Study: If College Coaches Were Paid Like Pro Coaches, Enough Money Would be Left to Pay Players

January 16, 2014 at 1:15p    by DJ Byrnes    
131 Comments
Nick Saban: Enthused.

The NCAA is holding its annual conclave this week, and the organization has been given a mandate of change (or else) by its power members. While the NCAA has shown more willingness to adapt than in the past, the Ed O'Bannon lawsuit still looms ominously overhead.

It appears the NCAA has taken another hit: today a report by sport management professor Dr. Daniel Rascher was filed on behalf of the plaintiffs in the O'Bannon suit, and the picture it paints isn't very kind to the old NCAA argument "we'd love to pay our players but unfortunately that'd bankrupt us." Apparently the money is already there.

Here's the raw data:

That's not a good look for an amateur sports organization. But what about all those reports about athletic departments losing hand-over-fist? Well, Dr. Daniel Rascher filed a separate report on that very issue as well. Turns out, there's some fuzzy math and accounting magic going on. Among the tricks used by athletic departments to hide their profits.

  • Not counting donations unless they're specifically made to that program.
  • Not counting university-branded merchandise.
  • Not counting a successful program's effect on applications, enrollment, and tuition.
  • Undervaluing concessions, parking, and team merchandise.
  • Overvaluing the cost of food, tuition, books, and room and board.

As Deadspin notes, these tactics have been around since a famous 1992 study centering on Western Kentucky's ​athletic department. The Hilltoppers claimed a loss of $1.5 million but were actually turning a profit in excess of $5 million.

Rascher also noted to Deadspin he doesn't believe this fuzzy accounting is malacious; it's not as if these universities are "for profit" after all, but there's definitely some exceptions:

Rascher notes that the athletics department at Texas counts among its expenses out-of-state tuition for every single athlete, whether they're actually from out of state or not. That's more money going from athletics to the school's bursar than is necessary—"an obvious attempt to falsely increase expenses," Rascher says. Why? Smaller programs might exaggerate expenses to receive more funding. But, Rascher says, it works the other way around too: "Really well-off athletic departments find ways to pay the rest of campus so everyone is fine with them doing their thing."

Rascher's full work can be found below, but the O'Bannon case definitely just got more interesting.


131 Comments

Comments

BuckeyePoetLaureate's picture

So we spend a lot of time thinking about whether or not players should be paid.  Maybe we're asking the wrong question: How much should the players pay?  If we're compensating them according to their financial value, we certainly can't believe that a third-string defensive end is worth all of the costs that are put into him: tuition, room, board, travel cost, stipend, health care, support staff...  I think the vast majority of players would be in a worse position financially if they were required to do the same thing as a lot of other college athletes and to take out loans to pay their tuition and room and board. 
In baseball, first-year pro players get about 1100/month during the season and a food per diem of $20.  Our Buckeye football players are a lot better off than most minor league ballplayers.  The primarily free-market system employed in baseball is the same market that results in sky-high salaries for coaches.  Schools wouldn't pay the coaches a ton of money if they didn't believe it was financially responsible to do so. 
Title IX is always a big concern in cases like these.  There were big controversies as Title IX settled in; wrestling teams that had been at a college for 100 years were disbanded to protect the gender balance in the school's athletics department.  Non-revenue athletes already get lower stipends and fewer scholarships...if you're paying the football and basketball players, how will Title IX be affected? 

Proud alumnus of the Ohio State Creative Writing MFA Program.  Creator of the writing craft site Great Writers Steal.

d5k's picture

Last time I checked minor league baseball is not a 3 billion a year industry.

cdub4's picture

Exactly. Minor league baseball manager do not make 7 figures, not as many fans surf minor league message boards, and the BCS championship game brings in more money than the AAA World Series. An OSU football player should have a better deal than a Lake County Captain.

Also, a elite baseball prospect, a five star if you will would get offered 7 figures at 18 years old, and a "4 star" 6 figures. An elite baseball high school prospect has better options FWIW.

BuckeyePoetLaureate's picture

Both of you are right, but you're both undercutting your own point.  A big reason that Brax is worth so much is that he's an OHIO STATE BUCKEYE.  Any player who is the quarterback of the Buckeyes is going to be "worth" a lot.  It's a symbiotic relationship, particularly when Brax isn't LOSING any money because the NFL won't let him join their league until he's three years out of high school.
Now imagine Derek Jeter is a Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRider instead of a New York Yankee.  Is he worth $18 million a year?  Wouldn't you agree that (with few exceptions) ANY minor league shortstop is "worth" less than his major league counterpart?

Proud alumnus of the Ohio State Creative Writing MFA Program.  Creator of the writing craft site Great Writers Steal.

Gametime's picture

Your entire premise is defeated by two words: Joe Bauserman.

...I too dream in color and in rhyme
So I guess I'm one of a kind in a full house
Cause whenever I open my heart, my soul or my mouth
A touch of God rains out...

cdub4's picture

I agree with your point that it is symbiotic. I would say the the reason being an OSU player could be worth so much are players like Braxton Miller over time. Kind of a chicken egg thing... If OSU didn't get talents like Miller and players like George, Ginn Spielman etc over the years, and started recruiting MAC caliber players, being an OSU Buckeye would not be worth that much in 5-10 years after some 5-7 seasons. You used the perfect word to describe the relationship.

Statutoryglory's picture

Yup, trade Jordan Lynch with Braxton Miller and see what happens to their perceptions.  That said, let these guys rack up whatever endorsement deals they can.  That way the Braxton's of the world have a local car commercial, a restaurant deal, a Nike deal, and autograph shows and a cut of his jersey sales but the 4th string long snapper doesn't get to profit as much from his notoriety.  Paying everyone the same is a silly concept.  Players should either be bid on during recruiting or allowed to set up their own endorsements or some combination of the two.  

cdub4's picture

I disagree with you saying that the 3rd string tight end is not worth all the cost. As much money surrounds college football, as much money is spent on recruiting, and some of the aamounts of under the table money and illegal benefits some of the players already receive, I doubt any kid who would commit to OSU, Bama, LSU, Texas etc would have to pay a dime if the system changed.

Also, the minimum salary for MLB, NFL, and NBA are near mid 6 figures, just throwing out numbers, as popular as Ohio State, Bama, and Texas football are....these players are worth maybe 50-100 grand a year. Let them pay for tuition, books , housing etc out of that. If every OSU player got $100,000 a year, that would be 8.5 million. OSU football would still make profit.

Not saying that would be a great plan, or what I would suggest, just making points.

BuckeyePoetLaureate's picture

Cool comment.
I disagree about value, however.  It's not fair to compare an MLB/NFL player to a D-I player.  The NCAA is the farm system for the NFL; minor leaguers get FAR, FAR less than the major league average. 
You also have to bear in mind the costs of attending college.  Look at the out-of-state tuition costs alone!  I'm not sure 50 grand would give them the lifestyle they currently enjoy.  And while Buckeye football might still be profitable, we would lose a lot of other sports programs in order to remain in the black.
And we're not even thinking about the programs that aren't as flush as ours.  There would be very little competitive balance.  Right now, we're competing with a lot of schools.  Maybe we lose a guy because he can get more playing time at a smaller school with a less-profitable team.  If you offer that guy 100 grand, there's a lot lower chance he'll go to a school for athletics or even a better football experience.

Proud alumnus of the Ohio State Creative Writing MFA Program.  Creator of the writing craft site Great Writers Steal.

Statutoryglory's picture

Compare the television contracts of NCAA football and Minor League Baseball.  CFB is the number 2 sport in America.  It is actually more popular than Major League Baseball let alone Minor League.  MLB teams pay the salaries of their minor league system, yet the NFL as a whole contributes nothing to it's minor league system which is even more valuable because it does the leg work of producing the ready made stars like Andrew Luck who came in a national name instead of an obscure minor leaguer.  Perhaps each NFL team can set aside 10-20M per year into a pool that is allocated among the college ranks based on the number of NFL players on rosters developed by those schools.  That way the best producing schools like OSU get to allocate more money to it's players and even the occasional D3 school might have money on some years because they got Pierre Garcon and Cecil Shorts both on rosters right now like Mt Union.  This rewards the performing schools and penalizes the ones that aren't actually developing NFL talent.

rdubs's picture

I find the argument that the 3rd string DE isn't worth his scholarship to be somewhat dubious.  No one is forcing these schools to give out these scholarships.  If they think they aren't worth it, then why do it.  In fact the school must think they are worth two scholarships because for every football scholarship you give out you have to find a women's golfer or diver to give one to as well.

