty of payment. You will find plenty of people (many involved in education) that completely oppose giving scholarships to student athletes. I disagree with them, as I believe athletic scholarships reward hard working people and benefit a University.  I think the biggest reason people believe these athletes should get paid is because we have this idea that college is a human right and that we need to send as many people to college as possible. Thats an economics rant for another time but as a society we need to debunk this notion that college is for everyone. We accept way too many people into colleges and pay way too much for them. If Joe Schmo can get his education paid for just because he has average grades, what about the person who has the same grades but also dedicates themselves to athletics? Common sense would suggest that the person in athletics be rewarded with more than the other. Im suggesting that we need to reward average people less. If there weren't so many grants for minimal accomplishments (if they can even be called that), a college education would be accepted as sufficient payment for athletic participation. It should be. A college education should be a valuable tool and an investment. Having one paid for should be a big deal.

Those that do endorse the payment of players- how much will they get paid? what will it be based on? position? skill? touchdowns? wins? Are all schools going to have different amounts or will there be a cap? will there be revenue sharing or will the big universities have an even bigger edge over recruiting because they can pay players more? do field hockey, golf, or tennis players get paid?
I love college football. And i have been a Texas football fan for a long time. Allowing the universities to pay the players would make Texas an absolute powerhouse (no other program currently generates as much $). Yet I am still strongly opposed to this concept as it would ruin competitive college football as we know it. It would be just like the days before scholarship limits where the Texas', Alabamas, Michigans, and Florida states of the world would merely outbid the Boise States, Northern Illinois', and Hawaiis of the world. It would resemble the MLB and the NBA but much, much worse. The recruiting world is a damn circus now! it would be an absolute nightmare if monetary bidding was involved (more than it apparently already is...)

I see it only leading to much worse problems than we already have now.
Disclaimer- this is the least amount of time i have put into a post. Sorry if it sucks. I hope I at least gave some food for thought. Even if it was value menu. I am going to publish this post now but I will probably fiddle with it and add new things to it as I go since I will most likely never be content with what I have written here.

So feel free to leave your 2 cents in the comment section, the collection basket at church, or in a street performer's hat. But not in the hands of a student-athlete.


  1. I agree with much of what you have stated coach. Often we see people commenting on two complex NCAA issues (pay players, football playoffs) with extremely overly simplified statements. "Just pay the players...Just use the bowl sites as playoff games" without fully comprehending the situation or the consequences--both intended and unintended.

    I have never seen anyone address the issues you bring up. Generally media members just give the issues an over simplified treatment. Their agenda is to sell papers--not actually examine the situation. Fan types don't have an agenda, I just don't think they think through the solutions to the potentially much worse problems that you mention in your last paragraph.

    Thank you for bringing to light a point I had not previously considered. The "devaluation" of a college education for the general public might indeed be a driving force behind many outsiders thinking paying players is an acceptable undertaking. That could be a reason why many simply gloss over the fact that the players are receiving free tuition, free room and board, free books, the opportunity to graduate debt free and start their "adult" lives without the burden of debt and interest as well as having a built in selling point on their resumes.

    A common statement heard in this discussion is that the players "can't even take a girl out to Outback on a Weekend", because NCAA rules limit job opportunities. This may very well be true. My question to those who say "That's why you have to pay the players" is--take college football out of the equation. Take the same kid, from the same background, same financial situation--take away the "free tuition, free books, free room and board (or stipend) and allow the kid to have a job. Is the kid better off now? Because i doubt that whatever job they have is going to cover tuition, books, room/board and give them burn money.

    This illustrates the UGLY truth that is not/can not be stated public in the mainstream media. That many of the problems in "big time" collegiate athletics is due to the fact that the opportunities given to the participants..the free tuition, books, room/board, connections etc... are given to individuals who otherwise would not be in the situation--and here is the kicker--THEY DON'T VALUE THE OPPORTUNITY. They wouldn't be able to go to school full time, live on campus, purchase all the books and study guides etc, but they DON'T CARE. They don't see value in those opportunities, perhaps as you said, because of the increasing notion that College is for everyone, and is now looked at as more of a 13th grade.

  2. Well said CoachD. And thanks. Next time im in SE LA im stoppin by. Haha

  3. No problem Coach. I was hoping to have a few more people in this discussion.

  4. Haha nah i wasnt expecting it. My 6 readers seem to be the quiet type haha

  5. I agree with some of what you said coach because paying players would be very difficult to do. Any attempt to pay male football and basketball players would be met with an immediate Title IX lawsuit. Steve Spurrier had an interesting idea that the coaches should pay their players a small stipend out of their own pockets but that only works if the coach makes more than a million dollars a year, and some coaches at small schools simply couldn’t afford that, further driving a wedge between established programs and smaller ones.

    However, the current NCAA system is a joke in my mind. As Walter Byers, the first executive director of the NCAA said, it operates under a “neo-plantation belief that enormous proceeds from college games belong to the overseers (administrators) and supervisors (coaches). The plantation workers performing in the arena may only receive those benefits authorized by the overseers.” The fact of the matter is that college football is a billion-dollar a year industry with every team and conference dying to get the next new deal with ESPN or whatever network wants to offer one.

    The Ohio State situation is something that really got on my nerves because the players were painted in this negative and selfish light because they sold their memorabilia. The fact of the matter is the rings and jerseys were THEIR property and why shouldn’t they be allowed to sell it for money. The university has no qualms using their pictures and likenesses to make money. Some people have argued that the OSU players (Pryor especially) acted selfish, but what do you expect? The money that programs and coaches make is made off of the backs of sometimes very poor kids who are told they have to wait a minimum of three years before they can even attempt to make money off their own image.

    And for those who have said that the players acted selfishly, maybe they did. But what kind of role models do their coaches present them with? When you have Urban Myer leave Bowling Green and Utah for a big payday at Florida what do you tell the kids that he recruited for those universities? The examples of coaches putting their pocket books ahead of their athletes is astounding. Bobby Petrino signed a deal with Louisville and then jumped ship for the NFL; Brian Kelly left Cincinnati for Notre Dame for a pay raise, as did Rich Rodriguez, Jim Harbaugh and Nick Saban. Hell Les Miles seems to be the only one with scruples because reports were that Michigan was offering him more money than LSU was paying him and he turned it down.

    I’m not saying that the athletes should be paid because there is no current idea that makes it possible, but the system definitely is broken.

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