Torpedo Vegas's picture

I'm not sure if I understand how you're conceptualizing value. The NCAA may be a farm system for the NFL, but it's a farm system that generates billions and billions of dollars. The revenue for the NCAA is much closer to the MLB/NFL than minor league baseball. It is therefore completely fair to judge the value of a NCAA player by that of an MLB/NFL player. The reason why you see college coaches getting paid more than pro coaches (by percentage of revenue) is because colleges are generating tons of money from athletics and the only way to compete in the market for players is hiring fancy coaches or facilities. Opening the market for players, i.e. allowing them to be paid, will shift the money going towards coaches and facilities to player salaries because that will be the new way to compete for players. If you're worried about competitive balance institute a salary cap. Either way would be far more effective in judging player value than the current system.

bgohio22's picture

Interesting argument in this thread . . . and your GSW site is great!

BuckeyePoetLaureate's picture

I find the issue interesting and I love that we can have such respectful "arguments" here at 11W.  Thanks for your kind words about my site!

Proud alumnus of the Ohio State Creative Writing MFA Program.  Creator of the writing craft site Great Writers Steal.

harleymanjax's picture

The NCAA salaries should be alot more than the NFL! There are 120 colleges and only 32 NFL teams?

"Because I couldn't go for 3"

carence's picture

I was thinking the same thing Harleymanjax. There are what, 119 D1 programs?

Jdadams01's picture

It's the percentage that sticks out.

d5k's picture

It never added up to me.  A board of directors doesn't pay a new CEO of an insolvent company millions of dollars to turn the ship around.  Accounting wizardry.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

At first glance, that's what I was thinking, too. But the percentages kind of normalize the data. 
The real problem with the economist's line of reasoning, though, is that Title IX applies to student-athlete compensation, but not coaching salaries. In other words, Kentucky can pay Calipari $5 million (or whatever it is) without the feds mandating that they pay their women's bball coach the same amount. If the universities attempt to pay athletes in revenue-positive sports (fball and bball) better packages, they will then have to pay similar packages to an equal number of female athletes.
I personally feel that the fball/bball student-athletes deserve better compensation, but I'm not sure it can be done in a feasible way if/when the feds squeeze them. That's partly why some of us who would like to see reform still aren't fans of the O'Bannon lawsuit.

buckguy10's picture

I am not too familiar with Title IX and who passed it and and the legality of what I am about to suggest but maybe its time to change Title IX? Maybe exclude football and basketball from those calculations?

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Here's a website that provides an outline of Title IX. Yes, it is time to change Title IX. The tricky part will be finding some poor souls to lead such an effort.

GrayDay's picture

If you exclude football and basketball from the calculation, there is no revenue.  Football makes almost all the money, with basketball yielding profit for only a few schools (if I remember correctly what I once read).  It is arguably more fair to pay the players who bring in the revenue, but tons of "non-revenue" athletes can kiss their scholarships goodbye if this happens.

DNARCO's picture

I don't think anybody is buying into the "NCAA would go bankrupt" argument...try again. 

 
 

AndyVance's picture

The issue here isn't that FBS programs would go bankrupt if they paid players from revenue sports, but rather if because of Title IX or other likely federal regulatory involvement, they had to pay every student athlete on the rolls. How much do you pay a freshman on the fencing team, for example? What's the starting salary for women's crew?

Jack Fu's picture

That's an issue that will certainly have to be ironed out, but it's not the reason the proposal to pay college athletes is controversial. It's controversial because there are a ton of people who believe the players per se shouldn't be paid any of the billions of dollars being generated off of their labor, due to a rigid adherence to the NCAA's outmoded notion of the value of "amateurism." There's whole thread about it going on right now, and there's barely a passing reference to even the thought of Title IX or non-revenue sports.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Jack Fu: but even if it we assumed that giving bball/fball players enhanced compensation packages was NOT controversial - let's say that a robust consensus among the national university "community" bought into the concept - their consensus reform would still have to operate in a Title IX world.
All the times in the past that schools got sued and/or regulated by the feds under Title IX, there wasn't much controversy among the decision-makers about what they were doing - it was other parties who saw controversies, the plaintiffs, activists, regulators - or else the institutions wouldn't have been pursuing the policies that got them sued/regulated in the first place.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Oops - I should have read further into this thread before commenting above. You beat me to the punch. Title IX will undermine any well-intended ideas to more fairly protect and compensate the student-athletes in bball and fball who generate the lion share of the revenue.

ToledoBuckeye's picture

How about we don't pay the athletes but allow them to profit off their own likeness? That way if a player is "popular" he can make his own money signing autographs, jersey sales, endorsements etc. That makes more sense then trying to decide how much each player is "worth."

"Anything easy ain't worth a damn." - Woody Hayes
 

Jack Fu's picture

Honestly, that would be my preference. But the proposal is better than nothing.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

That's an interesting idea. I suspect, though, that schools would be concerned that it would be a work-around for boosters et al to stockpile talent - i.e., pay above market prices for the products and services. There might be other issues with this approach.

Poison nuts's picture

Fido: While you may be right about boosters etc abusing this potential solution - there is no easy to regulate, fair solution, that is going to be un-manipulatable by people who choose to manipulate. Boosters are already a problem in the right here & now. If you're going to "pay" college kids who are already getting an education at no cost, then this notion of allowing them to profit from their own likeness is the best idea I've heard to date.
It levels the field & makes it so that the kids who are stars & are making the millions for their schools could be compensated. The fencing team members probably won't make any extra money, which is fair as they don't generate an income for the school. Title IX (as I understand it) isn't affected because all student athletes would have the equal right to earn money from their own likeness - so no one is left out. Seems like a genuine solution...if you're a proponent of going down this whole long, sorted road - which I still don't know if I am or not. Some days I'm fiercely for, & other days fiercely against.

"Death created time to grow the things that it would kill" - Detective Rustin Cohle.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Good points - I'm intrigued by this approach. Compared to other options, it might be the least imperfect way to go.
One other issue I'm wondering about, though - maybe our resident legal experts can weigh in: What happens when both the university and the athlete are trying to profit off the athlete's likeness, etc.? In terms of legal property law, would they run into complications? I.e., an "item" or "article" of property cannot be divided such that the sum of the fractions exceed 1.0 (or 100 percent). Will there be co-ownership of some of these "properties"? How does that side of things get reconciled?
Or is this not an issue - maybe there is no practical overlap of ownership boundaries?
 

rdubs's picture

How can boosters abuse this?  If someone thinks their jersey or endorsement is worth $3 million then who is anyone to say it isn't?  I actually think there might be a big explosion at first (see the long lines at the Colorado weed stores on the first day) and then settle down once people realize that they are wasting their money while MSU still beats UM with undervalued players.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

RDubs: for example, the week after freshmen enroll (winter, summer, fall), boosters could pay them $500 or $1,000 per signature, etc., even though many of their signatures wouldn't yet go for much at a regular event or on eBay , etc.
It would be a quasi-"signing bonus" for accepting an offer to the "good guys." These boosters might be wasting their money on some/many of the autographs, but the goal would be to set up a system to aid recruiting, as future prospective recruits would understand that they will get guaranteed money by entering the program, even if they never break the starting lineup and/or their likenesses remain low-value "properties."

Torpedo Vegas's picture

I don't think it would be a problem if say Brax showed up without any OSU intellectual property on him, i.e. RGIII in the Subway commercials. As for jerseys and such, I'm sure that's something that would be negotiated through contract either between an NCAA player's union and the schools or the individual players and the schools. I believe that's how it works in the NFL.

AndyVance's picture

One thing that jumps off the page in quasi-defense of the NCAA (and I'm not in any way arguing that change might not be a good thing), is that we're talking about two totally different revenue pools here. Look at the difference in revenue between the FBS and the NFL, and you're looking at $4 billion in additional revenue.
Similarly, you're looking at the salaries for FBS coaches being spread out over 32 teams, versus 120 FBS squads, to "the way NFL coaches are paid" is much, much different than the way NCAA coaches are paid: looking at it as a percentage of revenue might not be the best barometer, though it certainly paints a very unfavorable picture of "big-time college football," which is almost certainly what the professor had in mind.

I_Run_The_Dave's picture

Let's also remember that if we pay athletes in one sport, we have to pay them in all of the sports.  The study also looks only at one sport in isolation.  Schools like Ohio State finance the remainder of their varsity sports with football revenue.  Also, even if we looked at Football in isolation, wouldn't we expect the NFL to have a smaller percentage of revenue toward coach salaries?  They are a for-profit institution, whereas Ohio State does not have an "owner" or "share-holders" to keep happy.  

buckguy10's picture

Why do we have to pay athletes for all sports? Why can't we just pay the athletes who are actually generating the revenue (i.e. football and basketball)?

OSUNEA1986's picture

The schools would have to sacrifice any state or federal funding, grants (including research) and that's a LOT mor money than football and basketball will ever make for a University.
It seems that there are many who forget that sports are not the reason the Universities exist.

SonOfBuckeye's picture

It seems that there are many who forget that sports are not the reason the Universities exist.

Get rid of athletic scholarships altogether.  The NCAA will cease to be the pro's de facto minor league, which in turn will force the NFL to setup a club/farm system that pays players according to their market value.

d5k's picture

It's supply and demand.  The demand curve for coaching labor is artificially inflated due to the price fixing on worker/player labor.  Therefore coaching salaries are artificially high compared to a market where players are paid.  
The revenue of the NFL isn't that relevant although it does illustrate how the schools aren't really "not-for-profit", they are just paying management/coaches all the profits rather than shareholders or workers/players and they get out of paying taxes.

jenks's picture

Non-profits are determined, in part, by a primary purpose test.  Surprisingly (or not so surprisingly?), the NCAA doesn't consider itself a nonprofit under the amateur sports 501(c)(3) class, but rather, the education one.

d5k's picture

There isn't a nonprofit class for a marching band / spirit squad that supports and cheers for student athletes?

fanfarris's picture

Hated the picture on this thread...can we plz not show any more of Saban w the ball inhand..

you
 

BoFuquel's picture

Deadspin=dumass. GO BUCKS!

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

Jack Fu's picture

Deadspin=dumass.

Hoo boy.

BuckeyeSki's picture

You spelled Dumars wrong

Banned from BlackShoeDiaries since 2008. Crime: Slander/Defamation of Character Judgement: Guilty

BucksfanXC's picture


You did spell it wrong, but I think that's giving Deadspin too much credit

“Any time you give a man something he doesn't earn, you cheapen him. Our kids earn what they get, and that includes respect.”  - Woody

jaxbuckeye's picture

Players ARE paid.  They get a free education and room & board.

cdub4's picture

No they ARE NOT. You can't buy groceries or make a car payment with your free room and board. Can't fly home or order a pizza with your free tuition. Those are benefits or perks, not pay. Even if in some strange world it was pay, the question some people have is if they are compensated enough.

jaxbuckeye's picture

So TIRED of reading garbage like this.  So, you mean they are like OTHER college students?  Poor babies.  Everyone talks about "the market".  Well, the market dictates that the compensation for playing college football is a scholarship and room & board.  No one is forcing them to accept it.  If they don't like it, they can be regular students like everyone else.  I'm sure the market will have no problem finding other student athletes willing to play for this.
Also tired of this garbage about how they bring in so much revenue for the universities.  SO WHAT!?  I personally manage a team at a fortune 500 company that brings in over $50 Million a year.  I see less that 1/4 of 1% of that money.  Welcome to life.  Those that put up the capital reap the rewards.  Everyone else can choose to do something else if they like.

buckguy10's picture

Yes but if you didn't like what the market offered you, you would have the opportunity to leave and work for another company, offering your skills for a higher salary. 
These students are capped with how much they can "earn" in the value of a scholarship. They have no negotiating power because they can't go to another school and say how much would you pay me to be your starting quarterback. The answer would be, the value of a scholarship.

jaxbuckeye's picture

"Yes but if you didn't like what the market offered you, you would have the opportunity to leave and work for another company, offering your skills for a higher salary."
 
What are you talking about?  So, they have NO alternative but to be an athlete in school?  They DON'T have to play sports.  They DON'T have to go to college.  The deal being offered by universities is clear.  You can have a scholarship and room & board for playing football.  Don't like it?  Find something else to do.
So, where is your outrage for the cost of college?  The cost of books?  Your point of view is WAY off. 

Jack Fu's picture

So, you mean they are like OTHER college students?  Poor babies.

Other college students don't generate millions upon millions of dollars for the school. A hundred thousand people don't spend upwards of $75 to go watch Joe Schmoe the finance major give his big end-of-semester presentation.

Everyone talks about "the market".  Well, the market dictates that the compensation for playing college football is a scholarship and room & board.

No, a constraint on the market does that. There effectively is no market, because there's a blanket rule that players cannot be paid.

If they don't like it, they can be regular students like everyone else.  I'm sure the market will have no problem finding other student athletes willing to play for this.

And I'm sure people won't pay what they're paying now for the above-referenced tickets to games, nor will television networks pay what they're paying now for broadcast rights, if there are substandard athletes playing.

Also tired of this garbage about how they bring in so much revenue for the universities.  SO WHAT!?  I personally manage a team at a fortune 500 company that brings in over $50 Million a year.  I see less that 1/4 of 1% of that money.  Welcome to life.

You see the glaring problem with this argument, right? YOU GET MONEY; THE PLAYERS GET NONE. No one is saying that the players should get all of the money generated, just an appropriate share. If that's 10%, so be it; if it's .25%, so be it. That's for the market to determine.

jaxbuckeye's picture

Well then, allow me to retort. 
So the student working in all the college labs all over the country don't generate any type of revenue for the universities?  Think you need to educate yourself on that one.
There are restraints in ALL markets Einsteen.  I COULD find someone to work for less than minimum wage but there are barriers to that too.  Your constraint argument is not valid.
Whether people will or will not pay for other athletes is irrelevant.  You are making baseless suppositions.  Funny you assume that alumni wouldn't watch their teams because it's a "3 star" and not a "5 star".  Hilarious.
Again, a scholarship at a university it the EQUIVALENT of money.  My boss could pay me in anything he wants, as long as I accept.
The players no more deserve a share of that money than you or I deserve a share of our company's revenue.  They are free to start their own universities, NCAA, etc if they like.

d5k's picture

The argument is whether this particular constraint on the market is appropriate.  Your argument that there exists other constraints is what is not valid.  Ironic that you bring up minimum wage when this is a wage cap rather than a floor.
Workers do "deserve" some share of revenue and usually receive a reasonable wage when there aren't caps and anti-competitive price fixing doesn't occur.
Your argument boils down to "people with power inherently deserve the full rewards of that power because they have power and used that power to manipulate others to generate rewards".  Why do you hate the players and love the fancy rich white dudes?

OSUNEA1986's picture

You just exposed your inherent bias and incorrectly re-stated the argument.
The athletes have every freedom to start their own teams/leagues etc. Just like you or I, after HS (or for that matter at age 16) can start a business if we so choose.
There are no restraints. We are all equally free to do those things. The fact that very few have the resources to do so doesn't change the fact that we are free to do it.
The student athlete CHOOSES to participate in the existing organization (university) and thereby accepts the terms.
 

Jack Fu's picture

The athletes have every freedom to start their own teams/leagues etc. Just like you or I, after HS (or for that matter at age 16) can start a business if we so choose.
There are no restraints. We are all equally free to do those things. The fact that very few have the resources to do so doesn't change the fact that we are free to do it.
The student athlete CHOOSES to participate in the existing organization (university) and thereby accepts the terms.

How's life in fantasy land? Did you get all that information from the unicorn? Tell him I said hi.

Jack Fu's picture

So the student working in all the college labs all over the country don't generate any type of revenue for the universities?  Think you need to educate yourself on that one.

Please, by all means, educate me, brilliant one. I'm all ears.

There are restraints in ALL markets Einsteen.  I COULD find someone to work for less than minimum wage but there are barriers to that too.  Your constraint argument is not valid.

Find me one other example of a market restraint in this country that prevents labor from being paid at all, Stephen Hawkberg.

You are making baseless suppositions.  Funny you assume that alumni wouldn't watch their teams because it's a "3 star" and not a "5 star".  Hilarious.

As opposed to the totally justified supposition that makes up the last sentence of your post (see below)? If you think people are paying just to watch the ol' alma mater give it the ol' college try and it doesn't matter how good the players are, well, you go ahead and believe that.

Again, a scholarship at a university it the EQUIVALENT of money.  My boss could pay me in anything he wants, as long as I accept.

1.) Very well. This year you get paid an Outback Steakhouse gift card in the amount of $100,000. I'm sure you'll be happy with that; it's the equivalent of money after all.
2.) As to whether or not you'd "accept" that, the key difference between you and a college football player is you have a practical alternative. Not one NFL or CFL team is going to draft a football player directly out of high school. The kids have to go the college route.

The players no more deserve a share of that money than you or I deserve a share of our company's revenue.  They are free to start their own universities, NCAA, etc if they like.

Okay.gif.

OSUNEA1986's picture

To answer: physicians services. Physician must be affiliated with a hospital (staff membership) in order to receive payments from third party payers (healthcare insurance). However, not all patients of the hospital have insurance. Physician isn't employed by or paid by hospital. Hospital requires that physician provide services to un insured patient. Physician doesn't get paid, yet service has been provided under obligation by hospital. Everyday, all day, all over the country. Billions of free service. Docs can't "write it off" (illegal), theyreceive no discount or reduced student loan debt. No benefit whatsoever. It's pure charity, or slavery.
 

Wilkins78's picture

Not one NFL or CFL team is going to draft a football player directly out of high school.

 
EXACTLY!!!! They're also likely not going to draft someone from an NAIA school, or someone who took three years off, etc.  Thus, in addition to free room, board, tuition, medical care, personal training, personal nutritionists, sports gear (including clothing), bowl swag, and vocational training, they get promoted through exposure and networking so that they are able to have the opportunity to go on to making a career out of playing a game for millions.  There is an enormous, though perhaps unquantifiable, value to this.  Not just for salaries, but for endorsements and merchandising when drafted.  How many Clowney Jerseys would sell after the draft this year if he never played a down of football on tv?  How big would Trent Richardson's Subway endorsement check have been before his rookie year even started?  Would he have gotten one at all?  

Estrada's picture

So the student working in all the college labs all over the country don't generate any type of revenue for the universities?  Think you need to educate yourself on that one.

 
If you're referring to graduate students (who in combination with post-doctoral researchers, do the lion's share of data generation for all of the sciences), then you may be surprised to find that in addition to free tuition that they also receive a modest stipend.  So while graduate students in scientific disciplines do generate a great deal of revenue for the university (sometimes directly when they actually write and apply for funding, or indirectly when the data they've collected provides the impetus and support for a funded grant proposal penned by their faculty advisor), they also go to school for free AND get paid to do so (it depends on the specific department, but the salary is usually in the neighborhood of $25k).

jenks's picture

Undergraduates, like almost every student-athelete, do not receive stipends, though.

Estrada's picture

Undergraduates, like almost every student-athelete, do not receive stipends, though.

 
No, but in reality undergraduates generate very little useful scientific data on their own.  Without graduate students there, most of their experiments wouldn't be completed because they would never have received the appropriate training and usually lack the free time to complete all of the minutiae in a timely manner (usually due to time constraints imposed by class).  It is typically grad students or post-docs who do the hands-on training, as the faculty member running the lab usually doesn't have time to teach someone how to do the bench work (at least in biomedical sciences; their time is completely occupied with all of the other tasks required to keep the lab up and running).
So in the end, it's another comparison that doesn't quite work--which isn't all that surprising as collegiate athletics is a unique beast unto itself.

jenks's picture

And most student-athletes do not generate tons of revenue themseves.  Even in football, it's a small percentage of the actual players. When all sports are involved (especially the non revenue-generating) ones, the percentage is even smaller.

sbentz4's picture

Not all graduate students are granted assistantships and at major universities like OSU there are an army of undergrads that do a lot of work.  In some instances the students have to pay the university to participate in undergraduate research, its actually a class in the psych program.  Meanwhile a well-known researcher could simply come up with a good idea and get a huge grant, which partially goes straight to the university.  After receiving said grant, unpaid undergrads could end up doing the lions share of work.  Not necessarily more difficult work (likely not), but more work in terms of hours.  Also, at least in my experience, my stipend is $500/month during the school months only.  Hardly anywhere near $25k.

I_Run_The_Dave's picture

Other college students don't generate millions upon millions of dollars for the school. A hundred thousand people don't spend upwards of $75 to go watch Joe Schmoe the finance major give his big end-of-semester presentation.

Right, because successful businessmen and researchers and engineers and other folks never ever ever give millions of dollars back to their Alma Mater later on in life after they've made their money.  Obviously.
I would venture to say that Ohio State makes more money from Alumni donations than they do from Football and Basketball.  And law/business/engineering/etc students don't get paid to develop their craft when they are in school either (except in the case of paid internships, which everyone doesn't get, and are not paid by the school).

Jack Fu's picture

If you honestly don't see the difference between people paying money for the entertainment of watching athletes ply their trade and alumni gifting money back to their alma mater, then we have nothing to discuss further. In the former, the people are paying to watch the work that the athletes are doing. In the latter, the alumnus/alumna is donating money to the school itself as either a thank you to the school or a particular department therein, or to help the school or a particular department therein.
This is to say nothing of all the television revenue being generated based on the labor of the players, or the revenues based on the sale of jerseys (which don't contain names - wink wink - but are obviously the jerseys of specific players), or the players' likenesses being used by the school, the networks, video games, etc., to generate revenue.

I_Run_The_Dave's picture

My point was that alumni donations constitute a longer term investment that ultimately has a higher yield, but the university doesn't actually pay them.  So the short term, lower yield investment should result in those being paid?  No, absolutely not.
You also mention that nobody pays $75 to hear someone give their end-of-semester presentation.  Apparently you didn't realize that successful people, the type of people that give large sums of money to their Alma Mater's, can make large sums of money on public speaking commitments.  I would say there is a similar percentage of student athletes that make it in the pros, to the average student making it big in their field.  The odds are against both.  
There is less of a difference than you are admitting to.

Jack Fu's picture

My point was that alumni donations constitute a longer term investment that ultimately has a higher yield, but the university doesn't actually pay them.

Pay who? What?

So the short term, lower yield investment should result in those being paid?  No, absolutely not.

Who? What?

You also mention that nobody pays $75 to hear someone give their end-of-semester presentation.  Apparently you didn't realize that successful people, the type of people that give large sums of money to their Alma Mater's, can make large sums of money on public speaking commitments.

You're seriously comparing a student athlete generating revenue for the school (not to mention the NCAA and TV networks) while not getting paid to ... a successful alumnus making money on a public speaking engagement? What?

I would say there is a similar percentage of student athletes that make it in the pros, to the average student making it big in their field.  The odds are against both.

So what? And the student athletes in question generate revenues through their performance while in school. The average student does not. The average student also has the option to get paid for their work. An English major, for instance, can have an essay or book published outside of school and get paid for it. A student athlete cannot, merely because they are a student athlete.

There is less of a difference than you are admitting to.

Other than everything above, sure.

jenks's picture

So what? And the student athletes in question generate revenues through their performance while in school. The average student does not.

The average student athlete does not either.

The average student also has the option to get paid for their work. An English major, for instance, can have an essay or book published outside of school and get paid for it. A student athlete cannot, merely because they are a student athlete.

If we're really going to take this comparison to the limit, then the liberal arts are like the nonrevenue sports. The departments that truly bring in the money are engineering and hard sciences. And quite frankly, while the English student can publish a book, a random novel isn't part of their English study. The engineering student, on the other hand, generally can't go out on his own.  For example, if I work in a lab and come up with an idea, the tech transfer office has the decision on whether or not to pursue it.  They could form a startup, but the university will have some rights in it.  The point being, because I used the school's money and facilities, the school takes some right in whatever comes out of it. This really isn't any different from the student-athlete using the school's athletic facilities and the school benefiting from it.

cdub4's picture

I am not that sensitive, but I would respect you more if you could disagree with another man's opinion without calling it "garbage", but whatever. The free market does not dictate room and board is enough. If it was, why have had their been cheating in recruiting for over 7 decades? Why boosters and other people offer cash payments and other benefits? You don't see NFL teams offering free agents $500 a month under the table and rent payments?

Also, football players are not like other students. The only Texas A&M student I can name is Johnny Manziel. The only Clemson students I can name were Tahj Boyd and Sammy Watkins. I went to OSU in the late 90's, and like to think I am pretty awesome, but I would not compare myself to Eddie George, Orlando Pace or Mike Vrabel as just another student from that era.

You mention bringing in capital...Manziel brought a lot of capital to Texas A&M. And you claim the "market" dictates players dont get paid,,just like in 1950? LOL. I would not call anyone's argument garbage with that logic you tried to use. Get real,,or take a Econ class or something.

OSUNEA1986's picture

They get a stipend for food and expenses in addition to their board (which is their meal plan on campus).
It's significantly more than any academic scholarship recipient receives or any graduate teaching assistant. They are also compensated better than students in the student-work programs.
The large majority of the student athletes are not complaining. Keep in mind that there are no rules/laws that keep a student athlete from taking student loans if needed for other expenses.
An athletic scholarship is NOT a paid position. Simply because the student's effort generates revenues doesn't warrant additional recompense. If that were the case, any student who performs well academically should be compensated by the U as they contribute to the reputation of the school and thereby add to the revenue stream.
Point being: these are universities and students. Either eliminate college affiliated football and basketball and create minor league teams where there are no academics/students/alums etc and pay the athletes as professionals or simply continue on and create a cost of living stipend policy.
No one requires these kids to go to college. They choose to. If they don't like it, they can start their own teams/leagues etc.
 

buckguy10's picture

So are tennis players and they don't provide anywhere near the revenue that football players do. The argument is that these athletes that are creating millions of dollars for their school and should see some of that profit. 
And who says a free education is what the players want? I think it's a pretty lazy argument to say these players are already paid when no one asks the players how they would like to be paid. That would be like my boss telling me that my salary is $75,000 paid in Ramen noodles. Wow great, $75,000! But what I could really use is $75,000 in cash so I can pay my rent, buy a car, eat food other than Ramen, etc. Maybe some players do value the education they are getting and they would have spent the $75K on tuition and room & board but some would also rather get that in cash. 
I think most athletes who come to OSU to play football, come here because of the superior coaches, training facilities, athletic support, and lifestyle of an OSU football player (king of the city) rather than the degree they might get 4 years down the road.

jaxbuckeye's picture

Read above.  If they don't like it, they can choose to do something else.  The lazy argument is saying, "well they bring in the revenue".  Try that with your boss sometime.

CPDenn's picture

If you try that with your boss, you go into the conversation understanding that you are already getting paid. These kids aren't. The real lazy argument is "Well they get free room and board! If they don't like it they can do something else!"

jaxbuckeye's picture

Getting something for your services that would otherwise cost you IS getting paid.  Don't know what planet you live on.  You can frame it anyway you want.  The fact that some of you consider it NOT being paid because it isn't in hard currency is MIND BOGGLING.

buckguy10's picture

So if I paid you in something that you considered worthless (not that I think an education is worthless but I'm sure some players derive zero benefit from it) and offered you no other options, you think that's a fair exchange of services? Now that's MIND BOGGLING

jaxbuckeye's picture

Who would accept being paid with something that is worthless?  I can't even follow you at this point.  You need a logic map.  Whether a player derives a benefit from an education is moot.  I gain no benefit from a diamond studded bra.  Does that make it worthless?  There is NO SUCH THING as "no other option".  You are talking slavery.
This would be comical if it wasn't so sad...

Chief B1G Dump's picture

It's not just tuition and books...its free state of the art gear, its free tutors, its free private gyms and fitness training, its free nutrition and meals, its team travel, its bowl gifts, its fame and/or a resume adder to gain advantages in life after football, its not graduating college with nearly $100k in debt compounded with interest over 15-30 years, AND also a stipend on top of all of the countless perks that come with being a college football player.
I, along with 99.9% of college students, PAY FOR all of those items...not just gifted for playing a game.  They are taken care of, this is all a form of payment.  Just in what we know about.
If they are going to pay football players, then I want compensation for getting good grades and test scores that help Ohio State bump up its enrollment/tuition figures that they use in marketing materials.  Is that not generating dollars for the university?

Alex Root's picture

To go along with that, do you think Craig krenzel, Bobby Carpenter, Dee Miller and all the other former OSU players would have the jobs they have if they didn't attend OSU to play sports for free? No they wouldn't because who would know who they are or care who they are? They don't just get a free education athletes can come back to Columbus and get very good jobs just because they played at OSU.

d5k's picture

You guys are both moving the goal posts.  The question is not whether they are compensated 0 or something.  The question is whether the compensation they receive is appropriate.

Alex Root's picture

And I think you infer that we believe that they are fairly compensated already.

Earle's picture

I'm not entirely unconvinced that what you think he infers about what you believe isn't actually what he intended to imply.

Italics are for emphasis; an ellipsis represents an unfinished thought.

rdubs's picture

I am just trying to figure out why you or anyone else gets to decide whether they are fairly compensated or not.  You can't decide whether anyone else in the world is fairly compensated.  It is quite clear that some athletes are not receiving their true market value.  If someone wants to give Braxton $1,000 for his jersey, they can't do that.  It makes no sense to me why people can't sell their own property or trade on their likeness.

OSUNEA1986's picture

Ask a physician what they were paid during residency sometime. I'm sure most would have liked to be able to pay the bills and eat reasonably well while working 100+ hours a week. Better still if society/government would chip away at their educational debt every time that physician provided service to an uninsured and/or indigent patient.
But then again, life ain't fair is it?
It's called delayed gratification. It's inherent to the process of going to college.
 

buckguy10's picture

That's actually a really good example. I bet athletes live a much better life than a physician going through residency and there isn't this loud voice to raise their compensation. Thanks for the insight and changing my mind!

Borrowed Time's picture

Ask a physician what they were paid during residency sometime.

But almost all physicians in residency go on to become... physicians. Very very few college football players go on to become professional football players.
I am getting really tired of seeing comparisons that are not apples to apples. 

buckguy10's picture

But also very very few college athletes warrant salaries that are higher than the cost of a scholarship. And those that do, do go on to make millions of dollars in the pros

Borrowed Time's picture

But also very very few college athletes warrant salaries that are higher than the cost of a scholarship.

Under what basis are you claiming this?
Let's take the players on our 2013 OSU squad that wouldn't be drafted... you don't think they are worth more than their scholarships?

Buckman's picture

you don't think they are worth more than their scholarships?

You don't think many of them will get a job because they were tOSU football players?

I like to believe that my best hits border on felonious assault.

JACK TATUM

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

I am getting really tired of seeing comparisons that are not apples to apples.

Are you tired of seeing comparisons that are not apples to apples or just ones that don't support what you want to believe? This entire thread is predicated upon a study that at it's core is not apples to apples as are the multiple posts trying to make free market arguments in regards to individuals who participate in collegiate athletics as part of an academic setting.
If there was even a smidge of intellectual honesty on that side of the argument the entire discussion would revolve around why the NFL is allowed to participate in age discrimination and the lack of other professional leagues providing options for those who choose to pursue a purely professional career.

Wilkins78's picture

Very very few college football players go on to become professional football players.

 
There's a flaw in logic there that just because you play football, you, by yourself, directly add $$$ to the bottom line.  
 
Also, the ones that want to become professional football players are getting the opportunity and means (huge unquantified value) to do so, which is something their school/conference/ncaa provides for them.  The ones that don't want to or don't believe that's an option for them have no reason to complain.

RunningFree's picture

You mean they didn't come to play school?
Personally, I feel like some sort of minor league system should be set up, separate from the university's budget, if an education is not considered to be acceptable payment.  Ultimately universities are still a place of education and learning, where 99.9% of the students are there to "play school."
So maybe some sort of business relationship?  Make education an option, instead of the only thing.  Most football players will ultimately need that degree anyway.  
I want to see athletes treated fairly, but at the same time I don't want to see the value of an education be diminished either.

jenks's picture

The problem is, (most) universities are nonprofit institutions.  If you set up this side venture where academics are optional, and really, theres no tie to academics, you put that status in jeopardy.

Torpedo Vegas's picture

Why not try what baseball does? Major League Baseball pays for a minor league system that coexists with NCAA baseball. The players can decide whether they want to get paid now in a minor league system or go to college and forego money now in exchange for a scholarship. The NFL would no longer be relying on taxpayers and students for a free minor league system and players would have a true choice between an amateur and a professional minor league system. That way we'll still have the Ohio State Buckeyes and the NFL can have the Developmental league Canton Bulldogs, or the equivalent. The NFL won't like it, but they've had a free ride for far too long.

brandonbauer87's picture

I'm not buying the math. 120 coaches combine for just over 100 million? I don't have time to fact check right now, but I don't think that's accurate. It might be close, but that number being wrong would tarnish any other facts given IMO.
There's also nothing to account for how universities use this revenue to support the non-revenue sports. I imagine most football programs operate with a surplus, while athletic departments as a whole may operate with a deficit. There's nothing like skewing facts in your favor to get your point across. 

buckguy10's picture

Its actually only the 107 coaches whose salary was listed in the USA Today and its for the 2007 football season (a bit dated and without the crazy contracts we are seeing now... LOL Bert making $5.16 million?).
And I think everyone realizes that football supports non-revenue sports. The question is, Should it? If you are the quarterback of the OSU Buckeyes, why should your likeness and athletic contributions fund a fencing players scholarship? That doesn't seem fair to me.

carence's picture

After reading all of the comments, I just have 1 question: Who is forcing these kids to play sports? Last time I checked, they can choose to do what they want.
That MSU recruit who got a scholarship offer and decided to become a rapper. Now, based on his YouTube video, I wondered if he made the right decision, but he made the decision and that is his right.
People choose to join the military knowing there is the potential they could go to war, people choose to bungee jump knowing the danger, and people choose to play a violent sport in which they could get seriously injured. They also know that after high school they can either go to college and not be paid or go to Canada and get paid and enter the draft in 3 years. They know this when they sign up!
 
 

jaxbuckeye's picture

THANK YOU!  ONE voice of reason in a sea of insanity!

Alex Root's picture

Why do athletes go to college in the first place? Its to play a sport so maybe they could go pro in what ever sport they are in? But for a vast majority like 1% or something only go to the pro's so really most athletes are getting that free education to use to better their life like hundreds of thousands of college students had to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for.
Its freaking college you go to learn and get a degree if you want paid play the amount of years you have to and then go pro. I mean you only have to wait 1 year for basketball and even that you could go to Europe and get paid for that one year kids have done it. Baseball they don't have to go to college they can go to the minors and make $1000 a month or whatever it is, good luck getting the world class coaches and facilities anywhere else for FREE if you didn't go to college. in Europe they don't have sports in college kids go straight to the pros in soccer, rugby and any other sport over their. But kids going out of high school to the pros don't make that much money at all unless you are Wayne Rooney or something and even he didn't make Millions right out of high school he had to spend a few years in the EPL to make his cash. 
Also does anyone actually go to College Football games to see just Braxton Miller play or Johnny Manziel? I have never went to an OSU game just to see Braxton Miller play, I go because I love OSU football in general, I go to see 100,000+ people wearing scarlet and grey cheering the TBDBITL as they to script ohio. I go for the atmosphere like when OSU beat Wisconsin on a last second touchdown then I stormed the field for the first time. I would go to see OSU football regardless if we had braxton miller or carlos hyde its the team I go to see.

jaxbuckeye's picture

Well said.  Good luck convincing others though.

carence's picture

Exactly Jaxbuckeye

d5k's picture

You make the opposite case within your post.

 good luck getting the world class coaches and facilities anywhere else for FREE if you didn't go to college.

Therefore the market is restricted.  There's only one option if you want to try to play in the NFL.  And there is monopolistic wage setting within said market.  Fairness relative to other college students or other borderline-exploitative sports markets in the world (where they literally buy and sell rights to players btw, look up Carlos Tevez move from Argentina to England to see the dark side) is not at issue here.  The question is merely whether within antitrust laws the NCAA can restrict labor in the ways that they have.  And we can also debate whether these laws "should" protect the players or the NCAA.

Statutoryglory's picture

Not true.  You can go to an open tryout in the Arena League or CFL until you are 3 yrs removed from HS.  This is another path to the NFL.

cdub4's picture

You might go to see OSU and 100,000 of your closest friends and sing Carmen Ohio, but stop getting the Hyde's and Miller and start suiting up walk ons and see how long OSU keeps getting 100,000+ and how long Meyer has a job. OSU would be nowhere near the program it is without the players, from Chic Harley down to Raekwon McMillan.

Go1Bucks's picture

College players are paid with free educations, free living quarters, free food, free on the job training for a possible career most people would kill for, and a chance to play a game they love.  Parents can pony up spending cash outside of a stipend for their kids because they are saving 100 k most of us have to pay for.  
Enough said.

"I will pound you and pound you, until you quit." -Woody

d5k's picture

college FB players and college students are only similar in that they live and attend some classes in the same area.  The players are getting hit with market restrictions on both sides by the NCAA and NFL.  The NFL with early entry restrictions and the NCAA with inability to market your image/likeness or receive any other "impermissible benefits".  On top of this is the wage restrictions placed on the universities that prevent the market from deciding what the stipend should be.  
The market value of a college education in terms of tuition cost is not the same as the present value of the proceeds of that education.  We call them "student-athletes" but most are just athletes that go to school because it allows them to be on the team.  The line "parents can pony up spending cash" is pretty offensive when you consider the typical socioeconomic background of a football player.

OSUNEA1986's picture

They have choices, just like the rest of us. Those choices are based on their skills and talent, just like the rest of us. They are not slaves or indentured servants.
Many continue to post "yes, but if they WANT to play....." WANT, not have to.
I chose my profession. It has cost me a lot, both financially and personally. But they were my choices. I've actually done the math and I would be better off financially now had I simply remained a grocery store cashier (my first job) rather than college, grad school and professional school. But I wouldn't have been satisfied.
Let's not cry and whine because young people in America have choices. There were times not so long ago when they didn't.

cdub4's picture

Sounds like jealousy. Most of us aren't athletic enough or have the ability for the career anyways. Still a raw deal. Enough said.

Ultrabuckeyehomer's picture

You were really offended by the notion that parents might be able to pay? Really? You are that easily offended? How about student loans? Why is that so terrible for these guys? I've yet to hear a single cogent argument why they can't take out loans like almost anyone else. 
Look, the great divide here seems to be that some of us don't believe that athletes "deserve" a certain amount of money simply because (and only because) "schools are bringing in billions of dollars." That is how the arguments start for 99% of the proponents of paying athletes. If schools lost money, would you still be arguing they need to be paid? Of course not. Proponents of paying players, above and beyond what they are already compensated, are really arguing that those that capitalized on something inherently owe others. Simple as that. It's a philosophical difference that I think is often understated in these debates. Admit it proponents: you think because the universities "have," they should be required to give more than they currently do. And, what they currently give is pretty substantial.  No matter how much you down Play the value these kids receive, it is substantial. 
almost no single person, playing any particular sport, is inherently valuable to a school. They are fungible for the most part, even Heisman winners.  Do you want to know the reason people watch any particular player? I'll let you in on a secret: they wear the jersey of their school or their state school they grew up rooting for. These kids have almost no inherent, individualized value.  
To prove this, let's engage in an exercise: imagine there was an opt -out provision. Kids could decide to not accept any benefits, be required to pay tuition, rent, etc. in exchange for the ability to go sell their likeness and make money on the open market. Okay, you'd have an occasional Pryor doing tat or car commercials (or hell, even Nike maybe). But, what do you suppose the vast majority of athletes would choose? My guess is to take free tuition, free room, free meals. Likely 99% or more would. Where is the inherent value of these guys? There is none. They did nothing to create the great wealth, you and I did as consumers. 
Oh, and has previously been stated, no one makes them enter into this agreement. No one! Unfair? Do something else. 
 
 

Borrowed Time's picture

Proponents of paying players, above and beyond what they are already compensated, are really arguing that those that capitalized on something inherently owe others.

As a proponent of paying players, I'm really arguing those who are capitalizing on the business of college football are earning more than what their market value is because of NCAA restrictionsPer the study above, coaches are paid disproportionately more than what is their fair share, and players are paid disproportionately less than what is their fair share.

Admit it proponents: you think because the universities "have," they should be required to give more than they currently do.

I don't think you understand the argument. I think because universities "have," they should be required to give players their fair market share, which is more than what they currently receive, including free tuition, room and board, access to facilities, trainers, tutors, etc. As seen in this study, there is more than enough money in college football. It's currently being paid in the wrong proportions to the wrong people.

To prove this, let's engage in an exercise: ...

The problem with your scenario is you are forgetting the NCAA, who still governs collegiate athletics. Without the NCAA, there would be some other form of pre-NFL league, and the players would go play there. Those who are good enough would then go to the NFL.
This is very similar to the argument the NBA had with the players' union. Does the value of an NBA team come from the NBA brand, the brand of the individual team, etc. or does the value come from the players? Obviously, the players thought the value came from the players and owners thought the value came from the brand. The truth is somewhere in between... without one another, the other would fail. 

Oh, and has previously been stated, no one makes them enter into this agreement. No one! Unfair? Do something else.

Learn what a monopoly is, and why they are illegal. The NCAA holds a monopoly over collegiate athletics. 

Ultrabuckeyehomer's picture

Allow me to preface this with an acknowledgement if the appreciation that people can actually have a civil debate on the internet. But, I disagree. First, your argument that what the players are being compensated is not fair begs the question. You are arbitrarily deciding it's not fair. Based on what criteria? Your response is exactly what I stated: they make a bunch, therefore it's unfair. Go back and look at your argument. It makes no sense. Coaches are paid more than their fair share, really? What do you base that upon? You also argue that "those that capitalize are earning more than their fair share" Again, you are arbitrarily determining that without any single shred of evidence. What is your criteria for that? What is the appropriate value of a college coach? A school? You must have a number already, given that you have already determined it's unfair and out of whack? I would like to see your numbers in your response. 
Secondly, I understand your argument perfectly. And in fact, your response only proved my point. Look at your response. It is exactly what I claimed. What you fail to do is explain why college athletes are worth more than they are already compensated. Where is the evidence of "fair market share." How are you possibly quantifying it. I'll tell you how I view market worth: when people stop applying for positions at the compensation you are offering. Tell me, how many schools are having a hard time filling their classes due to players feeling under-compensated?  I'll wait for the answer, although I suspect none. 
Lastly, although I slept through the Sherman anti trust stuff (I'm a criminal guy) the NCAA is not a monopoly (notwithstanding your bald, patronizing assertion). There are other governing bodies of collegiate athletics. Hell, kids can play intramural sports if they wish. How in the world is the NCAA monopoly?  
You say that without the NCAA there would be some pre-nfl league. Okay. And without Coca cola,  I would dominate the soft drink market too. But guess what, there us a coca cola and there is an NCAA. You are free to start this league if you wish. Go for it. I have a feeling, though, that no one wants to see a 20 year old kid play football unless it is for a school they root for. The market dictates that. What had the NCAA done to prevent these upstart leagues. I'll be awaiting your response with examples if how the NCAA has affirmatively prevented these leagues..., because as you state "without the NCAA"they would exist.  
 

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

An argument can be made that the NCAA has a monopoly on 18-20 year old football players due to the NFL's official policy. That is probably what D5K is really referring to rather than practices by the NCAA that keep the NAIA uncompetitive. :D
On that track as I've argued previously it's not something for which the NCAA can be held at fault (unless you believe there is direct collusion between the NFL & NCAA to maintain the status quo).
 

jaxbuckeye's picture

Ultrabuckeyehomer,
I would double upvote this if I could.  Well stated.

Borrowed Time's picture

With the complete restraint on earnings potential coming from the NCAA, you have no way to determine what fair is. Therefore, even though you want me to give you numbers, that's not possible (and you knew that, but you just wanted to be snarky). But that's the point. Why not let the market determine what is fair?
Also, you are "arbitrarily deciding what's fair" as well by saying a scholarship is fair value. I'm a proponent of less regulations, whereas you are a proponent of the status quo. 
As an economics and math guy, I know exactly what market value is, and understand that the parameters you have attempted to set are impossible to quantify. Again, because there is a hard ceiling (a scholarship) on earnings potential. You don't know what they would earn, and I don't know what they would earn.

I'll tell you how I view market worth: when people stop applying for positions at the compensation you are offering.

Easy to do when people have other realistic options, which is not the case here, therefore making it a non-comparable example. Where else would graduating high school kids go if they have the talents to play professional football?

Tell me, how many schools are having a hard time filling their classes due to players feeling under-compensated?  I'll wait for the answer, although I suspect none.

I don't even understand what you're trying to say here. Schools filling their classes and players feeling under compensated have extremely low correlation at best. The more I think about this, the more ridiculous it is. Very cute of you to pose another question where there is no answer.
 

Ultrabuckeyehomer's picture

You certainly make some fair points re: the uncertainty as to true market values, and I'll absolutely defer to economists in that respect (that ain't my bailiwick ). There are constraints as well, undoubtedly. However, acknowledging these facts is a far cry from agreeing that these kids are woefully under compensated, abused, etc as many say here and elsewhere.  How far off us it? I don't know. My gut sense us that these kids are given a lot to work out and play football. No one prevents them from doing something else. The market us only restricted because of inertia. Want something else? What is prohibiting that? Honestly. I am actually asking. What is the response of proponents? 

Borrowed Time's picture

What I do know is the NFL requires athletes to be 3 years out of high school to be drafted. This has been challenged before, see: Maurice Clarett, and failed pretty bad. I'm pretty sure the NFL and the players' union agreed on the 3 years out of high school rule, so that doesn't look like it will be changed any time soon.
My issue is there is no clear alternative road to the NFL. You can go through the NCAA, or you can ...? I've seen people on TV where they state where they came from, and some people say high school so there must be examples of people going alternative routes. 
The combination of education + world class training facilities and all the other perks must be enough to dissuade potential NFL players from going any other route.
Another factor to consider is football is different from basketball in that players must be more physically developed to play pro football, but can be underdeveloped physically and still play basketball.
All in all, I don't really have a good answer for you, but just some ramblings on what my thoughts are.

Jack Fu's picture

The uncertainty over "market value" is the reason I think the best solution would be to eliminate the ban on players being able to profit off their likenesses and accept money from boosters. That's pure free market shit right there: the players that people/sponsors/advertisers want to give money to get exactly what the market wants to give them And I don't believe you would be violating Title IX, because every single college athlete would be eligible to receive compensation from whoever wanted to give it to them, it's just a matter of to whom and how much the private people/sponsors/investors want to give money (I could be wrong on this, but it makes intuitive sense).
That being said, the proposals currently under consideration are better than nothing. I mean, at the very least, isn't it just kind of unseemly that college football and basketball are generating billions - with a B - of dollars, and literally everybody involved (coaches, administrators, fucking bureaucrats at the NCAA who do nothing but make and barely enforce arbitrary rules) is getting major bank except the actual people playing in the games? It's perverse.

Riggins's picture

Here's a controversial statement.  Over 95% of student athletes are completely interchangeable. I admire and recognize the work and sacrifice they put in.  But the truth is, they're Stormtroopers.  I love cheering for our guys, but I love cheering for them because they're Buckeyes. I would cheer just as hard for Jared Abbredaris as I do Philly Brown if he played for Ohio State and not Wisconsin. The name on the front is what is putting butts in the seats.
Just because someone plays or even starts for a Division I football program doesn't mean he brings in more than he receives in tuition, books, housing, insurance, food, etc.
Stop trying to argue that every Stormtrooper deserves to be paid just because the Darth Vaders of the world are getting a raw deal.  Braxton Miller, Johnny Manziel, and Jameis Winston aren't getting their true market value. However, most are. Some are even overpaid
Stop trying to set the entire market based on 5% of statistical outliers.  I'll support a modest stipend.  I'll even support the schools finding a way to make travel cheaper for the parents of out of state students so they can see their kid play. But the notion that all these poor kids are getting screwed and deserve thousands of dollars in salary is ludicrous.
If it was highly profitable to pay athletes, someone would've already started a league to capitalize on it. (SEC joke goes here)

cdub4's picture

I cheer for the Cleveland Indians, Browns and Cavs for the name on the front of the jersey also.

It is highly profitable to pay athletes. That's why pro sports were invented. Most top 20 football teams could pay their football players and make a profit, so that isn't the issue.

The reason baseball and football are set up different is because college football was more popular than pro football before the late 50's. Baseball was more popular than football also back then. A college scholly and room and board were enough in 1950.

Now it is 2014. College football and pro football is huge now. The money has exploded but the pay or lack their of relative to revenue has not.

If would not have a problem at all if the NFL had a minor league and players had more options. I dont complain about baseball players getting paid in college because college baseball teams do not make 40 million dollar profits, and high school prospects have the choice of signing a pro contract or going to college and work on their craft. Football players don't have that option because of the way mutually beneficial way the NCAA and NFL work in tandem. There is no legit reason why a football player needs to go to college anyways, not any more reason than a catcher or goalie need post high school education.

The NFL has used the NCAA has a free, cheap minor league for 75 years....well at least 50, and definitely as the NFL had exploded in popularity.

Borrowed Time's picture

Assistant coaches can also be seen as stormtroopers. I would root for Larry Johnson Sr. if he coached for the Buckeyes instead of the Nittany Lions... yeah, that's already happening. Yet their salaries have risen as college football revenues have risen, but college football players do not see any increase in compensation.

Stop trying to set the entire market based on 5% of statistical outliers.  I'll support a modest stipend.

The point is currently there is a set market, defined by the NCAA, capped at one scholarship per player, regardless of who the player is. There is no market whatsoever, it is completely regulated and capped. I'm not trying to set the market based on statistical outliers, I just want a market without extreme regulation.

NCBuckeye's picture

The pay of assistant coaches has risen, but so has the cost of attending colleges. I attended The OSU from 98-00 and now I am in NC and back in school. How many tuition hikes has there been in that time? I know there have been a few. Also studies show that then cost of books for classes have risen over 700% since the late 70's. (Was an article on Yahoo recently) Everything raises in price over time. Infalation causes it and also market demand. The market demand is almost requiring people to get college degrees any more to get high paying jobs, but most companies or colleges are not compensating me for that cost. The salary for that particle job didn't get higher, just the restrictions on getting it did.

So these kids are getting this for free. Maybe their stipend doesn't help on a car payment, but neither does the 24 hours I can work a week while taking a full course load. I also don't get free tutors. Most campuses charge for using the workout facilities anymore. And everyone always skips over medical coverage. A student athlete gets hurt, be it in a game, practice, or on break at home, it is covered and generally by great doctors. They get sick and need a hospital stay it is covered. Student healthcare insurance is at least $700 a semester. And you still pay out of pocket for co-pays and such. God forbid I need surgery, because I played an intramural sport and blew a knee.

These are just a few things I can think. If these athletes think they are going to make it, apply for the student loans they need to help out. I am uncertain what my degree is going to get me, but I am getting loans because I have to so I can afford just college, not just lifestyle.

Sorry, I have had a fever for a few days so this might not be put together the best way, but the points are still there.

darbnurb's picture

I don't have the necessary economics degree to follow most of the posts here.  But as I see it, it seems simple.  Students should not be paid by universities beyond what they are already compensated and universities/video games/media should not profit directly from the likeness/name of the players without paying individual players.  Media should pay royalty every time they use a photo of a player to advertise their millions of $$$ generating games.  Sports Illustrated should pay Braxton to appear on its cover.  If the 3rd string DE or 1st string fencer appears on the cover, they should pay him too.  To me, it's not about whether universities should add more money to the players pot, but whether to allow/deny individual players to profit in the private sector for their likeness.  I chose my profession and accepted the compensation offered to me.  But if I do my work well enough to earn paid speaking engagements, etc, then I should be able to profit from it.  Just my $.02

Wilkins78's picture

Who pays the agents, lawyers, managers, etc once this starts happening?  The kid?  The school?  Boosters?  Otherwise, and probably even in that case, parents will be trying to broker deals with boosters, schools, local businesses.  "Sorry coach, I can't make practice, I gotta do a tv spot for Tansky Toyota."

d5k's picture

Are those legitimate concerns?  The players can work summer jobs but have to still show up to workouts/camp/class.  Obviously the players pay for any agent or lawyer under this scenario.
I don't understand staunch defenders of the status quo in anything.  There's always ways to do things better.  This is a complex system where the NCAA and NFL have 99% of the leverage between them and players only gain leverage when they are established NFL veterans that have influence in the union.  The logistics that prevent any potential for college FB players from unionizing is one of the main reasons I consider the NCAA and its rulebook as exploitative.
Here's some facts: there's so much money around college football that the Fiesta bowl can bribe politicians and embezzle with the excess or just legally "network" their way to cushy 7 figure jobs to the extent that the powers that be are like Scrooge McDuck swimming in a room full of money.  Lots of talk about fairness.  What is the fairest way to divide the pie?  I can't imagine how it can be "fair" with all of the pie going to good ol boys who spend your ticket dollars and TV subscriptions to bribe politicians just to retain their share of the pie.

Wilkins78's picture

Of course they are legitimate concerns.  I don't think you have a full grasp of the industry and bedlam this has the potential to create.  If you think these kids are being exploited by the ncaa/conference/school now, just wait until a completely unable-to-be-regulated industry of sharks emerges who won't have any obligation to anyone but themselves.  
If you don't understand different points of view, and that there are problems and good points with all sides of this debate, I promise you, you're not going to find any satisfaction in it.  Hopefully, this simplified statement helps you understand a bit better:  At least right now, the devil I know, is (or at least sounds a lot) better than the devil I don't.  And while I understand that the balance has dramatically shifted in what is a symbiotic relationship and that there are exceptions to every rule, I also know that these kids are largely cared for, provided for, and given opportunity and access that few people get to enjoy.  They are not suffering.  I am more concerned with keeping (or at least attempting to keep) the corruption and bureaucracy away from them, though that is not to say I don't want to figure out how to fix it or that I'm not open-minded about other options.  But, unless they are being hurt somehow, and I don't believe that they are, any change to the status quo would need to do a much better job of answering these types of concerns and proving that it is indeed a solution.  
 
 

darbnurb's picture

Yes, I don't like the booster problem that will sure follow.  But the whole idea of paying players is a result of student-athletes getting in trouble for signing autographs or seeking out favors from boosters.  However, universities paying players more will not cause any of these problems to go away.
Also, if I tell my boss that I am missing work/training/practice because I am trying to profit for myself, then I don't have a job any longer.  
 

Wilkins78's picture

if I tell my boss that I am missing work/training/practice because I am trying to profit for myself, then I don't have a job any longer.

Sure, but you're not Johnny Manziel and co. and you're boss isn't trying to win football games with your backup.  And the idea of this isn't because Manziel got in trouble for signing autographs (allegedly) for profit, though it did bring a lot of attention to it.  The issue is the divide between the real $ people are seeing reported as profits, salaries, etc and the perceived value of what the players are receiving in return.  There is no simple solution to this issue, and I think you're drastically underestimating just how big the "booster problem" will be.  It's not like the rules to keep this stuff away were arbitrarily decided on.  Maybe the money doesn't come from the school, but it will damn sure still need to be strictly regulated by the ncaa or conference or whatever governance structure we end up with.